Many artists use art commissions as a means of supplementing their income. It is also a great way of making yourself available to art buyers you may not have come into contact with otherwise. Some people who commission artwork are repeat art collectors, and may even purchase original art. Maintaining a good relationship with these is important for encouraging further purchases in the future.
In this article, we discuss a few ways of receiving more commissions for art. If you have an suggestions for this list, feel free to add them in the comments section.
How to Get More Art Commissions
- The first step to getting any art commission is to let others know you are an artist for hire! Unless it is written down somewhere, either on your business card, artist website, or a studio sign, the public may rarely contact you for commissions.
Include Freelance Artist or Available for Commissions everywhere possible.
Attach this phrase to:
- Signature lines of email programs.
- Studio signs.
- Advertisements in newspapers and community channels.
- Beneath the header of your artist website.
- At social networking profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
- On business cards and art postcards.
If you have a particular skill, such as wildlife, landscape, or portrait painting, advertise this as well. Include all these specialized skills at the previously mentioned areas.
- Let previous and current art collectors know that you are available for commission work. Send them a well written email and present your art making service in a favourable way.
Also consider giving discounts to your most supportive art buyers.
- Advertise on your artist website
Complete a page dedicated solely to describing the details of commissioned work. Display some examples of past art projects. Include contact information and a general idea of art pricing.
For portrait commissions, a chart of prices with categories for size and medium may help. Also, state prices for additional elements added to the artwork.
- Notify family and friends
These are the people who have seen your work, and know you as an artist. Inform them of your art business, and fill them in on the details with casual conversations.
Although you may not feel the need for friends and family to complete the commission contract, still try to get the artwork completed in a timely manner, with your usual quality. In other words, treat it the same as a commission job from a stranger.
- Get commissions by word of mouth
Word of mouth is probably one of the best ways to get commissioned art projects. Sold artworks can be considered advertisements for future purchased artworks. Those who have your art displayed in their homes often show it off to their friends, who may want a similar piece. Always provide complete contact information so that these art buyers will automatically know where to refer inquiries.
If you are early in your art career, and have not had many art sales, treat all commissions very seriously. These form the basis for further art buyers. Try to produce your best quality art for the client. If you feel you are spending too much time on an artwork versus the money you will make, regard it as an investment for the future of your art career.
- Art Commissions for Holidays
Consider planning well before major holidays, such as the Christmas season. Complete a notice/ poster and share it online (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, at your artist website or art blog, etc.) Post it on community bulletin boards as well.
Many artists offer special discounts around Christmas-time or other holidays. Be careful not to decrease the price too low though, as this may encourage an influx of commissions that you may not be able to manage. Have a reasonable cut-off date for artwork orders during such occasions to allow yourself plenty of time for completions.
Receiving commissions are great, but may possibly lead to disastrous outcomes if the artist and client do not sit down beforehand and discuss everything expected. This is an important first step to achieving a successful artist commission.
We will be discussing some further steps to achieving profitable art client relationships soon.
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