Commissioning a custom artwork can feel like a really daunting task. By the time they reach out to an artist, most people have been imagining and dreaming about their painting for months or even years. Custom paintings are full of warm and fuzzy emotions that make us feel love, pride, and connection. When we commission our custom artwork, we want everything to run smoothly.
I want to help ensure your commission process is a breeze and your painting turns out as everything you imagined and more. That is why I have compiled this helpful list of the 3 biggest mistakes people make when commissioning artworks (and how to avoid them).
Mistake #1: Waiting Until the Very Last Minute
You’ve been researching for months and have spent countless hours on Pinterest searching for the perfect artist for that portrait of your new twins. You cannot wait for your wife to open the gift on her 32nd birthday - she’s going to be so surprised! Your wife’s birthday is a few weeks away and that should be plenty of time for you to reach out to an artist, ensure they understand your project, for the artist to paint it and then send it to you, right? Wrong. While some artists will have availability and will be able to start working on your project right away, others will have a waiting list of a few weeks to a few months before they can even begin. Once an artist has started, it usually takes at least a few weeks for the project to be completed.
Important Note: This is especially true during the holiday season. It is extremely important to reach out to your artist as early as you can if you would like a commission painting for the holidays. This is a particularly busy time for everyone (including artists) and most artist’s schedules book out really quickly during this time.
Mistake #2: Feeling Like you Need to Have All your Details in Order, Before Contacting Your Artist
Commissioning a custom painting is a big deal. It’s an extremely special keepsake that is irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind and will last for generations.
Talk about pressure.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and get “analysis paralysis”. Analysis paralysis is that feeling you get when it seems as though you need to know all the details before you even take the first step - so you drown in what-ifs and never actually do anything.
Don’t feel like you need to know everything before contacting your artist. The right artist for your project will take the time to discuss the details with you, and will ask the right questions to help guide you to the answers. Commissioning a painting should be a creative process you embark on together, not simply a direction you give to an artist to follow exactly. Reach out to a few artists before you are fully sure you know what you want. Your artist should be able to work with you to help you determine if she is the right artist for you. She will then help you to guide her in creating the perfect piece of art for you.
Mistake #3: Not Trusting Your Gut
Nowadays, there are a ton of options for custom commission portraits, so it is so important that you trust your gut and don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
You are playing a role in creating a treasure that will last for generations, so it’s important to feel fully confident with the whole process. Make sure the artist’s work speaks to you and makes you feel happy, powerful, relaxed, connected or whatever it is you want your portrait to make you feel. Take the time to talk to the artist directly. This is where you will truly get a sense of her personality and style. Does she want to understand your intention and energy of your portrait? Does he take the time to ask questions and help you better understand what you want, or is he just “selling you”? Your gut will tell you when you have come across the right artist and when your gut talks, please listen! It never steers you wrong.