5 steps to consider when commissioning an artwork

1. Choose the right space
Make sure the space you have chosen is suitable for the artwork you have in mind so that there is no high risk of it getting damaged. For site-specific commissions you need to know all the parameters that you will be working with; What are the limitations of the space? What are the dimensions and angles you have to work with? How high or low would you like it to be positioned? You want to make sure that all these practicalities are not forgotten in later stages of the commission’s development.

2. Find the right artist
Find the work of an artist that you really like when considering a commission from them. Know as much as you can about the artist and what materials they use and how they use them. Make sure to think about these things in relation to the space you want the artwork for. Lastly, and arguably most importantly, you want your ideas to be compatible with the artist, and their aesthetic and medium in order for the final outcome to meet your expectations.

3. Contact the art gallery
Contact the art gallery representing your artist of interest about their work and if they do commissions. Art galleries can take different approaches to commissions while some can charge extra for them others simply require a deposit. Galleries are also always happy to assist and be involved in the installation process to help make sure it runs smoothly especially for complicated artworks..

4. What are you looking for in your commissioned work?
If you have something particular in mind for a commission then think what the requirements are. Think about the areas of a work you would like to address with the artist for your commission: what colour palettes can you choose from? Can you choose a different form of hanging? Can you change the shape of the work? To get a better sense of the commission invite the artist and the gallery to have a look at your space so that they can use their experience and suggest what might and might not work.

5. Receiving the commission
Once your set of criteria is discussed and confirmed the artist will get to work on producing your artwork tailored to your requests. Depending on the scale of the artwork commissions could take up to weeks so you just need to sit back and wait for it to be delivered. Once your work is received and your payment complete your work will be installed in the place you commissioned it for. Ask the gallery you purchased the work from to recommend an installer; they will be able to recommend someone that is trustworthy with experience and insurance.

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5 steps to consider when commissioning an artwork

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