Art History Lab

Art Commissions 101: Your Guide to Personalized Masterpieces

Art Commissions 101: What Every Art Enthusiast Needs to Know

If you’re an art lover looking to commission an original piece of artwork, you may have a lot of questions about the whole process. How does it work?

What are the different types of art commissions? What should you expect from the artist?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at art commissions and everything you need to know about them. What Are Art Commissions?

Art commissions are personalized pieces of artwork requested and paid for by an individual or organization. These requests can come from all sorts of buyers, including businesses, institutions, and individuals, and can range from a simple portrait to a complex multi-piece installation.

There are different types of art commissions, each of which entails its own set of rules and expectations:

– Personal Requests for Art Commissions: This involves a buyer asking an artist to create a piece of artwork for their personal use or enjoyment. – Commission a Painting: Customers commission a painting for themselves or someone else, such as a family member, friend, or colleague.

They can choose the style, subject, color palette, and size of the work, or rely on the artist to make those decisions on their behalf. – Commission Content for Businesses: A business can request artwork or illustrations to use in advertising, website, or social media content.

Why Do Buyers Commission Art? There are plenty of reasons why someone may decide to commission art.

Here are some of the most common ones:

– Personal Preference: Sometimes, buyers simply desire a unique piece of artwork that they want to add to their personal collection. – Aesthetic Appeal: In other cases, it may be that the buyer has a particular vision in mind that they’d like to see brought to life in an artwork.

– Special Occasions: Art makes fantastic gifts for special occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or retirements. – Business Marketing Purposes: Companies often use artwork to enhance their brand image, create unique advertisements, or to promote a particular product or message.

How Do Art Commissions Work? Now that you have a basic understanding of what art commissions are and why people commission them, let’s take a closer look at how the process works:

Setting up for art commissions

The first step in the commission process is to get set up. This may involve adding an art commission page to your website if you’re an artist, freelancer, or small business.

This page can outline what kinds of commissions you offer, typical prices, and specific requirements. For buyers, it may involve researching artists, galleries, or websites that offer art commission services.

Be sure to check out the artist’s previous work, their rates, and how they prefer to operate. After finding a suitable match, the buyer sends a request for commission to the artist, detailing the specifics of the desired piece of art.

Steps in the commission process

Once the artist has received the commission request, it’s time to get started on the process. Here are some of the typical steps that come next:

– Clear Communication with Client: At this stage, it’s essential to have clear communication with the client to ensure that the artist’s vision aligns with their desires.

This is usually done by exchanging a few emails or phone calls to hash out the details. – Understanding Client’s Vision: Some clients may come with a specific idea of what they want, while others may have a general starting point for the artist to build on.

In any case, it’s important that the artist understands the client’s vision and preferences. – Taking on Suitable Clients: Not every commission request will be a good fit for the artist, based on factors like skill set, time availability, or artistic medium.

It’s important to be selective in what commissions are accepted. – Practice Sketches: Before starting on the final piece, artists may provide clients with initial sketches or drafts of what the final artwork will look like.

This helps ensure both parties are on the same page with the artist’s vision. – Contract Establishment: Once the artist and client agree on the details, it’s time to draw up a formal contract.

This includes the scope and timeline of the project, payment terms, and other specific requirements. The client signs this to show their approval and agrees to pay a deposit for the project.


Art commissions can be both enjoyable and lucrative, but they require a lot of work and attention to details by both the artist and the client. If done correctly, commissioning a piece of art can result in a personal or professional work that is meaningful, unique, and will stand the test of time.

Start the commission process with confidence, knowing that you have a better understanding of how it all works. Art commissions are a popular way for artists to generate income while providing clients with bespoke works of art.

One of the most critical aspects of each commission project is pricing the artwork fairly and accurately. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how artists can price their commissioned works and what the commission process entails.

How to Price Commissioned Art

Many artists struggle with pricing their commission work. They want to ensure they charge a fair price, but they don’t want to undervalue their work.

Artists can consider several factors when pricing their commission work.

Considerations for Pricing Art Commissions

One crucial consideration is an artists financial stability. For instance, if an artist relies on art commissions to make a living or supplement their existing income, they may need to price their works higher to generate enough funds to maintain their lifestyle and cover their expenses.

Another factor to consider is creating market interest. Art price inflation might occur in trendy art media, driving up the prices of already expensive art.

This can also happen if multiple individuals are interested in the same commission work, driving up the demand and therefore, the price.

Commission Pricing Packages and Incentives

Artists can consider pricing their commissions in packages, with different rates for smaller or larger art pieces. They can also consider offering incentives for customers to commission them often or for referring new customers to them.

Sliding scale pricing is another option that can help to cater to different budgets. This charging model sets variable price ranges depending on a clients income range.

Artists who select this pricing option can determine their sliding scale formula to maintain their practice financially and support their client. Artists can also offer special packages for regular buyers or long-term clients, such as discounts or additional commissioned artwork for free.

The Process of Art Commissions

Creation Process and Client Involvement

After agreeing on the commission piece’s cost and signing a contract, the artist begins the creation process. The client can expect some level of involvement during the work’s creation process at different stages depending on the type of piece commissioned.

For instance, portrait commission customers may have to participate in initial consultations and sit for the artist depending on if the artist wants to get visual reference. On the other hand, clients commissioning abstract art pieces may provide some visual cues for the work’s style but not require as much interaction.

Throughout the process, the artist might share progress images with the client to keep them informed and give them the ability to suggest alterations.

Full Payment and Shipping

Once the artist finishes the work, the client receives notification to finalize payment. The artist issues an invoice, followed by the remaining balance of the project amount, which clears the work for shipping to the client.

The artist also wraps the artwork appropriately to protect it during shipping, and clients receive a tracking number for monitoring until delivery. Once the artwork is delivered, the client can choose to hang the commissioned piece on a wall in their home or office and enjoy it.


Commission art is a fantastic way for artists to offer personalized and unique artwork to clients while also increasing their artistic practice’s financial stability. In conclusion, pricing commissioned work is an essential consideration for artists to get a fair return on their work and maintain their practices stability.

Furthermore, the commission process’s steps differ depending on the type of piece commissioned, factor in the client’s involvement, and require full payment before shipping to the client. Are you an artist seeking a more stable source of income?

Art commissions might be the answer you need. By designing and strategically building an art commissions website, artists can reach out to a broader audience and market their work to potential clients.

This article outlines some practical steps on how to construct an art commissions website and what to do if an artist is not interested in commission work. How to Get Art Commissions: Art Commissions Website

Importance of an Art Commissions Website

An art commissions website is an essential tool for artists looking to market their work to potential clients. A well-designed website will generate traffic, increase awareness of an artist’s work, and display their portfolio.

Additionally, the website can provide a clear insight into the different commission packages that artists offer, enabling clients to select the package that suits their needs.

Aspects to Include on an Art Commissions Website

The website should feature the artist’s previous commissions to give clients an idea of their capabilities and what they can expect from commissioning that artist. It should also include any limitations on requests, such as only accepting works within specific dimensions or not accepting work with controversial or offensive themes.

Another essential feature of an art commissions website is detailing the process of commissioning the artist to eliminate uncertainty around the commission process. Finally, the website should have a booking form where clients can make commission requests directly or find an email address for this function.

Not Interested in Commissions?

Directing Commission Requests to Other Artists

If an artist is not interested in commission work, they can direct commission requests to other artists. Forming creative networks with other artists in this way not only helps to grow their business, but it also builds strong relationships that pay off in the long-term.

Starting with Commissions Even if Not Interested Long-term

Artists can learn a lot from the commission process, even if they don’t want to make it a long-term practice. For example, it can help build client recommendations, leading to further business opportunities down the road.

Artists can also experiment with new elements of their artistic practice while taking on commission work, generating marketing material for future clients. In conclusion, creating an art commissions website is a practical way for artists to market their work to a broader audience.

It is essential to display previous commissions, outline the commissioning process, and incorporate a booking form into the website. For those not interested in commission work, directing requests to other artists or dipping a toe into commission work for a brief period are great ways to gain experience and build client relationships.

In this article, we explored the world of art commissions and their significance for both artists and clients. By understanding what art commissions are and why people request them, artists can tailor their approach to meet clients’ needs.

We discussed the importance of pricing commissions fairly and explored different pricing strategies and incentives. Additionally, we delved into the commission process, highlighting the importance of clear communication and client involvement.

We also discussed the value of an art commissions website, which serves as a powerful marketing tool for artists. Finally, we touched upon options for artists not interested in commissions, including directing requests to other artists and using commission work as a learning experience.

In conclusion, art commissions offer a unique opportunity for artists to showcase their skills and meet the personal or business needs of clients. By implementing effective strategies and tools, artists can cultivate successful commission-based practices while providing clients with customized, one-of-a-kind artworks.

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