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
There are differences among the various types of calls for entry competitions, but let’s start at the very basics: how to evaluate a Call and decide if you should respond.
Back in December, I ran a Deep Thought Thursday about how to satisfy an unreasonable client who has hired you for a commissioned piece of art. I presented a particular situation (which you need to read about to understand this post) and many alert readers helped an artist address this problem.
Later, I received this email from the artist with the unreasonable (?) client. She wrote.
I just wanted to update you and everyone that offered ideas and support with my 2-year-old commission. I met with [the client] several days ago and he asked me how I liked the finished piece. I told him it was perfect and that there was nothing more I could do with it. He said “ok” and thanked me. And that was it.
I think reading some of the comments really helped give me the confidence I needed to talk
You were thrilled to get that commission, but the excitement soon wore off. You can’t make your client happy! You do and re-do and start all over again. How do you handle an unsatisfied client in a professional manner while standing your ground?
If someone found you on a gallery website, do you owe your gallery a finder’s fee? How do you know? Does it make a difference if the client wants a custom painting that doesn’t yet exist?
What would you do (as an artist) when a client wants to buy a painting, for a few thousand dollars, but requires one of the minor details be changed? Would you alter the painting or not?