A How-to-Guide to Commissioning Art

Having an art piece made especially for your decor, be it your home, company, or institution, is easier than you may think!

Very often, the conversation between the artist such as myself and you, the art collector, starts simply enough with a question and an observation. The observation being, "I love your work" and the question, "Can you paint something that would fit exactly my wall space?" I always first invite the collector to look at what I have available already. Still, I sometimes hear a desire for something in a slightly different shade or size, or a desire for something very personal is expressed. If you don't mind spending more than an existing art piece in the same size and find yourself longing for a closer creative relationship with your favorite artist, then art commissioning could be right for you.

Art Commission - Special Relationship between the Artist and the Art Collector

For collectors, whether you're starting your collection or have been collecting for years, art is rarely solely an investment of money but one where the heart, mind, and soul are also involved. Art speaks to our deepest self. Very often, the desire for an art commission is not just an object to hang on your wall but about bringing to life a story, a memory, a moment in time that matters the most. Furthermore, I've discovered that a private commission also develops a special relationship between the artist and the collector. A special bond is set. The heart is open, and sincere communication ensues to assure a successful commission. That extra involvement adds considerable personal value to the commissioned work.

How do I proceed? We'll talk!

What can you expect from me? First of all, I will want to know which one of my paintings is your favorite and appeals to your sense of aesthetics. I will require the artwork dimensions. We will discuss color scheme, medium, oil paint, acrylic, or mixed media and, of course, theme.  I will want to hear what is prompting you to ask for a commission. We'll talk! 

Next Step - a Proposal

An art commission does entail a contract, but before it is signed, I will send you a written outline reflecting on I best understand what your heart desires. That's the moment where you'll review, and we'll tweak it. 

The Outline

The outline is a critical element of the art commissioning process.

Art description 

The description includes the theme of the artwork, the material used, and dimensions.

 

Material possibly used. Is it oil, acrylic paint, or mixed media art which may include paper, fabric, and materials others than canvas such as wood or white metal.

Dimension The canvas will be stretched and ready to be hung. Or rolled up and sent in a tube.

Theme

The theme can also be referred to as the subject or topic. It's essential to establish what the subject and concept of the artwork are going to be.

The Process

This is how I will work from start to finish to make sure that we are on the same page before I get to the final step and deliver the work.  I, the artist,  will provide a very general sketch of the artwork at the beginning and submit it for approval. If you don't like the loosely painted illustration, it's essential to let me know before I move on to the next step, which is the actual painting. I remain in contact with the art patron throughout the process and may ask for additional information. You should direct questions and express your wishes as clearly as possible. Even if it seems nosey, you should ask about the creative process, the timeline, the artist’s opinion on your vision. This will create chemistry between the two sides, and that clarity is precisely what we all want.

Budget - once I have all the information that I need, I will provide you with a budget.  Most artists, including myself, ask for half of upfront, and the balance is paid upon delivery of the work.

Reproduction

 The final artwork will belong to the art buyer, and she/he is free to keep or resale it but not to reproduce it for any commercial activities. The artist reserves the right to reproduce the artwork for prints and wearable art. 

Final Say

That's the hardest part but could be the most important. The client must understand that the artwork remains the artist’s vision and that the artist possesses a particular style in the expressionist family. Once the artwork is delivered, there are no changes made to it, which is why it's so important to ask the right questions and to express your wishes and desires before the artist picks up a brush.

Nope, I won't do that!

Don't be surprised or offended if an artist turns down your request for a commission. A proposed subject may not appeal to an artist. I was once asked to paint a building, and to place branded products in it; I turned it down. It's one thing to be hired for an advertising campaign and another to create a piece of art that will later be used for marketing purposes. Let's be clear from the start.

One last point, once you have settled on an artist, make sure that you’re contacting them the right way – do not leave a comment on their Facebook page but find the email and send them an inquiry. Trust us, those of us who take art commissions will make sure you can find our official contact easily.

Do you think you would be interested in commissioning artwork? If you would like to discuss your options with me, please contact me today!