EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO ASK ABOUT COMMISSIONING A PAINTING

Commissions by Amanda Michele

So you want to commission a painting. Hooray! You have this vision for the perfect work of art for your space. The size fits perfectly on the wall, the colors are exactly what you need to compliment the decor and when you look at it, you get this magical feeling, one that you can only get when you know that this work of art is one-of-a-kind-made-just-for-you special. You have this vision. But how do you make it happen?

A lot of people have no idea what to expect when they commission an artwork from an artist and many are too afraid to ask, so it never happens. Bummer. I wanted to try and answer all of your burning questions about commissioning a painting from me so you don’t have to experience that awkward “now what” moment, and together we can make some beautiful art.

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

I’ll start with the question you really wanted to ask. Don’t worry, I totally get it. Art is often seen as a luxury and only for a select few. I see it as a necessity that should be available to anyone. That’s why I try to offer my work at a variety of price points. Custom work is in the top price bracket, but it depends largely on size and intricacy. Some of my pieces include detail work that takes hours and hours to complete. So, in short, it depends on what you want. Below are some average price ranges based on size excluding shipping, framing and rush jobs:

SMALL (8″x10″ – 11″x14″ range) = $250 – $500
MEDIUM (14″x16″ – 24″x24″ range) = $400 – $800
LARGE (22″x30″ –  30″x40″ range) = $700 – $1,200
EXTRA LARGE (30″x40″ or larger) = $1,200+

I ask for a nonrefundable 1/2 payment up-front and the rest (plus shipping and framing) upon completion. Custom work takes a lot of time, planning and communication. It’s more work than the original pieces that I create on my own, so the price reflects that. With that in mind, check out the original pieces I have available here. Maybe the perfect artwork is already waiting for you.

 

HOW DO I MAKE IT MY OWN?

Every commissioned piece is made in the style you would expect from me but, along with my own personal touch, the other greatest influence comes from you. I want each custom piece I create to feel like it was made just for you and only you because it was. Literally.

There are the obvious things that you can choose like color and size. Some people have sent me examples of my own work and requested something similar but with new colors while others have been more freeform. If you want to send me pictures of the house that you grew up in because you want a painting that abstractly reminds you of home that is 100% perfect too. I am all about creatively interpreting the essence of things, feelings, locations, moments in time or whatever you can dream up.

No matter the customizations, we will talk in detail about what you are envisioning so when it’s time for me to get down to work I will know exactly what you have in mind. Throughout the process, I will touch base with you either to review sketches, compare colors, or share progress photos. All this communication makes it so when the work is finally framed and hung on your wall, you will feel like it’s truly yours.

 

DO YOU OFFER FRAMING?

Yes! I typically use Framebridge to give you a wide variety of framing options that fit your decor. They’re super easy to use and I highly recommend them. They are also very reasonably priced. You can check out their website for prices. Basically, all you have to do is choose your style of framing (Don’t worry I’ll walk you through it and give you suggestions) and then I’ll take it from there.

 

HOW IS IT SHIPPED?

All original works on paper are shipped flat and protected with lots of cardboard. The size of the work changes which service I use: USPS for smaller stuff and a professional shipping company for the larger work. International deliveries are very expensive to ship flat so you have the option of having it sent in a tube if you prefer. With ever commissioned piece, I get an estimate from the shipper so you know all the costs up-front.

If you live in New York City we can arrange an in-person delivery. I LOVE to meet my clients!

 

HOW QUICKLY CAN YOU MAKE MY CUSTOM PIECE?

How fast a piece is completed depends on a few factors such as size, intricacy, how many other projects I’m currently working on and how quick you respond during the commission processes. I’m ready to hustle to get your art in a timely manner so on average a custom piece will take about 1 month to complete. Faster than that is possible, but you will be charged a rush fee since I will basically work around the clock for you.

There is a limit to how fast a piece can be done, though. Please keep in mind that supplies need to be ordered, paint needs to dry and, while doing pen work, I need to take breaks so my hand doesn’t cramp up and die.

 

WHO OWNS THE RIGHTS TO THE FINISHED PIECE?

The legal answer is basically me, the artist. When an artist creates a work, even a commissioned one, they retain the copyright. There’s a lot of murky middle stuff which is explained very well in the Art Law Journal if you want to dive in deeper. Honestly though, I’m not a lawyer (no matter how many true crime books I read) so all I ask is that you respect my work and if you’re about to do something that may be questionable or you’re concerned about it, just contact me.

 

CAN I GIVE YOU A PHOTO OF EXACTLY WHAT I WANT?

Speaking of copyrights… I’m assuming you want to commission a piece from me because you like my artistic style (gee thanks!) so it’s safe to expect me to bring that creativity and style to any piece I create. I’m not a copy machine and I will not replicate another artist’s work (Please see my blog post Copycat or Why I Won’t Paint that for You) but if you have a work you like, can communicate why you like it and you are open to having it interpreted with my own flair please don’t be afraid to send that along. There is nothing I want more than to make your art dreams come true.

 

CAN I RETURN MY CUSTOM PIECE FOR A REFUND?

I have never once had this happen. With all the communication during the commission process, there are plenty of opportunities to pipe up if you feel like a piece is heading in the wrong direction. So talk to me! Tell me if you really had your heart set on more blue or something. If it’s within my power I will try to make it work for you.

But basically, the answer is no. When a custom piece leaves my studio it’s officially yours. I work very hard to make sure you are not only happy but ecstatic with your new artwork and the best way to do that is open communication.

 

I’M READY! LET’S DO THIS!!

Okay, that’s not really a question but I love your enthusiasm! If you’re at all interested in commissioning a piece of art from me just send me an email at hello@amandamicheleart.com. Same thing if you have any questions that I didn’t answer here. I’m excited to make some art with you!

 
 

Leave a Reply