Thursday, November 04, 2010

Doing Commissions

Stapleton Kearns: About doing commissions
by Stapleton Kearns via

NEVER, EVER do a commission without half up front. If you aren't going to get paid, find out before you do the job!" - Stapleton Kearns
"Read the whole post.

I use to do commissions but I am hesitant to accept them any more. It is just to frustration try to read minds.When you sell a completed piece it is an event. The person sees it, loves it, and it is the beginning of a romance.

I never automatically refuse a commission because I think it "violates my artistic integrity."

For example, an internationally known water colorist, early in his career, did a series of oil paintings of pigs for a bed and breakfast hotel because he needed the money. He became plenty successful over the years and would never accept such a commission now, but back then, he took it to survive as an artist.

Producing a work of art for another party is a relationship it takes time to develop.This is no doubt the hardest thing about doing custom work. You want to make the client happy but you also want to be fairly compensated.

1. Establish a Price for the work to be done and the expected time frame.

2. Get a deposit

3. Really get to know your client:
It's good to brainstorm with your customer, you want to ensure you are doing what they want. They maybe easy going and allow you to take control. But get a good idea of what direction to head in. How many characters/people, what type of background, what overall theme, what color scheme.It is a good idea to send colour samples to the client. Your idea of beige and theirs can be two different things.

Emailing proofs and getting confirmation in writing is always the best, so you always have proof of what they said.

Ensure that the client likes it:
Email them a proof of the initial drawing, the first colorings, completed background, the characters, and so on until you reach the final step.

Get final payment:
If you sent a final proof of the work, there is no reason why they shouldn't pay you prior to them receiving the work

I have a a new policy with my custom work that small changes are done for free but that anything more than that is billed by the hour.

This makes the client really look at the piece and consider what they truly would want changed versus nit picking and putting you through the ringer with multiple rounds of changes

What has been your experience as an artist accepting commission work or as a buyer having a commission completed for you. Did it go smoothly?

" POST YOUR OPINIONS IN THE COMMENTS" or email me at delilah@artbydelilah.comHome Page Art by Delilah =

1 comment:

Robin said...

I have a contract and the design fee is paid and non refundable.
There are 2-3 other payments made along the way at various stages and then the final payment before they receive the work--contracts are a must! I realize they go against our 'don't want to make a fuss' nature but they are a necessary way to avoid confusion:)
They can always be tweaked though depending on the job.
I am working on one now that is for the design only but I know that I will also be doing the layout and printing for direction which will raise the cost.
I don't ever want to shut my mind to the possibilities though.