As an art collector myself, I know how difficult it is to find that painting that just clicks; one that has some meaning to me and personal resonance.
Many of my friends, colleagues and clients are coming to the same conclusion and have decided that they would prefer something meaningful to them that they have been involved in creating from the beginning to end and have opted for a commissioned piece rather than buying off the shelf. Unlike the majority of artists, I have come from a business background and actually enjoy the interaction with my clients, working to specific deadlines and tight specifications and creating something unique and personal together; it’s much harder to do on my part, but much more rewarding.
Not just a painting, but an experience
How do you go about commissioning art? It’s much easier than you think. You don’t have to go searching artistic terms and understand the differences between impressionism, abstract expressionism or surrealism or worry about styles and techniques. The majority of artists that offer commissions will guide you through the process. Mine is a simple but comprehensive 6-step journey, as I guide my customers throughout to make it an experience as well as a painting:
Step 1 – Initial Consultation
Initial consultation and concept discussions, usually over a socially distanced coffee (or by phone/email), about what you would want in the picture whether a family portrait, a place of meaning or a subject of sentiment; what style you’d like (I’m comfortable painting in many styles as you can see from my work); the size and colour palette to compliment the space it’s going into but also to add some colours that trigger great memories or emotions.
Step 2 – Initial concept sketches
I provide some initial sketches and sometimes a small watercolour concept piece; this ensures that we are both thinking along the same lines and there are no surprises when the painting is finished.
Step 3 – The painting process
Throughout the painting process, I provide photographs or video recordings and updates to the client as it’s possible to change the painting as I go. I use a slow drying medium which allows me to make adjustments to the painting for a week or so after the paint is applied.
Step 4 – Post-painting review
Once the painting is finished, but not yet dry, we can make any final adjustments to meet the clients’ need. At this stage, it is usually slight tweaks as the previous steps should reveal no surprises. This usually takes place in the studio, however, can be equally done by email or over the telephone.
Step 5 – Final Touches and Delivery
Once the painting is finished, I will varnish it, frame it, package, deliver, hang (where necessary), provide certification and aftercare details. The painting comes with a few extra bonuses.
Step 6 – Six-month Follow-Up
I like to follow-up with my clients after six months or so, just to check that they are happy with the painting and get their feedback. This also allows me to refine the journey for other clients and make sure that I am always offering a high-quality experience.
How long does it take?
Each piece of artwork is bespoke and individually created, so there is no specific time, although we can agree deadlines in advance. Typically though, an oil painting takes about six weeks to allow drying time and delivery.
How much does it cost?
The price will depend on the time spent on the painting, it’s size and the medium used. I will calculate this based on the initial consultation and provide a fixed cost to you before we begin; there are no hidden extras. Indicatively, the prices that I charge are roughly:
- 60cm x 45cm – €2700 – including a white wooden floating frame (frame size 73cm x 58cm)
- 80cm x 60cm – €3450 – including a white wooden floating frame (frame size 103cm x 83cm)
- 120cm x 90cm – €4250 – including a white wooden floating frame (frame size 143cm x 113cm)
- Please contact me for anything larger.
Gift this experience
Many of my clients choose a commission over an ‘off the shelf’ painting as it has more meaning to the person who they are gifting it to. However, I still have some clients who are still unsure as to what their friends or family, or that impossible person like me, would really like. That’s why I now offer gift cards, whereby you can purchase the experience as a gift for your friend or family member to go on their own journey and create their own commission.