6 things to consider when commissioning artwork

So you want to commission a painting - great! It is a fun and exciting process, and one where you can create something as special and unique as you that will last a lifetime!

While the precise process will differ from artist to artist, I have captured some things to consider when going about getting your art commission. These are the most common queries I receive, and I have created a full info booklet for all my commissions that they receive before we begin the process of commissioning artwork. I hope you find them helpful!

1. Vibe check: There are a lot of different styles of art out there, so make sure you take the time to find an artist with a style that you like. A detailed portrait artist may not be up for creating an abstract piece for you, and vice versa! I am an abstract artist with a distinct style. My art can’t necessarily be “planned”. I provide anyone looking for commissions with a comprehensive design guide, so they can pick the colours and abstract style they would like me to paint with. This is the design direction, and what happens next has an element of surprise! Some people love this unknown, and are excited to see what comes of it. Others, not so much. Always ask for some samples of the artist work to make sure their style and vibe matches with yours. I provide samples in my info booklet, showing the design direction the client gave me and then the resulting artwork. I also have lots up on my website so people can get a sense for my style quite easily.

 2. Measure your space. If you have a specific wall in mind, or a specific room make sure you share this with the artist. Grab some masking tape and mark out where you want to see the artwork hanging at the end of this process and provide the artist with measurements. Skipping this step will likely result in a piece that just doesn't sit right in your space. The most common mistake here is not getting a big enough piece - you’d be surprised how small a canvas can look once it is on the wall!  

3. Provide clear direction, but have an open mind. There is nothing worse than murky instructions! “A little bit if this, and a little bit of that…” makes it hard for the artist to know what you want to see as part of the end result. The most helpful direction you can give is a picture of the space, a clear colour palette to work with, and a style direction (don’t worry, these are all captured as part of my bespoke design form!). 

4. Agree the pricing upfront. When speaking with the artist, try and get a good sense of the “all-in” price, so that there are no surprises at the end. Ask about shipping, and any extras for finishings or framing etc. When I work with clients on commissions, after the consultation I will provide an all-inclusive quote based on the requests, the size, finishes chosen and location in the world. I can then discuss the best payment methods and plans upfront for that client. This means they don’t need to commit to anything until they have this clarity. I won’t start into a project and add on extras as I go - Rue Franklin is all about making art accessible, and transparency is a huge part of this! For many in the art world, talking pricing can be a taboo, and we want to break this down for everyone involved.

5. Decode the lingo. Within my design booklet I include a breakdown of art jargon so everyone is clear on what they are requesting, and what to expect. The most common question is the difference between the Canvas Art and an Art Print. I provide both options, and I break down how they look and feel different, their texture to touch (my sales are all remote so this is important) and the difference in finishes. This makes it much easier for everyone to envisage the final product!

6. Have fun! This is such an exciting process, you get to have a hand in designing something that is completely unique to you, and you get boujee bonus points when your friends ask where you got this kick ass art from and you can say it's a custom commission! 

Have you commissioned a painting, or are you thinking about it? I would love to share my free info booklet with you! Just fill out this form and I will send you a copy.

Leave a comment