Guide To Commissioning Original Artwork
Have you ever discovered an artist whose style you just loved, but weren’t sure if any of their currently available pieces would fit in your home or collection? Or maybe you love a particular genre or theme and you would love to have something similar, but just a little bit different or slightly more personalised. If so, I highly recommend commissioning a bespoke piece of artwork.
Many artists offer this alongside their own studio work, and happy to discuss creating something completely original, to deliver to you the artwork of your dream. But before you work up the courage to commission your own artwork, there are a few important things you should think about.
1. WHAT TYPE OF ART ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
The first thing to think about is what genre of art will fit best in your collection or in the space you want to decorate. Is it paintings, photography, drawings or sculptures? And what style? For example, would a classic fine art painting fit more with your theme, or are you going for something more edgy like street art or installation or a series of contemporary prints to group some art together? The world of art is huge with endless possibilities to choose from, so it makes sense to narrow down your options.
2. SEARCH FOR SOME INSPIRATION
Once you know what style and genre you are looking for, start to research pieces and styles that you like to get a better idea of what exactly you want and how you can make it your own. You can use sites like Saatchi, Art Finder and Pinterest to gather ideas. I highly suggest creating a Pinterest board to save the images of artworks that really inspire you. This works almost like a vision board, in that you can see all your ideas in one place, which may help to create a more cohesive plan.
3. RESEARCH YOUR ARTISTS
Ok, so now that an image is forming about your perfect bespoke piece, you can begin to seek out artists who are already doing something similar. Make a list of all the artists who are creating pieces that call out to you, and then visit their websites to see what they are currently working on and whether they do commissions. Even if they don’t explicitly say they are doing commissions, they may be happy to do so if simply asked.
4. REACH OUT!
I constantly meet people who say they would love to have a piece created by a certain artist, but they are just too nervous to ask or don't know how to go about it. My answer to them is always: “Just ask". Contact the gallery who represents the artist or better still contact the artist direct through their websit. Artists appreciate hearing when people admire their work and most of us are entirely approachable and can offer commissions at different price points. Works on paper generally cost less than paintings on canvas.
5. CLARE HAXBY STUDIO
When a client contacts me I find out first what their ideas are and what their budget is. Clients visit me at the studio in London or I chat with them via Skype or email. Once I know their budget I can direct them toward various options. The larger the painting the more it costs is a general rule as its the artist time and skill you are paying for. Recently I have painted a large series of architectural landmarks of Singapore and London using mixed media which is combining printmaking and acrylic on canvas. I have many people contacting me as having seen my exhibition in Singapore they would like to commission a painting of a building special to them or their own view. I created a personal view of Singapore for an American family to take back to their new beach house in South Carolina.
My series of the Tropical Ginger Lilies has received a lot of love and I have just finished working on a commissioned painting on this theme. My client had seen my paintings at my solo show and wanted something on a smaller scale for her Singapore apartment.
Commissioning an artwork maybe a step through moment but you will be rewarded by a totally original piece of art to treasure and be connected to. Clients are welcome to come visit me in my UK Studio. For an appointment or to discuss commissions, please email me at marketing [at] clarehaxby.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
See more of Clare's commissioned work and testimonials.