Commisioning An Artist: How To Get An Artist To Create A Custom Sculpture

Following a few easy steps can make the process of commissioning a sculpture enjoyable.

So, you have decided to commission a sculpture but are not sure how to do it. Commissioning a sculpture can seem like a daunting task if you have never done it before, but by following a few simple guidelines you make it an easy and enjoyable experience.

To begin the commissioning process you first need to formulate a general idea of the type of sculpture you want created. What is the purpose for the sculpture? What do you want it to express? How large should it be? Will it be displayed indoors or out? Do you have a specific medium in mind? What is your budget?

Once you have a conceptualization of the sculpture you are ready to move on to the next step, finding an artist. There are a variety of ways to find an artist to create your sculpture. The Internet offers great flexibility to your search. Many artists have their own web pages that allow you to examine their work and obtain background information about them. Another good source for your search would be inquiring at local art galleries. Gallery directors often have a wealth of contacts and can help point you in the right direction.

When you have narrowed the list of prospective artists down to final selection list, preferably three to five, contact each perspective artist by phone or email and discuss your ideas about the sculpture with them. Be specific with each artist about your budget and the time frame in which you expect the work to be completed. There is no since discussing other issues if the artist has an insurmountable backlog of work or cannot create a sculpture in your price range.

The next step you want to take is to request an initial design for your sculpture be completed. Please note that many artists will charge a fee for this, so you may want to only request this from one or two of you finalist. Be sure to agree upon this fee before you ask the artist to begin work on the design. You should also keep in mind that often the fee charged for the initial design work is not refundable even if you decide not to have the sculpture created.

Once you have received the initial design and have decided to go ahead with the creation of your sculpture it is now time to negotiate the final details with the artist such as price, time of completion, delivery, etc. It is very important have all of these items in a written agreement.

It is also a good idea to include in your agreement what type of reports you will receive of the progress of the sculpture and how often you will receive them. Will you receive photographs? Can you come to the artist's studio and view the work?

You will generally have to make some type of initial payment to the artist before work begins, typically fifty percent of the total costs. The remainder of the purchase price is paid upon completion of the work and your final approval. The terms may very slightly from artist to artist, but I would highly recommend that you never pay the full costs of the sculpture up front.

Now comes the difficult part, waiting patiently for the completion of the sculpture. Although it is recommended to follow the progress of you sculpture, please remember this is a creative process. Contacting the artist every day to check on progress is not helpful to either you or the artist.

When you are notified that work on your sculpture is completed you will need to make a final inspection before authorizing completion of payment. It is recommended that this be done in person if at all possible. If everything is acceptable you are now ready to make final payment and arrange delivery of you sculpture.

As you can see there are a lot of details to be concerned with when commissioning a sculpture, but the process does not have to be overwhelming. Just follow the easy steps outlined and before you know it you will be the proud owner of a sculpture created just for you.

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