A Beginner’s Guide to Commissioning an Artwork

Art has been an integral part of what makes us human for thousands of years. You can see this in almost every facet of society, from stone age era carvings on caves, sculptures done by prominent figures during the classical era, and paintings that feel like will come to life at the ceiling of the Sistine chapel during the renaissance era.

You can see art in almost any situation that presents itself. Most movies are artwork, the toys you were playing when you were small are works of art, and novels are meticulously written labors of love. But wouldn’t it be even better if you had a good idea for a piece of art and want it to come to life? Most artists offer commissions to gain funds and hone their skills and abilities with a variety of different subjects. Even for a self-publishing printing service, commissions are a source of livelihood.

But more often than not, we tend to forget about the artisans who have produced these crafts. Like every person who works day in and day out, artists also need to put food on the table. As such, commissions are a form of sustenance for these artists.

How Do I Commission An Artwork?

For the most part, most artists are the masters of their own craft and aren’t working for organizations, companies, and agencies. Since they’re usually freelancing individuals, most clients will be able to strike up a conversation with ease.

In an age of free-flowing information and accessible communication forms, most of these artists will advertise their content and portfolio through several different platforms. Some will use websites explicitly catering to artwork hosting while there are websites that provide freelancing services.

There are different ways of commissioning artworks, but mostly, it’s an agreement between you and the artist.

Commissioning Your Artwork

artist at work

Although it might seem like a tall order to make arrangements and discuss what you want, it’s not going to be that intimidating. Instead, it’s best to envision the transaction as something of a fun and collaborative effort that both parties can enjoy.

No worries, this guide will ensure that both you and your artist will build a professional and long-term relationship together.

Details and Instructions

The first impression will always last, and this will heavily influence how the output of your commission. First, you will need to discern and ask if the artist is willing to take in the task that you have requested. Most of the time, artists within your local area would like to meet to discuss everything in detail. If the artist is thousands of miles away, communicating via E-mail or a messaging platform can ensure that everything is written down and set in stone.

Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to have a written agreement on what you want to do. During the first few minutes and hours of your contact with your artist, it’s essential to be very keen to detail with what you want. If possible, give samples on what you have envisioned.

Discuss the Payment Methods

The payment method should always be discussed before any final decision is made. It’s best not to low ball or postpone any payments to your artist as it offers you a service. The general rule of thumb for most artists is that they will ask half of the payment up front and the other half once they are finished. That will ensure that both parties have compromised on the payment method; there is a degree of trust and transparency between parties.

Have a Good Time

Lastly, you need to chill out and have a good time with the artist. Once the artwork is done, and you’re ready to exhibit it, give the right credits to the artisan. Naturally, you will be given an exclusive right to the artwork since you are the benefactor; this is usually commercial or personal. But it never hurts to credit the artist on the work.

Let the artist know that you’re a friend rather than just another professional acquaintance. By doing so, you are opening yourself up to more connections within the industry, and more prospects in the future.

Commissioning an artwork is a fun prospect and will Not only support artists and their talent, but you’re also patronizing an industry that is thousands of years old. Who knows? That artwork you might have commissioned will be hanged in a museum a few decades from now.

If you love how the person’s art style and methodology, it’s essential not to bargain too hard and low ball the price. Artworks aren’t just something that can be done in a single day. Depending on the project you’re commissioning for, most artists will pour their hearts and souls into their craft to ensure that you’re satisfied. Ultimately, it all boils down on appreciating the artworks of the artist.

Remember: a commission should be a fun collaboration between you and the artist. Just have fun, and you’ll get some useful output as your final result.

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