Memories fade. While we think we’ll never forget that summer visit to the vineyards, the way our child looks and acts at age five, or that amazing family vacation in the mountains, some of the essence of those memories can slip away with time. Those of us with aging parents know first-hand that memories are not forever. One way you can hold on to a special memory, object, person, or moment you want to honor or cherish is to commission a painting.
How Do You Hire an Artist to Paint for You?
Debra Fasullo saw a car painting I had posted on my Instagram account and had an idea. The 1940 Mercury convertible that has been in the family since her now 80-something Dad was 18 came to mind. Her younger brother will inherit the car, so she felt like getting a painting done of her father’s car would be a great gift for herself as a remembrance of all the car represented.
The best way to decide what to hire an artist paint for you is to go through your favorite photos. Remember those times that made you the happiest — think about the times you would relive if you could. The best way to then select the image you want to have painted is to ask yourself four things:
Does this image make me happy?
Are the people in the photo posed or acting naturally? The goal is to go for natural.
Is there plenty of natural light and space around the subject of the photo?
Is this a professional photo? If it is, you’ll need to get permission from the photographer.
Learn more about how to select the right photo for a commissioned piece of art from my experience with other patrons.
Once you have in mind that you want to hire an artist like me to paint or create something for you, you’ll need to get the process started as follows:
Step One - Contact
Contact the artist for hire to discuss what you want recreated. A phone or video conversation is ideal so the artist can get the story behind what you want captured on your commissioned artwork.
Step Two - Commit
Make a financial commitment to hire the artist. You should feel comfortable with them before you pay them to paint, draw, or create a custom piece for you. Commissioning or booking an artist typically means that you make either a down payment or a full payment for the art, depending on the artist’s terms. Your financial commitment ensures that your project is a top priority and will be completed in an agreed timeframe by the artist. Make sure you let the artist know by when you need the artwork in hand.
Step Three - Communicate
Communicate with the artist during the process. When I take on a commission, I have several conversations with the person hiring me to paint for them. We talk about the story behind the painting, what they envision, the colors, and the feeling the piece should have when it’s finished. With Debra, we talked about how to connect her story to the watercolor and how she wanted to change the background to a meaningful place.
Commission a Painting by Pam
I have been creating watercolor commissions the past three years and have refined my process. I require a full or half payment up front for all commissions. I usually have one or more collaborative conversations with my patrons. I also send photos of the piece as I work on it. With permission, I often post images and videos to social media for the patron, my friends, fans, and followers to follow along with the process of the commission creation.
I start with studies of the subject to figure out the best layout, composition, color scheme, and I make a plan for the final painting. After my initial studies for the piece are done, I work on the pencil sketch for the painting. I send a photo of that sketch to the patron. At that point they approve or request alterations before I start to paint. Other artists might have a different process, so make sure you ask questions about how communication will work. If you have any questions about the commission process, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
See more about this classic car here.