How Art Commissions Can Grow Your Business

by Carolyn Edlund

Art commissions can be an critical cash flow stream that provides versatility and collaboration to your imaginative small business.


painted portrait of Lady Lee by Susan Patton

“Lady Lee” (commissioned portrait) oil, 30” x 40” by artist Susan Patton


Non-public commissions can be a main source of money for an artist, or an occasional venture. Some artists favor not to pursue commissions as element of their organization model. It is all up to you. Getting commissions isn’t for everybody it requires a state of mind in which the artist is energized about the collaborative work concerned in manufacturing a personalized piece of artwork.

Some art enterprises are a natural in good shape for commission perform, such as portraiture. Painters and sculptors who focus in portraits normally create their professions making use of this business product.

To be profitable with commissions, you ought to be keen to settle for enter from your client pertaining to their requires and wants. And you ought to be able to translate this into a function of artwork that bears your possess unique signature model.

How to attain commissions

If a possible collector expresses an curiosity in a piece of your operate, but they want a thing a bit distinctive, you might want to start off the dialogue with them about a particular commission to satisfy their requires.

If you want to make commissions often, make this services component of your advertising and marketing strategy, and let individuals know that you are available to do the job with them on a project. Develop a technique for having commissions and producing them that places your customer at simplicity. When your presentation is qualified, you will encourage assurance and raise the likelihood of obtaining a deal.

The commission contract

Be positive to get the commission agreement in producing. An on-line search will flip up sample contracts for artists that consist of terms and clauses you will want to turn into acquainted with. The contract need to be distinct to the challenge which include products, dimension, and selling price. Specify irrespective of whether framing or installation is integrated. A recognize that the copyright belongs to the artist and is not conveyed must be in the agreement. And there could be a clause that makes it possible for the artist to borrow the work in the potential for general public exhibition, if that is a problem.

Fee contracts comprise language that spells out the obligations of each and every social gathering. Will the client deliver images or even products to be provided? Will the artist report on development, and if so, how frequently? A deadline for completion should really be mentioned. There may perhaps be a charge incurred for termination of the agreement following the work has begun, and provisions made for get the job done that is refused upon completion.

It is typical to have to have a deposit upon signing a commission contract. A 50% deposit right before perform commences is not unusual. Some artists have a program of payments to be produced at stated situations through the innovative course of action.

Pricing art commissions

If you have a constant pricing method worked out forward of time, you will much more easily be equipped to estimate a value for a asked for fee. Charging an added charge for custom operate is quite frequent. Following all, performing with purchasers on a unique piece just for them demands extra time and chance for the artist. Calculate an upcharge for commissions and be reliable. When you can clearly clarify your charges to a future customer, its a great deal less complicated to occur to an arrangement.

Shopper company

When doing the job on a commission, be guaranteed to maintain in contact during the resourceful method. Several shoppers like to be involved, and a work of artwork in progress is constantly exciting. Part of setting up sturdy relationships with collectors is speaking with them about the function you are performing for them. When you are operating on a extremely individual undertaking, it provides you the prospect to turn into good friends with your clients and develop interactions that can pay off in repeat and referral small business.

There are quite a few web-sites that connect artists with possible clients who are looking to have commissioned operate made for them (search for web sites in the “Commissions” class in our directory.) On those people platforms, the artist provides illustrations or photos of their do the job that present their elements, strategy and signature design. This may perhaps be an possibility for you if you intend to make commissioned art a considerable component of your studio apply.

Professional clientele

Commissions may also be made for company clients. Artwork consultants, advisors or interior designers could function closely with the shopper and the artist to coordinate a custom do the job of art that is great for a company setting. Schools may be exploring for a sculptor or painter to honor a previous president or significant donor with a commissioned portrait. Architects may perhaps want a tailored mural integrated into a setting up undertaking. The options are infinite, and only minimal to your creativity.

Get started off

If you want to accept commissions as component of your studio apply, you can optimize them by earning choices initial. What percentage of your work are you eager to do as commissions? Who is your viewers for this form of function, and why? Identify a commission deal, browse it extensively and modify it to in shape your wants. Make a website page on your internet site for commissions that spells out the phrases, timeline, and so on. Exhibit examples of previous commissions with recommendations from satisfied shoppers. And make it easy to contact you for further discussion. Then you can accept commissions that in good shape your pursuits, inventive design and style and timetable when producing unforgettable artwork that your clientele will enjoy.


Artist credit history: Susan Patton


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