How To Commission An Art Piece: A Buyer’s Guide
Whether you have a vision for a piece of art, want something truly unique to treasure or would like your favourite artist to work to create something new for you; there are lots of reasons to commission an art piece. Some people are wary about commissioning their own piece of art. However, it is an amazing opportunity to acquire artwork that you love, and that truly showcases your personality and style, crafted by an artist who creates work that really speaks to you.
Many artists accept commissions, so don’t be afraid to reach out to artists if you love their work and would like them to create your own bespoke piece. However, in order to craft the perfect work for your needs, the artist is likely to ask you several critical questions. With this in mind, it is important to research and prepare for these questions so that you can create a successful working relationship between you and the artist.
How To Commission An Art Piece
As a contemporary artist, I regularly receive commission requests from art buyers who are perhaps looking for a very specific mood, colour scheme or story in their art. When a client wants to commission an art piece, these are some of the questions that I will ask that will help me to create a piece of art that is exactly what the client wants.
1. Why Me?
In some cases, clients like my style of work; in other cases, they may have seen specific artwork that I have created that they want to emulate for their own piece. Knowing how a client has found me can be really useful as I will understand if it is the style they like or whether there is something specific in my work that they are looking for.
- Do You Have Any Specific Requirements?
Each client will have a very different idea for how they want to commission an art piece. I regularly work with interior design companies. These clients will often know what style, colour scheme and tones they want to include.
It can help to send fabric and colour samples for the room as well as photographs of the space where the artwork will sit. This type of brief is perfect for clients who have a very clear vision and no exactly what they want from the artwork.
However, other clients may be more flexible on their requirements and will be looking to me as the artist to add my own elements into the piece. If this is the case, I may still ask key questions such as;
- What room is the piece for?
- Can you supply photographs of the space?
- Do you know what colours you would like?
- Do you have any ideas that you’d like me to incorporate into the piece?
- How big would you like the piece to be? (For example, a large impactful piece, or smaller, subtler artworks?
- Is the artwork to blend with the interior design or to stand out?
3. What Inspires You?
A bespoke artwork can be an incredible way to have a thing of beauty and inspiration in your home of space. Some clients may not really know what they want the piece to look like, but they will know how they want to artwork to make them feel. This could be as simple as saying whether you’d like the art to be calming and relaxing or sharp, textured and invigorating.
For others, it may help to use words, literature, or stories to create the piece. Words, poetry, lyrics and stories, even sentences said by friends or family, can be incredibly inspiring. I can take this information, however short or extensive it may be, and transform it into the painting, giving it a much more personal and meaningful feel.
Inspiration could also come from a specific place, so photographs of special memories can be really helpful to create art. While the artwork will not look like the place, my work can help to create the feeling, atmosphere, and textures of that special location within the art. For example, the rush and energy of a waterfall or the clearness and clarity of a mountain.
How Do You Like To Present Art?
Framing art can give it a whole other dimension, while unframed canvases offer a rawness and realness. Whether you want to add the luxury of a metallic frame such as gold or copper, want a clear boundary between the wall and the painting with a thick border or would like the artwork to spread into the walls by keeping the piece frameless, it is entirely up to you.
Commissioning An Art Piece: How The Process Works
After confirming your brief with the artist, the process of art creation may be very different depending on the artist you work with. Some artists will need a long time; others will be able to complete work faster. Some may not be happy to give updates until the final piece is ready; others are happy to show their work in progress.
It is essential to ask the artist about their process, so you can understand what you should expect and how much contact there will be.
Personally, I like to keep clients updated throughout the process and send images as the work progresses. This means I can make changes, add any colours or other elements that the client suggests. For some clients, they simply want to see the journey of the art piece from a blank canvas to when it lands on their walls.
In other cases, clients will want to see a surprise and will ask me not to send progress updates until the piece is finalised.