Commissioning artwork can be a scary concept if you’re not familiar with it. When people hear the phrase “commission a painting” they often think of big fancy galleries with a big fancy art collector walking around with hundred dollar bills lining his suits. (Ok, maybe not quite.)
But if you aren’t familiar with the practice you might wonder what the reasons to commission a painting are.
What commissioning a painting really means is that instead of buying an already finished piece of art, the client and artist collaborate to create something that has personal meaning to the client.
All art is special and one of a kind, but a commissioned painting is special in its own way because of the connection between the artist and the client. That connection alone can be a good enough reason to commission a painting but just in case you aren’t convinced, here are a few more reasons to commission a painting.
1. It’s the perfect way to create a home that has meaning.
Instead of buying mass-produced art from a large corporation, why not work with an artist to create something unique and personal?
Picture turning your house into a home with artwork that means something. Every room of the house can benefit from commissioned artwork whether it’s the living room, kitchen, a child’s nursery, or even the bathroom.
When you buy mass produced art you never know how many people are going to have the exact same decor as you. But if you commission a painting, you will be the only person to have that. Your home will be yours.
2. It makes gift-giving a snap.
What better way to give a gift than to give a commissioned painting?
When you give unique art as a gift, it shows you care. You took the time to commission a painting and you took the effort to personalize a gift instead of running to the mall which can be a total headache. I mean, the crowds at the mall are enough to keep me away!
There are hundreds of stores to visit, thousands of websites to check out, and when nothing ever seems perfect it’s easy to default to impersonal gift cards. Commissioning a painting gets rid of that headache because you’re letting the artist do their job and create something beautiful.
Imagine receiving a commissioned painting knowing that it what created with you in mind. Wouldn’t that be a much more meaningful gift that something that can be bought at a store that possibly thousands of other people will have?
3. By commissioning a painting you are supporting small business.
Except for larger established galleries, most artists are going to be a very small operation with maybe one or two assistants. Even artists who do show at those larger galleries might only be a one-person operation who relies on the gallery for exposure.
Personally, I run everything myself. I make my art. I run my website. I do all my marketing. So I am definitely what you call a small business and when someone buys from me it really means a lot.
Small businesses are what makes the world go round. There will always be large corporations and big business but small business is run by real, everyday people. By commissioning a painting from an artist you are supporting their business which means you are helping them support their family and their community.
Plus, there is always the option of supporting local artists. Many artists I know are some of the most giving people around. When you support someone local, it makes it easier for them to support their community in return.
4. By commissioning a painting, you’re supporting someone’s dream.
Making a living by being an artist is hard. People don’t take you seriously unless you’re a household name which for artists, doesn’t happen very often. But most artists I know do it because it’s their dream. They are called to create and every time you buy from an artist or commission a painting from an artist you are supporting that dream.
I never planned on being a career artist. It kind of just happened. But now that it has happened it’s like every other career path I was ever on, was the wrong one. I was meant to do this and every time someone buys one of my paintings, I know I’ve chosen the right path. It means the world to me that someone likes what I do enough to have a piece of it in their home.
You never know what it means to someone when you make the decision to support someone’s art. They could be on the very edge of giving up and when you ask to commission a painting, it could brighten their day and give them the encouragement they need to keep going.
Not ready to take the plunge quite yet? Join the Creative Living Lowdown and receive a free download of one of my watercolor prints plus access to my resource library.