How To Commission Art

 
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In today’s post we are going to talk about how to commission art. If you are like most people, learning how to talk to an artist about a potential piece of work isn’t something you learned when growing up. Perhaps you have been interested in getting a quote for a drawing and just don’t know how to go about it. Wonder no more, my friend! These tips will help you confidently dialog with an artist.

Subject matter: Are you looking for a portrait, nature scape, architecture sketch? Let the artist know if you have reference photos, or better yet, attach the photos to the inquiry email! I receive a significant amount of inquiries that are really difficult to quote because I cannot gauge the amount of time the piece will take without seeing the reference photos. Sending photos is the best way to get an accurate quote.

Size of piece: Ask the artist if they work in a specific size. I generally work in 8”x10” and all my packaging and supplies are tailored to that size. I will work in other sizes, but there can be an up charge for special sizes. If you are looking for the drawing to fit a certain frame size or space, make sure to tell the artist up front.

Time frame: Does the artist have availability in their schedule, and how long will the piece take? Depending on their schedule, this could take over a month to complete! Make sure to give yourself plenty of time if this piece needs to be done on a specific date. I usually have a 3-4 week turnaround time for my work.

Billing: What does billing look like? Do you pay all up front, or some up front and some upon receipt of the piece? Billing can vary from artist to artist. I usually bill a 50% non-refundable deposit before I begin the piece, and then the final 50% of the artwork cost (plus shipping) is due upon the client’s receipt of the artwork. I also have contracts that clients sign for commission pieces over a certain dollar amount. Keep in mind that you may have to pay sales tax depending on the state you are in and the state the artist is in.

I hope these tips are helpful if you are interested in commissioning artwork from your favorite artist! If you are still a little wary, I have a template below for you to use when asking for a quote.

Hi __(artist)___,

I am contacting you about potentially commissioning a __(type of artwork the artist does)__! I love your style and am looking for an __(illustration/painting/sculpture)__ of __(subject)___. I have a few photos attached for your reference. Do you normally have a specific size for commission pieces, or do you offer different size options? I would like this for __(date/special event/area you wish to display the piece)___, and was wondering what your normal turnaround time is. Also, what would you charge for this piece, and how does the billing process work?

Excited to hear from you!

__(name)___

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