5 Things to Ask an Artist Before You Hire Them to Create a Piece of Art for You

You’ve just moved into your new home. You’ve spent a lot of time picking our furnishings, wall colors, and window treatments. Now you’re looking at that blank wall in your family room and thinking, “I need something special and meaningful for that spot!” That wall space deserves something that will make you feel happy every time you look at it. Consider hiring an artist.

If you’ve ever wondered about how to hire an artist or how to commission art, you may not realize it’s easier than you think. I create custom commissioned art for busy mothers (and fathers) who want to capture a happy memory of their child or children. Over the years I have worked with many collectors who are new to the process of how to commission art. They come to me because they like my style. Once you find an artist you like and have an idea of what you want them to paint, you’ll want to reach out to them

Here are five things you’ll want to ask an artist when you’re considering having them create a piece of art for you:

  1. Do you take commissions? Do your research on the artist you’re interested in hiring. If they do take commissions, look at the work they have done for other collectors. Pay attention to how their art makes you feel. Look through their portfolio of work and tell the artist which pieces you like best so they have an idea of your preferred style. If the artist hasn’t create commissioned work, that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t. Most artists will feel flattered to be asked to create something for you, so ask them.

  2. How much do you charge for a commission? Most commissionable artists have specific prices for sizes they offer. Those prices should be publicized and may change based on how quickly you want your art or if you’d like them to frame it for you. If you don’t see the size you want in the artist’s offerings, it’s okay to ask if they can create a different size for you. The artist will work out a price for a size they don’t offer currently.

  3. How long will it take? This can vary from one artist to the next and depending on what medium they use (pencil, watercolor, oil, acrylic, etc.). Art is not an exact thing, so be prepared for a range of timelines depending on many factors. If the artist has other commissions they’re working on you may need to ask how soon they will be able to start your piece and where you fall in the queue for art commissions.

  4. What colors will you use? Make sure you tell the artist if there are specific colors you love or want to match. If there is a specific color you really don’t like, let the artist know before they start creating your piece. I like to give my collectors a color palette before I start working on their piece. You can ask for that from the artist you hire.

  5. Will I get updates along the way? or will I not see the work until it’s done? This is up to the artist. When I create my commissions, I always have the collector approve the sketch. The layout of watercolor can’t be changed once the paint is applied to the sketch, so it’s important to get the collector’s approval along the way. The creation process is different for each artist, but a checkpoint is definitely something to ask for if you want to see the progress of your piece. Whether you’re kept in the loop regularly or you’re just waiting with eager anticipation for the final piece if you’ve communicated what you want to the artist you’re bound to get something you love.

Was this helpful? Reach out to me with any other questions you might have about hiring an artist to paint your child or children. Want something different than what I offer? I have an extensive network of talented artist friends I can connect you with as well.