Art Commissions for Beginners: How to Start Selling Custom Artwork & Grow Your Art Career LIVE

Art Commissions for Beginners: How to Start Selling Custom Artwork & Grow Your Art Career LIVE

Hi this is Dena Tollefson and welcome to my studio I’m so glad to
have you here with me today today it’s gonna be a wonderful topic awesome topic
and I hope that it’s gonna be helpful to you as you build your art career so I’m
going to be guiding you through how to do art commissions what they are why
they’re important for your career defining you know what is an art
commission what is it not how to price your commissions how to collect funds
and protect you from non-payment how to write up statements of work contracts
that type of thing how to avoid scams and scammers will do a do’s and don’ts
list suggested do’s and don’ts and I’ll be showing you some correspondence that
I’ve done with galleries on commissions and I also have a sample contract we’ll
go through this line by line and don’t be worried when you hear the word
contract is actually in simple language you can use this contract in your own on
your own practice and modify it adapt it we’ll go through line by line and
explain what each line is and if it’s optional or if you know if you really
need it that kind of thing but I’m so excited that you’re here and
if you’re a beginner in this topic you’re in the right place so I mean if
we’re already doing commissions successfully I’m glad that you’re here
to help our community and we’ll love to hear from you on the chat and weigh in
on things and give additional information that type of thing so I’m an
artist in Cedar Rapids Iowa here’s an example of some of the work that I do
and what I’ll do now is let’s get started on our do’s and don’ts and the
first do is going to be to go ahead and let the public know you do commissions and so that is going
to be I’m letting your public know would be letting people at your church or
synagogue your mosque your your classroom your your friends
circle your relatives let people know you do commissions and if you’re already
in a gallery let your gallery know that you do commissions that type of thing so
I’m going to go ahead and set up before we go any further let me set up the chat here and if you’d like to be quiet in the chat then that’s fine and if you’d
like to interact I would love to hear from you and love to hear your questions
for input that type of thing so coming here oh and I see we have some people
here Hey Darcalligraph is here Mushy Bear is here Oscar I’m glad to see you
guys and welcome and Daralligraph says you’d love to watch you’re gonna go
to bed okay so watch when you get back and if you have questions put those in
the comments and I’ll do my best to answer any of those questions and you’ve
been looking to sell your calligraphy Darcalligraphy if you haven’t already looked
at their channel they did this wonderful calligraphy and that’s a perfect thing
for commissions pet portraits really any kind of artwork whether you do glass or
quilts cartoons you know whatever it is that you do there are people out there
that would like to have a commission and when a commission basically is is a
first of all you know like what is a commission so a commission is basically
not something that use your standard work so take this painting for example
this is what I would call my standard work I painted it on my own
nobody told me to paint it it’s just coming from me that’s different than a
request so a request for example on social media hey when you draw this or
do that that is a that’s different than a commission so a request would be oh do
this and then let’s see it live or that type of thing
but no money is transacted so the difference between a request and a
commission is in a commission you will be paid for doing the work so so
absolutely digital artists you can do of course you can do commissions and
when you’re done then you will send the file or a printout or a giclee
something like that to the client and and we’ll get into how to do that how
all of that happens how to do that and that kind of thing but it’s absolutely a
why you would do a commission is it is a opportunity to connect directly with
your client so some clients will want to see
something that has already made but oftentimes clients want to collaborate
they want to have a certain subject if it’s maybe a pet portrait or it’s a
painting or a sketch something to commemorate a special moment that they
had maybe they have maybe they like your work already and they want you to
use certain colors or maybe maybe you’re doing a you know you’ve been making
Pokemon and maybe they want you to make them something from you know the
Avengers Endgame they would like some you know artwork fan art from that that
kind of thing so it can really be any kind of a format but it’s all about it’s
all about making a custom for them they’re gonna have a say in the
size the colors subject matter but what this does for you is it’s an opportunity
for you to try a variation of what you already do new size a new subject you
know something like that so now where you want to do a commission would be you
can either do a commission through an art gallery that represents you and I
actually have an art gallery commission that I’m going to be
working on right now through my gallery Canyon Road Contemporary Art and I had a lot of
discussion back and forth on what should be included in the commission what
should be excluded but the gallery basically worked and found a client that
liked my work but they wanted something special so what happened was they liked
a little painting that’s actually 4 inches by 6 inches
and the client liked the color and they liked the subject but they want it to be
40 inches tall and 20 inches wide and so so that is going to be a commission for
them and then I’ll be creating this painting and then the they’ve also
requested and that’s in the wording of the agreement is that the client will
get a photo in between so that they can see progress I’m going to show them a
photo of the under painting actually I’ll send it to the gallery gallery will
send it to the client and then the client pays the gallery and then when
payment is all fully received then I’ll go in and they’ll set give me the
address for the client and I’ll ship directly to that client so the first
thing when you do art commissions and let me just check the chat see if
anybody has joined us here and oh hey Lydia Gaming Orlic good to see you and
Oscar you’re saying that you’re gonna do PayPal and that’s exactly that’s
exactly the right way to do it Oscar we’ll get into that on payment using
PayPal is a hundred percent the way to go and oh Violet Connie is here hey
Connie good to see you and Alcheon hi Alcheon and I’m glad that you’re here
you guys are all great and I appreciate that you’re here and if you guys are new
to my channel anybody’s that’s new please ring the subscription bell and
let me know that let me know that you’re here I’d love to hear from you and like
to get a friendship with you and that type of thing and build up a
relationship for you over time it’s wonderful so so the first thing on our
do’s and don’ts here was let the word out you are an artist you are doing
commissions and you’ll take commissions so the other thing that you want to do
is you want to this is another do that’s a do and here’s another do do
provide your email more your direct message information to
connect so on I know that you know it’s always a thing about privacy so the
whole the whole thing here is if let’s say that’s for example maybe you did I
posted something on Instagram or you had something here on YouTube and maybe you
got a comment that someone is interested in a commission what I would recommend
is you could have them go to Instagram or have them send you an email and then
go from there if it seems suspicious you know don’t do it but if it seems
legitimate then you have a client and so you have to exchange your email at some
point in order to do this and you also will need to exchange your names and
that type of thing but I would recommend only doing that once you know and you’ve
kind of vetted the person and you make sure that it’s not a scam so the next
thing then would be yeah Instagram is a Oscar Instagram is a great way to do
that absolutely and so what the next thing would be is to get payment through
PayPal and you guys had mentioned that just now here and that’s absolutely very
very important so do get get payment through PayPal and the specific reason why you want to
get PayPal or use payment through PayPal is because if you use something
different let’s say that you use credit card you could you could have them do
credit card but you don’t necessarily want to do have them exchange credit
card and then you need a credit card reader there is a system called Square
that you could use that also would work but what people will tend to do what is
nice about PayPal PayPal will take a commission from you and they will take
2.9 percent plus 30 cents on the transaction and but what PayPal offers
that others don’t is that PayPal offers a period where if there’s a any kind of
a problem or a dispute with the payment that kind of thing it protects the buyer
and it protects the client that’s the the person buying the artwork from you
and it protects you as the artist so I would not recommend doing anything other
than PayPal to receive those commission payments so so the other thing to do is
to do take a down payment at least a down payment or full payment prior to
starting the artwork so if there is a reason that you want to get a down
payment is you want to lock in the person so that they don’t change their
mind or something like that and it protects you so if you take a down
payment and I would recommend you know you could do something anywhere 20 to 50
percent if you’re going to do a down payment of the total or get payment in
full before you start creating the artwork and so and I’ll check let me
check the chat see how you guys are doing here and okay oh and hey Pencil
and Julia McNeill all you guys hi hey and Luci
is here and welcome everyone and so I will be talking about price ranges yeah
absolutely let’s talk about price ranges we can do that actually right now and Oh
Angela Angie Rohret is here hi Ange ok so
price ranges for artwork what I do with my prices is um so here’s another here’s
another do do charge forty percent more for commissions so whatever you would
normally charge and I did a live stream on pricing your artwork so I recommend
if if people have or have not seen I do have a thing on how to price your own
artwork and how to build your prices over time how to set your prices and
different three different methods that work for pricing there’s a comparative
with other artists there’s a linear inch method there’s a square inch method and
that type of thing in the key when doing your prices is whatever your price is
start low and then over time build those prices up so for example let’s say that
someone charged and will just get an example $10 to do a sketch or something
like that if if I was doing a if there was a commission I would charge forty
percent more which would be $14 if it was a hundred dollar commission I would
charge a hundred and forty dollars for it if it was if I would normally make a
thousand dollars for something I would charge $1400 for a commission the reason
for that is because in a commission so like for example again this is like my
standard work but let’s say somebody said well I don’t want you know flowers
what I’m looking for is sailboats or I would like you know you name it
something something different or a I don’t want these colors I want these
specific colors and then they send you color samples or maybe they have
a photograph of a location that they would like you to do but commissions
can be stressful and so this extra 40% and you have to do more back and forth
you have to send them email back and forth and wait for payment and it can be
kind of a deal so what I always do is I always add 40% on whenever it’s a it’s a
commission because it’s a custom thing so let’s see what you guys are saying
here and yeah okay so so the whole thing here is that when you do your commission
you’re gonna want to get that down payment upfront or full payment before
you start charge 40% more and then whatever it is that you would normally
charge for doing your own work increase that a bit and you’ll likely also have a
list of like by sizes or by subject matter how much your regular work would
be and then how much your commissioned work would be now it is a choice you can
charge the same amount for your regular artwork and your commissioned artwork or
you could say you’ll charge 10% more for commission or you know whatever but
that’s just a personal choice that’s my recommendation and you know you can do
it literally however you know whatever works for you so here’s a don’t here’s
our first don’t don’t take on a commission that feels wrong and feeling wrong can
be a lot of things feeling wrong could be if you’re doing a certain kind of art
style and the person commissioning wants you to do something outside of your
style and you don’t feel comfortable with it it would be best to either point
them in the direction of another artist that you know does that and would do it
well or or just you know maybe say hey here’s the kind of work that I do and
then just make sure that they’re familiar with your website make sure or
your Instagram page your artwork before that way they will be happy and you will
be happy the other thing that might feel wrong is it might feel like the person
seems sketchy something seems wrong and then it might be a good idea to avoid
that unless it is a small thing and you’re like hey I’m okay with that
and but it’s it’s if something doesn’t feel right about it then it’s best to
not take it on also if it would violate your ethics or your principles of course
you wouldn’t want to do it then either so okay let me check the chat and see
Luci you say loving the info you’re getting ready to start okay
yeah and Luci’s channel Luci has done did a beautiful painting for the green
gold challenge she did a wonderful painting of Mount Ararat so if you guys
haven’t checked out Luci be sure to do that and Oscar and good to see you and
then yeah and come back and watch again and write any comments that you might
have as well hey and Quijn Comic Art good to see you
oh and Helen Schaefer that’s my mother Helen Schaefer she’s back in Iowa yeah
it’s two miles away now which is great great okay yeah Angie I have run across
a sketchy I’ve actually run across I get art scams literally all the time and
once you’re doing commissions or you’re you know you’ve got art that’s out in
the public like YouTube Instagram that kind of thing people will be sending you
things for scams and so well we can talk about let’s actually we’ll talk about
how’d it let’s do that now let’s talk a little bit about scams and how to avoid
those so let’s get a paper just to talk about art scams here get some new paper
all right scam if they have something where they say let’s say like it might
be something like oh I’m going I’m I’m moving to a new country and I just
inherited a bunch of money and I’m gonna send you I’m gonna send you more money
and then you send me a check for the difference this is illegal but this
happens all the time where scammers will try and do a thing where they say oh oh
I looked at your website and I probably get scam emails like this oh maybe
once a week sometimes sometimes you know every couple weeks sometimes
multiple in one week but they’ll say something like oh I’ve hey I love your
artwork tell me what the prices are for your artwork and that’s sound good and
it gets you excited and then when when you go a little further into it then
they say oh well I’m going to be paying you via check and when the check clears
but I’m going to send you a check let’s say that the painting is maybe $2,000
and then they’ll say oh I’m gonna send you a check for $8,000 and I’ll need you
to send me a check for the difference so what they’re trying to do is bank fraud
and what you wanted then do is you know like delete them from your don’t don’t
respond to them anymore and don’t don’t follow them or chase them or tell them
hey you’re a fraud just you know just don’t respond again because what they’re
trying to then do is get you in a confrontation and if they get your phone
number then they can call you that’s the last thing you want to do so just stay
professional and then just don’t respond and then they’ll know to go away but
that’s one kind of a scam yeah why would someone agree to do that
well it’s interesting Ange people do that you hear about that where people
will people will be trusting and they’re also excited at the idea that someone’s
going to buy their work and what will happen is they’ll be disappointed and
then the bank gets involved and they’ll even say oh I’ll give you or I’ll wire
money so I’m gonna wire money through Western Union that’s a scam it’s always
a scam if you hear that you know don’t don’t don’t do it the only way that you
would want to do it is is if it’s through PayPal or if you knew them
personally they could do a personal check but I would say never accept a
check unless it is actually somebody that you know or it’s or if you’re
working with the gallery the gallery the gallery will handle all the scam they
handle all that you don’t have to be involved in any of that but if you’re
dealing directly with an individual then then the payment needs to be done needs
to not be done via Western Union or any kind of wiring money and you don’t ever
want to have them send you money and then you’ll do the difference and the
thing is is that they’re preying on people’s emotions and it’s a terrible
thing it’s basically they’re criminals so you want to just avoid that
completely and stay away from scams so yeah oh my gosh yeah Luci yeah the scam
can be a terrible thing and usually what they’ll do is they’ll prey on people
that are nice or people that are you know don’t know it a know differently
and it’s and what also happens is is when you first get that email saying oh
hey I want to buy your work right I love your artwork I want to buy it it gets
you all excited and then when you realize it’s a scam it’s like oh it’s
terrible so so yeah I mean if nothing else even if they don’t take your money
at least they’ve disappointed you and it’s not right so so I think those scam
people just need to you know be nice or get a different life or something
alright so yeah and mother yeah exactly there are
all kinds of workshops on how to avoid that and it’s a terrible thing you know
people will take your money or they’ll say oh there’s a virus on your computer
and it will fit call this number and we’ll fix it give us your password give
us your bank account number and we’ll put money direct number to scammer you do not want to
ever give your bank account number and you don’t ever want to give your
passwords so if somebody is asking you for passwords if someone’s asking you
for a bank account they’ll say oh I’ll just do a direct deposit to your bank
what’s your routing number you don’t ever want to do that because that’s also
a scam so PayPal is the way to go with that so and and hey Art Life I’m glad to
see you okay now that we’ve talked about scams and how to avoid those let’s go
into the happy topic about all of the legitimate good people that are doing
art commission so in my art career I’ve done dozens of art commissions some
artists especially those that do digital art they will do in their career you can do
anything from zero to hundreds or thousands of commissions and so some
artists their work is more is more set up for commissions and and for some
people it’s more they typically do more standard we want to be ready with your
answers if somebody says do you do commissions and get the word out there
this is really important let people know you do them and because a lot of times
people will assume the public might assume that an artist does not want to
do a commission because they only will do their own subject matter or only
their own colors their own technique that kind of thing and won’t work from
anybody elses photos or that kind of thing and it’s it’s important that they
know that you’re open to that okay and well in Art Life you are already
good if you guys haven’t seen Art Life’s channel already she is really good she
is a student and she does wonderful realism in colored pencil and so yeah
you’re ready now Art Life you’re absolutely ready and oh and thank you
for congratuling I’ve hit 1500 subscribers and I’m and it’s an exciting day and thank
you for thank you for that and you guys thank you for all the support and the
likes thank you for watching my videos and I really appreciate you and we have
a wonderful art community here it’s just it’s fantastic okay so so the other
thing is don’t take on an art commission that feels wrong
and here’s another don’t that goes right with our topic about scams don’t accept
checks or any payment for amounts larger than agreed price and so that would be
an example where they say oh you know give me hey send your I’m gonna send you
or I’ll wire you this or I’ll send a cashier’s check I’ll send you a check
for $5,000 and the artwork that you agreed to was maybe $300 and then they
say and you’ll write me a check for the difference or something like that don’t
ever do that and then also don’t accept a check a check a cashier’s check
even cashier’s checks can get scammed from anyone you don’t know okay so that’s the key is always do it
through the PayPal so so the other thing is is do here’s a do do get everything
in writing now here’s the part that might be seem like it’s intimidating and
the and then here’s just one more don’t don’t ship on approval and shipping an
approval ship like ship pay on approval would be where they say oh I want you to
send me the artwork and if I like it then I’ll pay you and if I don’t like it
then well you know something something something what you always want to do is
get your payment in full so that’s a do do get payment in full before shipping so you’ll want to if you get a down
payment for example let’s say you got a down payment here of say 20 to 50
percent or or maybe they just paid you outright in full but if they’ve given
you a down payment for half of that upfront then when you finish let them
know hey you know email them hey I finished or direct message they have
finished and then they need to have sent you the final payment then you can send
them the artwork so always make sure to do it in that order and so now is a
great time and let me also just check the chat here and yeah Pencil absolutely
let people know you can let people know you do your commissions
on your Instagram Pencil’s got a great Instagram feed and Pencil do that in
your also in your descriptions on when you guys have you know like when you do
a YouTube video you can put that in your descriptions but your let your family
members know because sometimes artwork commissions might come directly through
you know somebody knows somebody’s mother or somebody’s dad or somebody’s
uncle is a relative and people like to know the artist and it will mean a lot
to them if it comes from somebody that they’re related to or that they know or
somebody you know if you have family members that are working out you know
somewhere in industry or maybe they’re teaching something like that let them
know and they can they can say hey you know my son or daughter my cousin my
aunt my grandma is an artist and then and they do commissions or you know that
kind of thing but getting that word out is important to starting those
commissions so so let me check the chat here and yeah we did the dance yeah we
did when I got to 1.5 yes yeah and is it hard to start because
there were scams the other way like painters fraud yeah I would think that
yeah the 1.5k dance exactly it was something like but yeah it can happen
and so that’s why that and that’s a perfect segue to the next
topic here is a contract so contracts or artists agreements I always sound like
it’s like oh my goodness it sounds scary and I don’t want to do that and it’s
it’s too technical or it’s too you know oh it sounds like it’s gonna be you know
too businesslike or whatever and not art like but I’ll say that it is really
important to do this because the purpose of the contract is it protects you and
it protects the clients so Angie for those people who might be afraid to do a
commission with an artist because they might feel like hey I paid the artist
and I got something totally different than what I expected or I wanted this I
wanted you know I thought I was getting 16 by 20 and instead I’m getting a four
by six or hey I thought I was gonna get an oil painting and I got a rough sketch
so when you do an agreement and you have it written down then what the that makes
the client feel so much more comfortable so it’s different than if they just go
and look like here’s a finished painting of mine I mean they can see it they see
the dimensions they have no question about what it looks like but when they
were doing a commission there are the client can feel anxious about it and so
doing a contract is actually benefiting them as well okay so let me check the
chat and see yeah okay exactly so so let’s go through what this contract
looks like so what you’ll want to do so this is just a sample and what I will
also do is I will cut and paste this sample contract and feel free these are
my words but I’m giving my permission for you to feel free to use my words in your
own artist agreement I’m also going to put all of this wording in the
description of this video so feel free to cut and paste that if that’s helpful
for you and of course you know if you know it needs to be your own thing so if
there’s something in here you don’t like put in something that you do like or if
you need add to add detail or whatever this is just my suggestion so the first
line would be this agreement between and then you
gonna put the clients name so oh and thank you so much Luci for saying that
thank you so this would be and you know what I’m gonna do is let me move I’m
gonna move the camera closer so you can see the words as we go through let’s see
if I can get this adjusted a little bit my camera down closer there we go so
that way you can actually see the words as we go through it okay see how that is
that easier to read yeah I think that’s better all right so this agreement
between and here’s where you’re gonna put the clients name their first and
last name the client and and then here insert artist name so you’re gonna put
your name here so let’s say it’s Pencil Connoisseur so this agreement between
and let’s say that let’s say that Helen Schaefer is gonna buy something from
Pencil Connoisseur so this agreement between Helen Schaefer the client and
Pencil Connoisseur the artist to create an original one-of-a-kind commissioned
and then here is where you’re going to insert your information so you’re gonna
insert the name you’re going to talk about the type of artwork whether it’s
like a painting a sculpture a drawing you make a quilt custom glass maybe
you’re doing a digital drawing a cartoon so Pencil does pen and ink work and he
does work with markers and he does digital art so in this case Pencil would
want to specifically say you know does Helen and so that way Helen and Pencil
have described in their email back and forth or maybe they talked on the phone
or a direct message via Instagram something like that Pencil would say hey
Helen you know what are you looking for and how would be like oh I’d like to
have you know something I can put up on my wall I’d like one of your sketches
that would maybe go up on the wall so then Pencil would put in here you know a
an original one-of-a-kind commissioned sketch framed specifically for the
client so that’s how you would put your yeah it’s you Pencil yeah yeah it’s you
and and some would say specifically for the client and then the next line would
be artwork subject will be and so here’s where Pencil would ask Helen okay Helen
what do you want the subject to be and so Helen would say oh you know oh I’m
looking for hey I love you know your signature pencil that you draw and the
maybe she likes the pencil army or she might like the chicken nugget or
whatever you know whatever it is that she likes and she might say I want the
chicken nugget in there and I would like french fries in the sketch and I want
the pencil and hey by the way put in Krakon the Dragon so and then Pencil
would say do you want this black and white do you want this in color that
type of thing if it’s an example of maybe Luci is doing Luci maybe you were
doing Dadoyan who wants maybe doing a painting so maybe somebody said this
agreement between Luci Dadoyan and client and you know put the clients name
to make a commissioned painting of a landscape specifically for the client
and the artworks subject would be maybe they loved your Mount Ararat painting
and they would like another view of Mount Ararat but maybe done in different
colors or maybe including a figure that was important in that maybe they had a
grandparent that went through something or maybe they want a little bit of the
Ark showing or something like that so that’s where you would put the subject
and then specific colors materials used that type of thing and then it will be
and so if we go back to Pencil’s example and will be constructed with now here’s
where you’re going to say if it’s framed or it’s unframed what are the dimensions
of the artwork if you’re doing a digital only thing where you do a digital file
and then you would want to say constructed with and then you’ll say a
digital file which will be electronically transferred to the client
but if it’s going to be something physical
then maybe you printed it out or you did it as a giclee or it’s something that
you’re painting something that you’re a sculpture or something you’re making
then you’d want to put in your dimensions so maybe Helen wants Pencil
to create something that is you know say eight and a half by eleven and I want
the artwork to be eight and a half by eleven and then I want it matted and I
want it framed or maybe I want it unframed so what you’d want to do is is
work with that client if you’re shipping something I recommend you go unframed if
you’re shipping but if it’s something local or somebody nearby you know then
that makes sense the chicken nugget yeah it makes sense to Angie says I see a
future commission coming from Helen you know Helen may look at this and she
might be so intrigued she does need Pencil to create something for her so so
you’d want to put the construction here and then you want to say expected
completion date so I like to put expected completion date some people
will put the completion date and then it’s a final thing but what I try and do
is expected and then that way in the event let’s say that the client needs to
send me you know colors or they needed to send me you know maybe there was like
a flower or something in their garden they wanted me to paint that type of
thing then I would want to put something in here saying and we’ll get into that
if they have to provide anything but oftentimes I’ll just say expected
completion date and then you want to also include any kind of a thing oh okay
yeah all right Helen loves potato chips and so it would have to have if Pencil
did her a commission it would need to have potato chip it would have to have
the potato chip yeah absolutely so so what you would do is you’d say you’re in
you put your in completion date and when you do that be sure to allow yourself
when of time so if somebody wants something
and they always want it quickly so I’ve got this commission that I’m working on
here that I just received with Canyon Road Contemporary Art and so I put in here I
put in a lot of description Dena will paint a twenty wide by 40 table by one
and a half inch deep painting for the gallery’s client this is like the fourth
email back and forth that we have acrylic on stretch cotton canvas and
just paint smoothly painted a blue gray according with the painting so you see
what I’m doing is I’m writing a contract agreement between me and the gallery but
do you see that I’m doing it rather casually it doesn’t I’m putting very
specific things in here but this is a thing where the gallery then can then
give this information to the client so the client knows what they’re gonna get
and then the gallery also sees exactly what I’m going to be producing and so
they know that I understand or we have an agreement on what it is I’ll be
creating I’m saying it’s unframed it’s gonna be wired on the back ready for the
client to hang Dena will ship directly to your client so this is I’m sending
this to Canyon Road Contemporary in Santa Fe Dena will ship directly to your
client that’s the gallery’s client once the painting is completed Dena will stay
in touch with the gallery on progress gallery will notify Dena when full
payment is received at the gallery so painting can be shipped directly ship
date will be July 20th 2019 or sooner if possible Dena will email the gallery a
photo of the completed under painting by June 1st or sooner client approval or
one set of changes are due by June 10th or sooner to stay on schedule with the
Daubism texture phase and the drying phase painting will be based on the
vertical black-eyed Susans 7 as inspiration for colors and composition
Dena will make every attempt to follow the tone and expression of the original
inspiration painting and creating this new work of art client understands that
the larger painting will have more daubs of paint and as it as it’s a much larger
painting the new painting will have small and large daubs follow the theme
of black eyed Susans 7 but will not be a duplicate as each painting is unique and
there’s a difference between the two do you know and then I put in here Dena
super-excited about this, grows black-eyed Susans in her
perennial garden I’m excited to create a new painting with love and care
new paintings composition will have more at the right top flower showing similar
to the photo will have a frame client will approve the composition and the
review period as mentioned earlier name of the commissioned painting will be
determined client can help name the painting and and then Dena will be able
to start in the painting next week so that’s another do whenever possible let
the client also have more input if they can so what I am another do is do allow
client to help name the painting name the artwork and then also do include a
do include a special a special you want to do like so special wording about the
commission now you can put that on the back so what you want to do is you want
to allow the client to help name the artwork now some people will say oh I
don’t I am the only one who names my paintings or my artwork or my drawings
or my sculptures that’s okay you can give them a choice hey do you like this
for a title or do you like this for a title give them two choices or say hey
do you have any any input you’d like to give her title let’s pick one together
but clients oftentimes love that and if you can even include the clients name in
the in the artwork itself like I just did one recently “Jacqueline’s Pond” that
was the name of the client but Jackie she goes by Jackie but Jackie and Syl Amos of
Michigan for their Florida home but I named the painting Jacqueline’s Pond”
with their permission and then the special wording about the commission you
can write that as a standalone little piece of paper something that you send
along with it and this commission was created for and then put the clients
name that type of thing they can keep that with your original artwork
and that will actually make the artwork more valuable if they ever want to sell
it or if they have it appraised in their when they pass it on because people
don’t get rid of artwork they always pass it on or they sell it so on the
open market then it will have that provenance that is more important for
them so let me check the chat see how you guys are doing oh Mando is here
and then oh Angie you’re partial to animal crackers I love it hey Mando good
to see you and okay and Luci and it was great having you here and and I
appreciate that you guys are here so so let’s talk about let’s continue on with
the contract so what you want to do now with the contract is you want to say
artwork will be sent to the client via and then you want to fill in the words
here you’re going to insert your method that you’re going to ship and you can
decide if you want it now I like to send mine insured you can decide if you want
to send it insured or uninsured with delivery signature or required or not
you can decide that and if you’re going to send it via like UPS ground DHL via
the post office maybe the customer is going to pick it up maybe the artist is
going to ship it to the gallery the client will pick it up from the artist
the artist ships it to the client after the payment is made to the gallery
something like that and put it time in there so like after they make their
their payment on PayPal then you want to put a number of days I usually put five
days but some people will say one day after payment is received through PayPal
then the artwork will be shipped and then you’ll provide the tracking number
but you can see from this that when you send this kind of information to your
client they this is comforting them as far as they know what to expect you know
what to expect and that type of thing oh and 1MightyR hi what’s up 1MightyR
we’re talking about these all the tips and do’s and don’ts of how to do art
commissions now here’s a couple of optional things that you can
include in your write-up that you’re going to give your client so optional
client to provide and then you would insert the colors or the photos maybe
they’re going to have maybe it’s a pet portrait you are doing or it’s a caricature
of someone and you’re asking them to send you some photos of the person that
you’re going to be drawing or a portrait or maybe they have I did a commission of
a lake and there was a very specific tree line that they wanted included and
there were buoys it’s a campground that they were always
visiting and so they sent me photos multiple photos of that and I could
include that in my work a reference to that but that’s part of the commission
process is that the client wants to have some say and that’s why they give a
commission is they want to have it personalized so option with the client
and so you can include this or not include this if you need two colors
photos etc by the artist and then put a date of when you want that in order to
stay on schedule all right and here’s another optional one artist will make
every attempt to and then you want to put your conditions here if you need any
conditions approval a progress report a likeness of the subject that kind of
thing and the client can select and then you might want to say any insert any
kind of a condition that you will accept so it may be that like what I did here
when I did the gallery statement here I made a statement Dena will make every
attempt to follow the tone and expression of the original inspiration
painting so here they like this tiny little painting and I’m gonna be doing a
super large version of it but it’s gonna have daubs and if that painting had
maybe a hundred daubs in it this next one will have like maybe a thousand and
so I want to make sure that they understand that it’s not going to be the
same and also that I don’t actually copy my own work I want each one to be
original so I’ll put that in the wording that I did here when I then I wanted the
gallery to send that to the client but when you’re working directly with a
client or with the gallery it’s you know one-on-one with you and the client
or if you work through a gallery if you’re doing it through the gallery be
sure to put those kind of things in like hey I’m gonna try and stay to the colors
that you suggested but note that different since then lighting that type
of thing might make a little different color or if they’re asking you to make
fan art hey you know I understand that I’m going to be making fan art of a of a
topic that you like and note that I’m gonna have my own personal expression
it’s not going to be a you know physical copy of it it’s going to be my
interpretation you know something like that okay and then any other additional
information insert that there alright and then the last part that you would
want to do here is know now here’s how to do the pricing so the first line here
is going to be the artwork cost and then you had a framing cost and you have
shipping cost now it may be that you want to just include all of that as you
know you’re gonna you personally as the artist you’ll know how much your artwork
cost and yeah and and 1MightyR it’s so important to do a contract because
not only does it protect you but it protects your client and it makes them
have peace of mind that they said hey I want to buy some artwork from 1MightyR and 1MightyR does these he does these wonderful pen and ink work and you
did like it was a kind of exploding planets type of thing and maybe somebody
you know if you do a commission for somebody they might want some exploding
plants or they might want this or that and if you then tell them you know you
get into the size you get into the subject matter is it framed or unframed
when does it do that kind of thing then that is oh and Tony M hey Tony M good
to see you and so Helen has said contracts have changed through the years
in the past all I did was Size Dimensions color choice time and of
course price life was more simple well no Helen it’s actually no different you
couldn’t you can do a contract today that just says I’ll make you a painting
or I’ll make you a drawing and it’s you know five hundred dollars or it’s two
hundred dollars it’s $5,000 the contract is just as
detailed or as not detailed as you want it to be or you need it to be and my
this is my recommendation of what to include this is the type of thing I
typically include in a contract and if you don’t want to do any of that stuff
you could just get right to the price you know it all depends but this is a
suggestion and you guys are free and I will be putting this in the document in
the description below go ahead and cut and paste that and use that I you know
you have got my permission to use that my words how I would do a contract and
you can’t you might find that you want to make yours even more elaborate or you
can cut it way down so the other thing is that’s key is try and just keep it
like I’ve got it here in simple language because if a person starts putting in a
lot of legalese or that kind of thing then some people don’t understand the
wording and it can get troublesome so so what you want to do here is your artwork
cause so let’s say that let’s say that the price is and actually this is not
cost it should be price framing price plus shipping price and I’ll correct
that when I put that in the thing for you okay so let’s say that the artwork
itself let’s say under Pencils let’s say that Pencil is going to charge Helen
$800 and then let’s say that Helen wants it framed
so maybe the framing is going to be say $200 and then let’s say the shipping now
pencil lives in England and so the shipping it to Iowa where Helen lives is
going to be a certain price for shipping so then you can put all the numbers here
and then you have a number here something here and then you’re going to
have taxes and V A T the VAT some if it’s going across countries then you may have
a VAT we’re here and then you add the number A plus B here and then the down
payment so let’s say with everything total with shipping and all these other
things let’s say Helen has to pay Pencil $1,200 for example and then the
remaining balance so may so maybe the total was $1,200 and be
sure to say if it’s in dollars or pounds or whatever the euros whatever the unit
of measure is and then the down payment that Helen maybe wants 50% down so Helen
will need to do 600 dollars and the remaining balance would be 600 in this
example and then what you do here is you’d have them so would be Pencil
Connoisseur Pencil Connoisseur’s email and Pencil Connoisseurs mailing address
it is important that you have that because the client if you give the
mailing address that’s important now if you don’t feel comfortable with that
that is also okay if you only wanted to just do name and email but if you can
include that and if you now if you’re going to be sending it to the client
you have to actually have their address to mail it to them so if they’re giving
you their mailing address and you can even Google their mailing address and
find out is it legitimate is it a real thing if you don’t know them personally
the other thing then is so be cautious about giving your information until you
a check theirs out and you’ll have checked there’s that via sending emails
or direct messages that kind of thing so oh ok so 1MightyR use a post-office box
yeah post-office box works great too you could do a P.O. box and you would have
that here a P.O box and then you know whatever it is and then the city and
that kind of thing and then you’ll sign it and you can add the sign the client
sign it but those are the basic that’s a basic thing of how to have a you know a
detailed basic contract and again it can be like Helen said just as simple as I’m
going to make this it’s going to cost this but the benefit of putting
additional detail in anything that you’ve talked about with the client is
that that’s going to let them know that you heard what they said so if the
client if you say I’m just going to make you this and you know it’s going to cost
this much that might be fine but if they don’t know the dimensions
they don’t know when it’s going to be due to them and you talked about it an
oral contract is one thing but a written contract people can go back and look at
memory is one thing but looking seeing
something in writing then if you had to go to PayPal and PayPal let’s say that
they didn’t pay you and it was a scam or it was a problem or where they want to
come back and say oh no you know hey I I didn’t want to have this it came out all
the way different and I want my money back
well then you can go and email PayPal your document that you have or scan it
or fax it or send it and then the photo of it and send it to PayPal for their
their process and then they’ll read it and say oh yeah look it says right here
it’s going to be this this and this but I know it’s not a guaranteed likeness
it’s going to be these dimensions and if it meets the contract then likely you
will get paid so that’s why doing that will help you you know get your make
sure that that everything is professional and you will get paid so
all right oh you guys thank you for saying that
thank you and thank you Mama thank uou Helen for saying and thank you Mando so
anyway so that is all that I had for today I wanted to make sure that you
guys saw a copy of a you know a thing and you know we have our do’s and don’ts
and so I wish you guys luck doing your commissions they’re an important and an
integral part of an art career and if you feel comfortable doing them I really
encourage you to do them base your art base it can help people feel connected
to you because they will feel like they had a say in your artwork and they
helped connect with it and and it’s of course a wonderful way to make money so
I want to thank everybody for joining and and I hope to see you again in my
studio and so until next time this is Dena Tollefson and all my love to you!

Dereck Turner

24 thoughts on “Art Commissions for Beginners: How to Start Selling Custom Artwork & Grow Your Art Career LIVE

  1. Erika Lancaster says:

    Excellent video, Dena! Thanks so much for sharing all this with us. It's such an important topic!

  2. TianaDIY says:

    sad i missed the live, but watching right now!!

  3. SAOLY ART 81 says:

    Amazing ❀️

  4. J m Art With Detail says:

    Brilliant video DenaπŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  5. chrissycanvasart says:

    Thanks Dena, I think people are interested in the topics you mentioned, great stuff my friend πŸ˜πŸŒΈπŸ‘

  6. The Art Academy says:

    Nice information ℹ️ Thank you πŸ™πŸ»

  7. PICTURESQUE says:

    Wow… amazing video.

  8. Helen Schaefer says:

    What a terrific video. I appreciate that you are so thorough. Your detail is so important in setting up the contract. Good job πŸ‘

  9. Gracie Shack says:

    Hi Dena! Sorry I missed your Live Stream! And Thank you for your great art videos…I am watching the video now and your information is very interesting! And have a nice Weekend!

  10. Pyrography Made Easy says:

    Hi Dena,
    you presented a lot of information with this video. Thanks for sharing your expertise on this subject!

  11. DAVY. J.Y. Art with a pen. says:

    Great informative video Dena, i enjoyed watching it. Always love seeing your new video's and art πŸ™‚

  12. Aniko Varga says:

    Your channel is absolutely amazing, you're insanely talented, I have so much to learn from you πŸ’“ New friend here πŸ€—

  13. The Art Adventure says:


  14. GoodArt says:

    Hi Dena βœ‹, I really like watching your videos, I don’t understand what you say in English, but I really like your voice, it’s very pleasant. πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘Big like for your work and have a great week my dear friend 😊 πŸ‘ βœ‹ πŸ’ πŸ’ πŸ’

  15. SAN ART STUDIO says:

    This is so colourful and vibrant artwork

  16. Julie Watercolors says:

    Wow this video was so informational! Thank you so much, I don't think I've seen anyone actually do a comprehensive guide to commissions for beginners! Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  17. Dereck Turner says:

    Hello! I'm sorry i missed this. I'm watching now. I think it's great that you're so encouraging to new artists. πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

  18. Annie The Star says:

    Wow! Great video! Subbed to you and like 32. Hope you do the same.

  19. Jeremiah T says:

    Thanks for the advice πŸ™‚ very helpful

  20. Vela Productions says:

    Great video! Nice information

  21. Divine Art says:

    Hi Dena, I love your Artist's educational video. So helpful for new Artists. And yes, when I heard contract I was scared..heheπŸ˜„

  22. Costel Andone says:

    Awasome information Dena! Thank you very much!

  23. David Denton Art says:

    Great advice here Dena! I think the contract is a fantastic idea to avoid any conflict later on in the process.

    I had one of those scammers ring me once saying that he was from Microsoft and I'd got a problem with my computer. I suspected it was a scam straight away so despite having a computer I told him that I hadn't got one and I pretended to be a bit confused. He asked if maybe my wife had got one. I said no she hasn't got one either. He then became desperate and said it must be a tablet that he's picking up that's got the problem. I told him that neither of us had got a tablet either but then I got all enthusiastic and said, "My wife has got a calculator though! Does that count?"

    He put the phone down.

    I went back to work and had a little chuckle πŸ™‚

    But you're right, they need to do something more socially positive with their time rather than preying on kind people.

  24. Artfully Yours with Diana says:

    Great informative video Dena❀️😍❀️ I have a question about signing of the contract………do you know of the way to email a contract and getting the clients signature on an emailed document? ………………instead of by faxing?

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