As an artist, being able to share your art with the world and be paid for it can be an exciting opportunity.
Art commissions can give you an additional revenue stream (cha-ching). While, giving your fans the opportunity to receive a piece of your art with their personal touches in mind. Collaborating with your fans and experiencing creative synergy at it’s finest. What could be better!
Whether it’s designing the logo for a new startup or painting a keep-sake portrait of a family’s beloved dog - you can be part of bringing your fans vision to life.
Yet, there are important things to consider when offering art commissions to fans. It puts your client communication, business-savvy, and time management skills to the test.
So, here’s what you need to know to ensure your art commissions go as smooth as a paintbrush on a canvas:

Prepare a Portfolio and Promote it

The best way to attract art commissions is by having a stunning portfolio of your work prepared for your fans to drool over. Whether you’re the next Picasso or van Gogh (okay, we get it, those are big shoes to fill), your unique artwork is exactly what your fans are looking for!

Your portfolio helps them understand your artistic style along with what you can and can’t create. Do you work on specific art mediums such as watercolour painting, calligraphy, or graphic design? Your portfolio will give them a solid idea of the types of art mediums and subjects you usually work with.
However, if potential customers can’t see your talents, then they are less likely to approach you for a commission. Humble bragging isn’t a faux pas - it allows more people to see and appreciate your art.
Make it easy for them to find your work by displaying your portfolio on your personal website and social media feeds to gain exposure.
Tell your existing supporters that you are offering commissions to get them excited about the opportunity to get their hands on your work.

How Buy Me a Coffee Makes Art Commissions Easy Peasy:

On Buy Me a Coffee you can easily offer personalized art commissions to your fans. Discover how to add this “extra” to facilitate any commissions here.
The platform also helps you avoid dreaded overbookings, by setting up maximum slots. So, you never have to be frazzled with too much work and won’t ever compromise quality of deliverables.

Get All the Creative Deets

When accepting a commission from a fan, ensure you always get as many details as possible about their preferences for the piece and what they’re hoping the outcome will be.
Nobody wants to be catfished! Not even by art.

via GIPHY

If you deliver the piece and the look on their face is the same as when they’ve just gotten a bad haircut, then something went wrong in the process. Avoiding any vagueness can help you make your supporter happy and turn them into an advocate for your work.
Ask questions like:

  • What is the piece for?
  • Who the piece is for?
  • What sentiment are you trying to achieve with the piece?

Dig deep with your audience to understand what they want to achieve with the artwork.
Will it be placed in a certain part of their home? Is it a gift for their childhood best friend? The more information you have the better you can fulfill their expectations. Create the piece with the right aesthetic and audience in mind.

Pro Tip: Ask the supporter to provide you with any images or other visuals for reference in order to inform the artistic direction and provide you with inspiration.

Communicate Your Creative Direction

After you’ve gathered information from your fan, and waited for the artistic genius to set in (beautiful mind style) you can share your creative direction.
What is your vision for the piece? There’s a reason why your fan chose you versus other artists to create personalized artwork for them: they appreciate your perspective, style and approach to art.
If you can mockup the piece before going into full-on creative production, that's even more ideal. This can be a clever way of aligning with your fan on the overall look and feel of the artwork.
Use Photoshop, provide sketches, or utilize other applications to give your audience an idea of what your vision is. Let your supporter know what materials or tools you will be using to produce the piece.
[insert image of mockup examples]
Get on the same page, so they can approve of your mockups and approach before you begin production. This can be a huge time saver and help your fan feel confident in your work.

Maintain a Clear Scope of Work

As a creator, you probably know the pain of projects that go way out of scope. What starts out as a fun project soon becomes one that is never-ending! The truth is, this can easily be solved by clearly outlining the scope of work to your fan.
Managing expectations about the art commission is key.

  • Do you offer a certain number of revisions on the piece?
  • Do they own the rights to the artwork once they purchase it from you?
  • What will be included in the deliverables?

Set hard deadlines and timelines, so they know when each stage of creation will be occurring and exactly when the artwork will be delivered.
Be clear on pricing and when they are expected to make payment for the piece. With Buy Me a Coffee funds will automatically be transferred to you, so you can avoid any awkward conversations about payment (yay!) and simply focus on creating your amazing artwork.

Art is meant to be shared, and what better way than by offering art commissions to those who love your work. Give your fans the opportunity to have a piece of your creativity with personalized art commissions. Buy Me a Coffee can streamline the entire process and ensure you get paid. Get ready to receive more commissions in a fast and simple way.