Commissions for artists are limited only by one’s imagination: people, house, and pet portraits, funerary urns, custom jewelry, garden sculpture, and more.
Regardless of the commissions you might be offered, use these pointers to make sure you pull off your project with flying colors and enjoy the process.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Create a special section on your website for commission information. Include steps for commissioning a piece and testimonials from happy patrons alongside images of the finished work.
I snapped this photo in the garage of the Milwaukee Art Museum and I’m happy to say that, according to her site, Susan Weres is still doing her thing. And she’s probably surprised to see this photo. I wonder how many commissions this tire cover has landed her.
See that your marketing materials have both an email address and
I’ve been reading Delivering Happiness by Zappos founder Tony Hsieh. I highly recommend it as an inspirational story about sacrifice, drive, perseverance, and personal mission.
One of the things Hsieh stresses repeatedly is how much more interested he is in experiences than in acquiring things. It’s no wonder that Zappos has become known for its superior customer service.
This got me to thinking about how artists and arts organizations treat their guests at openings. Here’s what I came up with.
Artist Karen McLain addresses a standing-room only and overflow crowd at the fundraiser for The Cloud Foundation, which she worked on for over a year.
When you host an opening and invite people, you are the host.
The people who attend, whether they pay or not, are your guests. They have gone out of their way to show up
As I write this, I’m sitting with an inbox with far more messages than is comfortable for me. I usually keep a relatively sparse inbox, but the messages accumulate from time to time.
Here’s the ugly truth.
I know that 177 messages isn’t a lot for most people, but it is for me. Instead of beating myself up over it, I’m going to hold myself accountable to under 20 messages before this post is published. Because, I’ve learned . . .
I am the boss of my inbox.
I refuse to let email messages control my life. I’m in charge. You, too, are in charge. You have to be.
If you’re going to be in control of your art career, you have to control every aspect of it. Stop allowing things like email to monopolize your
I have been teaching artists online and at live events since 2002.
While students pay to get valuable content from me, I learn almost as much from them as they do from me. That’s one of the great joys of teaching, and why I will continue to offer live learning.
I can’t possibly put all I know about teaching into a single article, but I have selected a few gems in hopes that they help all of you instructors out there. Take note!
If you teach for hire, you must be clear up front about what your expectations are for the venue. Everything must be in writing.
Speaking to members of the Tennessee Arts and Crafts Alliance. Photo by Mary Claire Crow.
The venue organizers who hired you will never conduct the event in the same manner
One of the best ways to save time on your computer is to be consistent when naming your files. It not only saves you time, but will be imperative when (not if) you bring someone in to help you expand your art business. It makes no sense to hire an assistant only to spend half of your time trying to find things in the computer for your assistant.
st hired my first employee, other than myself, at Art Biz Coach. Yes, I have other assistants who work with me on a contract basis, but Maeve Eichelberger is a full-fledged employee. I’m not encouraging you to hire an employee. But I do think that most artists can benefit from an assistant. Here are some steps you can take to help move that process along.
A student in my Art Biz Bootcamp asked last week on a coaching call, “Where do you find the time?” After I gave him my answers and we hung up from the call, I thought: There’s no such thing as finding time. We have time. It’s up to us how we choose to use it. Then I thought about time bandits. I came up with four big things that rob us of that time.
All artists are, at some point, asked to donate their work for a good cause. Most artists have soft hearts and want to help out anyone who asks. You need to be prepared with a response that reflects your boundaries while educating those doing the asking.
Emphasized at my mastermind meeting two weeks ago: The most successful people have a sense of urgency. I believed this to be true when I heard it, and then I started researching what “a sense of urgency” really means. It’s not really about hurrying.
If you were the boss and had you as an employee, would you be happy with your performance, or would you fire yourself? Let’s pretend for a moment that you are conducting a performance review of your work. Evaluate whether or not your expectations as an employer are being met by your performance as an employee.