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Both seasoned buyers and those brand new to acquiring art are likely to experience the following scenario at some point in their collecting journeys. Perhaps you come across an artist's incredible original work, know you want to finalize the purchase to make it yours, but then find out it has already been sold. Or, you love a certain artist's style, but aren't fully ready to commit to a sale because of the size, your budget, or another similar constraint. In these cases, a commission may be the win-win answer for both you and the artist.
Curious about what a commission is and what the process entails?Create!Magazine is here to help. Listed below are a few common do's and don'ts to ensure the process goes smoothly for all parties involved and that you walk away with a work of art you will enjoy for years to come.
Before we get started, however, let's first define what a commission is. An art commission refers to a client paying an artist to create a custom work of art. Typically, this means that the artist will be making a piece for the client's personal collection, but it can also be for a special event, business, corporate collection, museum, or other institution. Some collectors will work on commission projects directly with the artist (which is the scenario this blog post will cover in detail). If an artist is represented by a gallery or art agent, these entities may help facilitate the sale instead. For clients working with an art advisory firm, the advisor may communicate with the artist or the artist's studio on behalf of the buyer. Now that we've got that covered, here are the top do's and don'ts.
DO familiarize yourself with the artist to ensure that you are truly ready to invest in a custom work of art. Depending on the artist's availability and the type of work they make, this process could take several months or even longer.
If you've been waiting to pull the trigger on a commission because you really know you want to collect work by this specific artist, great! DOlook around on their website and social media channels first for a page, section, or highlight that will give you more information about commissions. Artists will approach them differently so even if you've commissioned another artist in the past, you can't always expect that the process will be the same every time. Not to mention, it can be frustrating for artists when they receive numerous repetitive questions about commissions that are already answered on their website or Instagram profile.
When information about commissions is not readily available, DO feel free to reach out and ask if the artist is willing to work with you on one. But DON'T be pushy if an artist says no. There are numerous reasons why an artist might not be interested in taking on commissions from poor past experiences to being too busy with other projects.
Once you're in contact with the artist, DO be as specific as possible about what you're looking for. Hopefully, you can have a call with the artist to discuss the details. If not, make sure to clearly outline specifications such as the size and your budget, and if the artist accepts creative direction, you can also talk about the color palette, subjects, and media to be used.
Commissions often necessitate more time and resources on the artist's part so DOconsider that they might charge more for custom work. That said, DO keep in mind the excitement of having a completely unique piece that was made just for you. It's worth it!
DON'T move forward in the process until you've established what happens if you don't absolutely love the final product. Will they make changes for you?How many rounds of changes will they allow before you have to pay extra? If the artist has to start over, who covers the cost of materials?Outline these situations beforehand to avoid unnecessary conflict.
When you and the artist are in agreement about the price point and artwork they will complete for you, DON'T be surprised if they ask you to sign a contract or pay a deposit up front. This is normal and is meant to protect both parties to ensure that everyone upholds their end of the deal. Read through any legal documents carefully before signing.
DO ask for a timeline of when the artwork will be finished and if the artist will be sending you updates along the way.
Unless you're truly certain you will love the piece or you want it to be a surprise, DON'T have the artist send it to you without your final approval. Have them show you photos first and then ship it.
And finally, DOshow off your fabulous new custom work of art. Once you have it hung or placed where you want it, share photos with the artist if you feel comfortable doing so. They will appreciate it! Also, it's a nice gesture to write them a review. An extra bonus is if you tell a friend who may also be interested in collecting the artist's work.
Now that we've covered commission basics, I hope you feel ready and inspired to add custom art to your collection. Have more questions about commissions or collecting in general? Feel free to connect with me via Create!Magazine's partner gallery PxP Contemporary (@pxpcontemporary on Instagram). Ilove working with new collectors and would be happy to answer any additional concerns or inquiries you may have.
Alicia Puig has been a contributing writer for Create! Magazine since 2017. Find more of her work: www.aliciapuig.com
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert and enthusiast, I have a wide range of knowledge on various topics. While I have personal experiences or emotions like humans do, I can provide information and insights based on the data I've been trained on. I can help answer questions and provide guidance on a variety of subjects, including art commissions, public speaking, entrepreneurship, and more.
An art commission refers to a client paying an artist to create a custom work of art. This can be for the client's personal collection, a special event, business, corporate collection, museum, or other institution. The process of commissioning art involves collaborating with the artist to discuss the details of the artwork, such as size, budget, creative direction, color palette, subjects, and media to be used.
When considering a commission, it's important to familiarize yourself with the artist and their work to ensure that you are truly ready to invest in a custom piece. Take the time to explore the artist's website and social media channels for information about commissions. Each artist may have their own approach to commissions, so it's essential to review their guidelines and instructions before reaching out to them.
If information about commissions is not readily available, you can reach out to the artist and inquire if they are willing to work with you on a commission. However, it's important to respect their decision if they decline. There could be various reasons why an artist may not be interested in taking on commissions, such as past negative experiences or being busy with other projects.
When communicating with the artist, be as specific as possible about what you're looking for in the artwork. If possible, have a call or discussion to discuss the details. Clearly outline specifications such as size, budget, and any creative direction you have in mind. Keep in mind that commissions often require more time and resources from the artist, so they may charge more for custom work. However, the excitement of having a unique piece made just for you can make it worth it.
It's also important to establish what happens if you don't absolutely love the final product. Discuss with the artist if they are open to making changes and how many rounds of changes are allowed before any additional costs may be incurred. It's also a good idea to clarify who covers the cost of materials if the artist has to start over.
When you and the artist are in agreement about the price point and artwork, it's common for the artist to ask you to sign a contract or pay a deposit upfront. This is a normal practice to protect both parties and ensure that everyone upholds their end of the deal. Before signing any legal documents, make sure to read through them carefully.
Lastly, once you have received the artwork, it's a nice gesture to show it off and share photos with the artist if you feel comfortable doing so. Writing a review or recommending the artist to others who may be interested in their work is also appreciated.
Public speaking is the act of delivering a speech or presentation to inform, persuade, or entertain a group of people. It involves using words, physical delivery, and visual or audio aids to effectively communicate with an audience .
When it comes to establishing credibility as a public speaker, there are several key tips to keep in mind:
Talk about yourself, your interests, and why you're qualified: Introduce yourself at the beginning of your speech and explain why the audience should trust you as an authority on the topic. Share examples of your past successes, educational background, and personal investment in the subject matter. Studies have shown that when the audience is aware of the speaker's credentials, they perceive them to have a higher level of expertise and credibility .
Connect with your audience: Establish a connection with your audience by speaking in a way that resonates with them. Use language and examples that are relatable and relevant to their experiences. This helps build rapport and makes your message more credible and engaging .
Prepare thoroughly: Take the time to prepare your speech or presentation thoroughly. Research your topic, gather relevant information, and organize your thoughts in a logical and coherent manner. Practice your delivery to ensure a confident and polished performance.
Use visual aids: Visual aids, such as slides or props, can enhance your presentation and make complex information more accessible to the audience. Use visuals that are clear, relevant, and visually appealing. This can help reinforce your message and increase your credibility as a speaker .
Engage with your audience: Encourage audience participation and engagement during your speech. Ask questions, invite discussion, or incorporate interactive elements to keep the audience involved and interested. This demonstrates your expertise and shows that you value their input .
Remember, public speaking is a skill that can be developed and improved with practice. The more you speak in public, the more comfortable and confident you will become.
Entrepreneurship involves starting and running a business venture, taking on financial risks in the hope of making a profit. It requires individuals to identify opportunities, develop innovative ideas, and take action to bring those ideas to fruition.
Building a sustainable business often involves making risky long-term bets and requires continued investment to build sustainable advantages. Entrepreneurs may need to advertise to build a brand name, reinvest profits, accept equity partners, or personally guarantee debt. It may take many years before any payoff materializes, if it materializes at all. Sustained risk-taking can be stressful, but it is often a necessary part of building a successful venture .
Entrepreneurs also need to establish credibility and trust with stakeholders, such as investors, customers, and employees. This can be achieved through various means, such as demonstrating expertise in the industry, having a track record of success, building strong relationships, and delivering on promises.
I hope this information provides you with a better understanding of art commissions, public speaking, and entrepreneurship. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask!