Collecting artwork is something that is extremely rewarding regardless of if you’re an amateur enthusiast or a serious, full blown art collector. There is the thrill of selection; looking through numerous works and exploring different artistic styles both modernist and otherwise, to find something that speaks to you.
If you’re already someone who collects art, one of the things you might have been wondering about is commissions and how to go about the same. Commissioning a piece of artwork is a little different from say purchasing artwork online or picking up a piece for sale at an exhibition. We’re going to elaborate on the process of commissioning for those of you interested!
If you’re someone interested in commissioning your own artwork anytime soon, here are a few things you will need to look into!
Finding the right Artist
Commissioning work is all about appreciation of someone’s particular style and wanting to see a personal piece of work made in that very style. Alternatively it can simply be to support the artist’s process as you like the direction it is going in and want to see more.
In any case, the first step to commissioning your artwork is to find an artist to support. One good way of doing this is by looking up the work of different artists online. See whose style appeals to you and find out more about them. Alternatively, it could also be the artist’s message, ideas or process that appeals to you along with the work in and of its self. This too is a good reason to pick an artist to commission!
Understanding Their Process
Understanding how the artist you have chosen works is also of import. You do not want to jump in to a commission only to find out that you and the artist clash like no one’s business! Where some artists appreciate as much input as those commissioning them can give others would rather you backed them up financially but left the art and creativity to them.
There are also those that would gladly meet you half way. Understanding the working process of the artist you are looking to commission will help you gauge whether the relationship will be mutually fruitful.
Explaining What You’re Looking For
Once you are clear on the fact that you appreciate the artists work and ideas and also can get along with them enough to communicate well, you might need to think about content. An artist whose work you are commissioning might need you to offer some ideas regarding what you want to see or at least a concept you want to cover. If this is so, be clear on your bit. Once they set to work there may be no going back.
Even if you won’t be influencing the content, you will need to discuss what you’re looking for in the work.
Commissioning a piece of work means you’re backing it up financially. This would mean paying for materials as well as any other costs spent on producing the work you have commissioned. The way to go about this is to request the artist for a quote once the two of you are clear on the work being commissioned. The artist will provide this after which you will need to give them a portion of the payment so they can get started. The advance offered usually goes into materials etc.
Connecting and Touching Base
While the artist is working on your commission, you may be required to connect with them off and on during the process depending on what it is and the capacity you are involved with it in. If you’re having a live portrait done for instance, you will need to take out the time to model yourself!
Closing the Commission
The artist will usually provide you with a rough date or simply contact you when your commission has been completed. At this point, you will need to make the remainder of your payment after which you are free to head home or to your space with a new piece of work for your collection. Please remember that it is terrible etiquette to haggle when it comes to artists and their work. Pay what you have been asked to and do so graciously.
Following the instructions above should ensure that your first experience commissioning artwork will be a positive one! If you feel like getting started, there is some work you can have a look at including original modern art, landscape paintings and abstract artwork for sale. All you need now is to get to it!