How to Commission Original Art – 6 Tips to Get the Perfect Piece

An illustrious renaissance portrait of an affluent person on a canvas may be the first thing that pops in your mind when commissioned art is mentioned. In the past, people interested in having their portraits done are very familiar with the process that involves how to commission art. It is also their way of flaunting their wealth and power. Some artists like Diego Velasquez, Michelangelo, and Leonardo Da Vinci had high demands for commissioned works. Members of the upper class would often seek their services to paint their portrait for them. Understand that commissioned art is not limited to portraits alone. Churches would commission some artists to paint scenes that happened in biblical times.

Have you ever experienced seeing beautiful scenery in a dream and wished that you could immortalize it in a painting? You can do that if you know how to commission original art in our time. There are certain things that you need to determine first when commissioning an artist.

Getting perfect, unique artwork in acrylic painting is not something difficult to achieve when you commission an artist. Here are the 6 important tips that can help you get the perfect piece of art and learn how to commission art or painting.

1. You Need to be Certain About What You Want

You will never get that perfect piece if you don’t even know exactly what you want. Are you looking for an art piece in acrylic or just want something on a canvas? What type of art do you prefer? You also need to consider the styles, mediums, colors, and other details that you need to tell the artist so she can create a masterpiece that suits your preference.

If you are having a hard time determining the things that you want for your painting, you may ask for some suggestions from the artist regarding the style, medium, or other things that will turn your piece into something perfect. Your artist may ask you for other information like the room where you intend to put the piece, the color of the room, and other things. She can give advice that can help you in making sure that the piece of artwork that you will put in the particular space in your home will blend well with the surroundings.

What do you intend the piece to do for you? Whether you are going to put it in a private or public space, a specific room in your house or office, or someplace else, you need to determine the purpose of putting it in that space. Do you want to evoke emotion, make the room lively, or make the space more serene? Every piece of artwork can somehow change the environment of the space where you put it. You need to be clear about the kind of effect that you want to achieve or create when you add the piece to that space.

2. Set Your Budget

Once you are sure about the piece that you want, it’s about time to set your budget. If you have a set budget, it is easy to list down the artists that you may want to consider for the job. Emerging artists usually have a lower pay rate than established artists. Aside from that, the promising artists have more time to spare and may show more interest in commissioning your project than the established artists that have many customers to serve.

On the other hand, the artist that caught your interest must be an established one already, and you did not even know it. You can talk about the budget right away to avoid wasting time. If you really want to own something that a particular established artist has painted, you can either adjust your budget or pick one artwork that fits your budget. Don’t waste both of your time when it’s becoming impossible to proceed with the project. This is especially true when you are thinking of something extravagant, but your budget is not enough to accommodate the cost.

3. Search for the Suitable Artist

If you have no particular artist to commission or your budget can’t afford to pay the artist that you have in mind, you can do a local search to find out the artists near your area or those who use the art style and medium that you prefer. You can also try looking at websites about design and arts such as Houzz, Coda Worx, Modenus, Wescover, and Linda Jane.

To know more about the prospective artists, take a look at their portfolios and testimonials from their past clients. You can also visit their websites or social media pages to see if their style is to your liking. You can get some ideas regarding their work and how they interact with their customers or audience.

You can also try visiting the websites of different art galleries or drop by in person when you can. It is natural for art galleries to represent various artists, and some of them even collaborate with artists that specialize in a specific style or medium. You get to see the artists’ works when you visit the galleries, and you may consider commissioning the artist who caught your fancy.

If you contact some artists and uncertain about their service fees, don’t hesitate to ask them. They may be using a certain formula to determine the price they set for their work. They will be able to explain further when you talk to them and ask.

If you are determined to hire a particular artist with a fee that’s way out of your budget, you can try negotiating the price. Work with the artists and see what they can do for you to meet your budget. If you have a flexible budget, you may ask the artists to propose something with 3 price points so you can see the difference in what to get for the costs. You can now compare the different proposals and choose the artist that meets your requirements and budget. Getting the right artist is one of the most important components in learning how to commission art.

4. Discuss the Details and Ask Your Chosen Artist to Provide an Outline

After choosing your artist, you need to discuss in detail everything that you want for your piece. Your artist should be able to come up with a proposal outlining the things that you have discussed, including the size of the commissioned art, the timeline for the work’s progress, lighting recommendations, colors, costs (fees and other expenses), time of delivery, and other important details.

Read the proposal outline thoroughly and point out the things that are unclear to you or you would like to modify. Don’t start the project until you have read and understood the content of the outline, which will be the basis of your formal contract. You are aiming to get the perfect piece, and you need to make sure to get your money’s worth. You may add something from your end. Writing everything down can get everyone on the same page and prevent any regrets later.

5. Draw the Contract and Make Sure that Both Parties Agree

You can now draw the contract based on the outline of the proposal that your artist has presented. A contract can protect both of you and should be drafted before the work begins. Make sure that both parties understood the content of the contract and established a mutual agreement.

Here are the elements of a good contract:

– Description of the commissioned project:

The contract should state a brief and loose description of the project and everything that you have agreed on. This includes the subject of the piece, materials, colors, size, and other things that are essential in creating your art piece.

– Payment method and agreement:

Most artists require 50% upfront before starting the project, and the rest of the payment should be given after the artwork is finished. You may suggest another amount of upfront fee. It is vital to make an advance payment to make sure that the artist will be able to procure all the materials that will be used for the artwork. You also need to include the payment method in the contract.

– Copyrights:

The artist will retain the legal rights for her work even though you paid for the artwork. It is not the same when you commission a writer to create some articles for you where you retain the rights over the materials. Most artists prefer to include an image of their finished project in their portfolio. There may be times when they will ask to borrow their commissioned art pieces as part of their art exhibits. In case you are not willing to do any of it, you need to state it clearly in the contract and make necessary adjustments when necessary.

– The process of creation and timeline:

The artist should state the things she requires from you in detail. If you want a portrait of your mother to be drawn, the artist may ask you to provide several clear images of your mother taken in different angles and shots. You can also demand a timeline for the work in progress and see visual updates. The timeline contains the time estimates for each stage of the project. It should also include a payment schedule when you both agreed to pay according to the work progress. It should also include the time of delivery.

– Method of shipping:

Once completed, the artist must deliver the finished artwork and make sure that it will get to you in perfect shape. You can discuss who should shoulder the shipping cost. Take note that there may be other expenses that must be paid when shipping the artwork, such as taxes and VAT, and affect the cost of the project. Make sure to cover those things and see that they won’t affect your budget.

6. Establish Good Communication with Your Chosen Artist

Establishing good communication and rapport with your chosen artist can help a lot in building a harmonious business relationship. Presenting a clear plan regarding the goal and purpose that you want to achieve in commissioning the artist can help you attain the perfect piece that you have in mind.

This doesn’t mean that you need to plan out every single detail. But, supplying more information to the artist can help her a lot in creating the art that you are envisioning. Your artist is a trusted partner that you can rely on and expects you to be open and transparent about your concerns and desires. Your artist may have ideas that could make your art piece better than what you initially imagined. Communication is the key to successful collaboration.

Always keep in touch with the artist once the project starts. Make sure that the proposed timeline for the project is followed.

These are the essential things that you need to remember when learning how to commission original art. It may seem tedious at some point but having original art piece for yourself is worth the time and money.

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