Working for Hire: What to Consider about Commissions [34]

working on commissions

Are commissions an essential part of being artist? Or do they scare you a little?

Apple podcast

This week’s discussion was sparked by a question we received from a listener. AJ asked this question about commissions:

“I am an up and coming artist with a handful of commission requests. I would love to learn about the professional way to handle commissions. How do you and Alice do this? How much do your charge? What do you do about edits? Should the client pay upfront or give a deposit?”

artist commission easel

The question led us into an interesting debate about how formalised a commission process should be. Alice sets clear parameters and her process has worked very well for her, while Louise has found that any kind of commitment feels heavy. She is therefore taking a much more informal approach (including refusing commissions unless they feel just right). 

We discuss practicalities (pricing, process, deposits etc), share our successes (as well as those that didn’t go so well), and debate the pluses and minuses of allowing client input during the creative process. 

While there is no one-size-fits-all “professional” methodology, the most important thing is for each artist to determine an approach that works for him or her (and make the parameters very clear to the buyer in advance). 

This week we also share some exciting studio news, celebrate the success of a fellow artist, and (literally) get a little bit potty-mouthed (!)

Mentioned: Zandra Stratford’s show at  (Until Sept 21st 2019) Find Zandra on Instagram @zandrastratford

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“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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