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Art Commissions - the Good the Bad and the Ugly

The Good - Art Commissions are one of the dreams for an artist - someone thinks enough of your work to want you to paint something for them!

What a compliment and they pay you for the privilege!

When someone asks you to paint something it's usually very personal and holds lot of meaning for that person whether it's for them or for a gift - of course sometimes it's just because they want something in particular to finish the decor of a newly decorated room in their house - even so they think your work is good enough to hang in their home!

The Bad

It's their commission and by default will be their painting and they may not want to have it displayed on your website or viewed on social media and even if they are happy to let you publish the finished work - if its a gift you can't show it off - no matter how excited you are by your latest masterpiece until the gift has been given - can you just imagine how much of a spoiler that would be!!!

The Ugly

You don't get to choose what you paint - its your client's commission and their subject!

  • Buildings might be your worst nightmare or portraits fill you with dread.

  • Flowers in anything other than watercolour leave you cold.

  • It's got to acrylic on canvas - it needs to dry quickly for a quick time scale or it has to hang in a kitchen and needs varnished to protect it.

  • Your client doesn't like your finished work.

How to make it all Good

Commissions are definitely a blessing provided you follow some simple advice:

  • talk with your client, show them your work and agree medium, size, timescales and cost upfront

  • respect their privacy if they don't want their commission published

  • don't take commissions you're not comfortable with or not competent enough to complete to the standard your work suggests

  • its better to refuse a commission than to make a hash of it and have an unhappy client - word of mouth is a double edged sword

  • enjoy painting a commission because its a very special thing

Have fun painting!

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