If you want to turn pro - A real professional artist, you need to be flexible and open to not only taking on custom commissioned work, but excelling in it.
It’s no secret that working in any of the creative industries (especially as a visual artist) you need to develop a business model that is inclusive and open to new challenges and opportunities.
Accepting commissions is not “selling out”. It’s smart business and can lead to many opportunities.
In 2003 I accepted a commission through an interior designer and was nervous about it as well as sceptical about painting someone else’s vision. Like most things in life; a change of perspective can change the game and through open and honest communication we were able to develop the ideas and I started on a pair of paintings with an open mind.
It wasn’t until the paintings were installed that I could see the full vision of the designer. The paintings played a supporting role in the overall ambiance of this beautiful waterfront mansion. I learnt some valuable lessons.
It wasn’t about me! …or the intricacies of the paintings themselves…
Being open to that first opportunity has developed into a brilliant working relationship and friendship with Dr Lyn Bishop who has gone on to commission 14 major paintings for her home and for Sheldon College which she established back in 1997 – pioneering a world class college here in the Redlands.
I’m very grateful for the opportunities that have come my way from one simple commission request. Commissioned work is now a big portion of the work I do and it's rewarding. I’ve learnt how to communicate effectively to get the result the client want... It’s all about outcome and communicating effectively to find a vision that works for both parties.
Producing work that meets a demand is satisfying. It gives you a feeling of contribution and connection to the commercial world and It makes your craft relevant.
Have you taken on a commission? Or engaged an artist to commission a piece for you?
Let me know in the comments below!