When you're looking to build your art collection, our stance is simple: Start with what you love. But what if you love an artist, and they don't exactly have what you're looking for? Maybe you want something with more of a personal element, or none of their current work will fit in your space. And in that case, a commissioned piece is a perfect option. Read our four tips to keep in mind before you commission your next artwork - so that you and your partnering artist have a successful and enjoyable time working together.
1. Every artist is different.
Before you begin a conversation to commission an artwork, keep in mind that artists are all different! Some may be comfortable working in the size you want, and others might not be. Some may have done commissions before, and others may not have. Approaching an artist about a commission can be a great route to take if you want something custom, but you may find the artist has limitations. It's good to be aware of that in advance so there are no surprises thrown your way (or the artist's) during the process.
Furthermore, if the artist or gallery does not provide you with information on the process up front - ask! Some artists might send clients photos as the piece progresses, while some artists will create two pieces that the client can choose from. Because processes vary, getting a solid idea of what to expect from your new creative partner will help you feel comfortable and excited the whole way through.
2. Expect to capture "the spirit" of what you want to see.
There are so many reasons to commission an artist - you might want to see a photo of yours captured in their style, you could be looking for a specific size they don't currently offer, or a piece you love might have sold so you want to commission them to recreate it. No matter what the reason, though, it's important to remember that this is still a very creative process! Expect the artist to capture the spirit of a photo, a previous painting of theirs, or their own style when working in a new size.
The same way it's ideal for you to know what to expect up front, it is also ideal for you to provide direction to the artist, too. Be prepared to clearly communicate your vision to the artist, but move into the process knowing they will need a some flexibility. This will best ensure that all parties are happy with the end result. And that is really one of the best parts about a commissioned artwork! It's a collaboration between you and the creator.
3. Good things take time!
As we mentioned above, it's always best to find out from the artist what to expect for the process. An art gallery will typically provide a lot of information up front, and that includes timeline. But even with a projected timeline, it's important to remember that good things take time! Some artists need more time, some need less, and some are fitting a commission into a schedule filled with workshops, exhibition preparations, residencies, teaching, regular studio work, and maybe even other commissions! So if you do decide to commission an artist, have patience with the creative process. The best things are worth waiting for!
4. It's normal to pay a little more.
This goes back to our earlier tip that every artist (and gallery) is different, but if you're wondering if you should be paying more for a commission, the answer is: yes. Commissions can be challenging, because artists are working within set parameters. So when considering a custom original artwork, you can almost always expect to pay more. Sometimes this looks like a commission fee - at Sorelle, an additional percentage of the total value of the artwork (based on the standard price of that size by that artist) is charged. If you're not comfortable paying extra, you can always wait it out and see if the artist creates something down the line that speaks to you. But if you're getting a commission made, it's is custom to your vision, so it's definitely worth a little more, and truly adds a very special touch to your art collection and home.
If you are interested in learning more about commissioning an artist through Sorelle Gallery, contact us! One of our Art Advisors can provide you with more specific information about the artist and their options for customized work.