Want to know all the best ideas for selling your art through art commissions. This post will give you all the tried and true ideas for selling more of your art through art commissions.
So you are ready to sell your art, congratulations! But, it you’re anything like me you want to do all the research on all the options out there before selling your art. Being an artist myself, one of the ways I highly recommend is selling via art commissions, and here I’m giving you everything you need to know about art commissions.
You are going to learn what are art commissions including what are art commissions, commission definition, and commission artists as well as how to get art commissions including art parties, art commission contract, commission sheet examples and so much more!
After doing dozens of art commissions myself, I can tell you first hand you are going to want to consider art commissions when selling your art!
This post is everything you need to know about art commissions.
Best Ideas for Getting Art Commissions
1. Commission definition
I know I didn’t like grammar lessons in school but you will want to understand the commission definition before we go into how to get art commissions.
Commission can be used as a verb which means giving an order for or to authorize the production of something such “I commissioned him to produce six shirts in different colors.”
Commission can also be used as a noun and means an instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people. And example would be, “They were given a commission to complete a building within the year.”
If someone commissions you to paint something for them, they want you to paint something specific for a certain fee.
2. Commission artists
Commission artists create a work of art at a client’s invitation and instruction.
You could become one of the commission artists if someone hired you to paint their photo of their backyard, or to paint a portrait of their puppy.
Other ways of saying commission artists is to say, “artists who work on commission” or “artists who will take commissions.”
3.What are art commissions?
Let me tell you, this is a question I had when I first started painting but I felt it was too dumb to ask! I learned that it was more dumb not to ask! 😊
So I’m glad you asked: What are art commissions?
If someone desires a piece of art specifically tailored to their needs and enters into a contract with an artist to make it, that’s an art commission.
If there is an odd size wall with a particular color scheme in someone’s home and they wanted a specific painting for it, they might ask you to paint it for them. If you agree to do it, this would be considered an art commission.
What are art commission PROs for an artist?
- Commissions keep you from having to sell something you’ve already painted which makes a lot of artists uncomfortable.
- They take the guess work out of what and how to paint something.
- These usually involve a more personal relationship with the buyer unlike selling a painting to someone over the internet or at an art fair.
What are art commission CONs for an artist?
- You may feel a lack of autonomy when being told what and how to paint something.
- There’s a risk you won’t be able to recreate the buyer’s vision exactly causing stress for you and the buyer.
- A buyer might become too involved in the work your doing to the point of being inappropriate.
When asking the question, what is art commissions, you will want to understand not only the definition but also the pros and cons to see if they will work for you.
Now that you understand these art commissions definitions, let’s talk about how you can do them.
[Related Post: How This Amazing Planner Changed My Art Career And Life]
4. How to do art commissions
Creating commissioned paintings have been some of the best experiences of my lifelong art career, and they can be yours too if you follow these guidelines for how to do art commissions.
Believe me, there are right and wrong ways to do art commissions! In sum, you will want to be sure you have considered all the right ways of doing commissions before you begin.
Here are the steps to doing art commissions right.
5. How do you get art commissions
There is not one best way to get art commissions. In general, the answer to how do you get art commissions is to get your name out into the public as much as possible.
Depending on your personality, resources and skillset, getting the word out that you will take art commissions can take many forms:
- Sending out frequent emails to your list of fans that talk about doing or wanting art commissions work.
- Having a special separate business card that states you do commission work and giving that out to anyone who talks to you about your work.
- Printing up a flyer that has the details of your art commission work that you can put out for people to take at your studio tours, any art fairs you attend or at any galleries that display your work
- Put a prominent notice or separate page on your website explaining your commission work.
6. Commission sheet examples
What’s important about commission sheet examples is that they honestly represent you as a seller.
You will want to use the commission sheet examples to cut down on any misunderstanding between you and the person commissioning your art work.
A commission sheet consists of:
- Your prices and what they include (and don’t include),
- Some examples of your work,
- How to contact you for commission work.
7. Art commission contract
Before doing any art commissions work you will want to have an art commission contract to protect yourself and the person commissioning your art.
An art commission contract lays out your terms and conditions so you and the person buying your work can agree on them in writing
An art commission contracts generally specifies:
- project dates
- payment schedules
- notable project requirements or constraints, such as number of revisions or communications you’ll permit
- built-in check-in points between the artist and commissioner
- installation, delivery and copyright details
Here is an example of art commission contract:
Of course, I am not a lawyer so I strongly recommend you run this and all your paperwork by a trusted lawyer before using it!
8. Art Commission Website
Instead of adding a commissions page to your current website, you could design a separate art commission website. The advantage of this is it makes it clear that you want to do art commissions is a great way to organize everything you need for your art commissions.
Art commission website options vary widely but I’ll share here what my research found.
Here are the Pro’s and Con’s of each of the top art commission website options:
- Pay someone to create your website for you- This can save you a lot of time and computer headaches which are big pros! The con being it can be expensive. If you go this route I can highly recommend 17th Avenue for your art commission website theme and set-up and you can click here to connect with them.
- Create your own website using Squarespace. The pro is that this platform is very easy to use. The con is that it’s hard to set prices on this platform. You can get started creating your art commission website with Squarespace by clicking here.
- Create your own website using Wix. Like Squarespace the big advantage is how easy this platform is to use! The con is that it’s not easy to customize and it is difficult to connect the websites to the most popular pay platforms such as Stripe. Click here to get started setting your art commission website on Wix.
- Create your own website using Shopify. – This has a lot of pros, it’s easy to use, easy to set up a shop and payments and is customizable. I can not find a con except a lot of artists don’t seem to use it. Get started on your art commission website by clicking here for the Shopify site now.
9. Art parties
I know I have a hard time selling myself as an artist. I’ve found that art parties are a fun and easy way to market yourself.
If your shy about marketing your art commissions, you’ll want to try art parties!
Here’s all you need to set up easy art parties:
- Enlist the help of one or two bubbly outgoing friends.
- Send out invitations to your friends asking them to join you in celebrating your decision to take art commissions!
- Decide on a space for the party. Consider a large room in your home, a barn, the first floor of a friend’s home or an entire apartment.
- Place your artwork everywhere. Overlap paintings on a mantel, pin them to an impromptu clothes line, stack them on a couch, prop them up on the floor leaning against the wall, all spaces are game. Make sure the prices are clearly displayed.
- Make business cards that announce that you are now taking commission work with a link to your website or landing page with details about ordering commissions. Place small stacks of these cards everywhere and put them in a parting gift for all guests, especially those who purchase your work.
- Decide on a way to take payments. The online apps such as Zelle or Venmo are easiest, but Paypal is also a good option.
- Set out simple food and drinks.
- Throw open the door and have fun all while selling your work and marketing your art commissions business!
These are so fun, you’ll want to add art parties to your list of best marketing ideas.
[Related Post: 8 Pro Painting Ideas on Canvas Every New Artist Can Do ]
10. Art commission ideas
A lot of your followers and fans may not be aware that you take art commissions, or may not realize they’re even a thing!
I found that suggesting art commission ideas to people who follow my work is a great way to get more art commissions.
In my last email on this topic I suggested people commission me to paint a scene from their wedding, a favorite pet, a special home or garden that has meaning to them, a fun scene from a favorite movie, or a favorite pair of sneakers or shoes.
These art commission ideas tend to get me at least a couple of new art commissions every time!
11. How to get more commissions
If you’ve already had some luck getting commissions via the email and art parties listed about and you are still wondering how to get more commissions, here are some of my tried and true recommendations.
How to get more commissions:
- Ask a favorite charity if they will post some of your paintings related to their work on their website along with your contact information including your ability to do art commissions in exchange for donating a portion of your earnings to their cause.
- Sell your work at a favorite local shop and split your earnings. They will often be glad to pass out your pamphlets or business cards that can include your art commissions details.
- Create a Facebook page or a separate Instagram account for your commission work.
This post is all about getting art commissions.
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