How to commission art, for discerning homeowners

by | 30th July, 2020 | 0 comments

Your home is the place where you can be free to express yourself and your personality to the full through the interior design choices you make. But don’t stop at the wall coverings and furniture. While you can show your style through your selection of wallpapers, soft furnishings and paint colours for your home, it is your choice of artwork that truly demonstrates your taste and discernment to visitors.

You may have picked out a luxury wallpaper or sofa, but your neighbour could have bought the same. The only way to ensure your home truly reflects you and nobody else is by sourcing and displaying those special, bespoke pieces from an artist or designer your admire.

Many artisans and craftspeople welcome a commission for a new artwork and enjoy the challenge of creating such a one-off piece for the client. This means that you, as the customer, can specify preferred colours, shapes and sizes at the outset and the artist can work with you to design an artwork that is perfect for a particular space. The artist can share their knowledge and experience to guide your choice and between you you will be able to grow those initial ideas into a finished creation.

What could be better than having a handmade feature piece that you have had a hand in creating in your home? Every time you look at it you will be reminded of the fact that it evolved from your collaboration with an artist and nobody else has the same. And if the commission process goes smoothly, perhaps there will be other opportunities to work with that artist again on future projects.

How to find an artist to commission

So you have decided that you would like to buy a special artwork for your home. How should you go about finding and choosing a suitable artist? First, consider the interior design styles that you like. From Classical, Art Deco or Art Nouveau, to minimalist or contemporary, there is an artist whose work will fit the bill. Find inspiration on channels like Instagram or Pinterest, where lots of artists share images of their work regularly. Do an internet search of images under key words that you like.

Once you have found your preferred artist or artists, think about how you will feature their work in your home. Will it be a painting or piece of wall art, a decorated mirror, handmade lampshade, or sculpture? And don’t forget you are not necessarily restricted to the indoor environment. Some artists create garden artworks and sculpture too, so you can continue your designer collection on to your outside space.

Often an artist will appreciate photos of the space where their creation will be positioned, or a visit to your home if this is practical, so they can take into account the lighting, colours, and any other practical considerations.

When you contact the artist, bear in mind that the commission process is a collaborative one. It allows you to share your vision with the artist and gives the artist inspiration to channel into creating your special piece. There should be excitement on both sides at the thought of this new work.

The artist should draw up sketches to give you an idea of how the work will look and once you are both happy, usually a deposit will be paid. Each artist will have their own payment schedule and terms of working.

Depending on the artwork and the circumstances, the artist may send images of the work in development so you can see how it is progressing. These will give you a greater understanding of the time and processes involved, which you can share with your visitors in due course when the artwork is completed and has been installed. People are often fascinated to hear the behind-the-scenes story of how you worked together on the creation of your unique artwork.

So, whether you are refreshing one room or considering the interior design of a whole house, remember to give due consideration to commissioning those special artworks that can truly show off your personal taste and style. There is an artist, or artists, out there who would love to create bespoke art and design for your living space that will bring you joy every time you look at them.


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