View Full Version : commission painting\painters.

24-11-2011, 14:37
Afternoon all, I have a question for anyone who is in or knows about the commission painting industry. I see several blogs on here of painters who are doing commission work (and very good their work is too). From what I have read, it's really something that people do on the side of a full time job and that it's not something that you really make a living from. But my real question is why do people do this? Is it the love of painting? Is it to be able to paint models that you may not be able to afford (the larger FW models for example). Or maybe to allow you to paint different styles and different models rather than sticking to one army for yourself.

So basicly what is it that drives you to become a commission painter?

24-11-2011, 18:46
I started doing commissions so I could work at home while my young children grow up and have some quality family time. Helps that it's something I enjoy and am reasonably good at. It's also helping raise money to get my model making business off the ground.

24-11-2011, 18:59
I recently started taking commissions, mainly to augment a new gaming store initiative but also because, like you say, I like to try new ways of painting armies: new colour schemes, compositions and detailing. It is also a good way of always having something fresh to paint.

24-11-2011, 20:06
I treat it as hobby money that I feel no guilt for spending on new toys.

Its not a way of making real money, that's for sure, but it all helps in the current climate.

24-11-2011, 22:30
I do it because I run a game store, and 90% of your time running a store is spent sat playing security guard in case someone comes in to run off with everything.

Seriously, if people didn't steal things, I'd leave the door open with a "please leave cash in tin" sign on the counter and go back to bed on weekdays :P

24-11-2011, 22:38
I started doing it in a period of convalescence, during which I could not move much, having both legs in steel cages for months.

It made a more stimulating way to pass the time than Eastenders.

24-11-2011, 22:51
did commissions last year. since i was still a student, i figured i could earn some more money with doing the stuff i'd do anyways to relax. but unlike the previous posters, it turned out that rather enjoy the painting side more it killed it for me. i was forced to paint models that i didn't really like or use paint schemes that were borderline atrocious. if you check out my logs in my sig, you might come across those celestial lions i did. that was the color scheme i could get my customer to use, after his first idea was more of a dirt brown armor with ultramarine blue helmets.

also, commision painting doesn't get more fun when you are dealing with customers who cheat you out of your fee or, and this is something that most painters i've talked to agree upon, the unwillingness of people to pay somewhat reasonable prices for pieces that take a lot of time. if you ask me to do a mini with about an 8.0 standard on CMON, at least be willing to pay me more than maybe 1,50€ an hour.

so, yeah, as you can see i'm still somewhat bitter about all that. but ever since i quit being a painter for hire and started painting just for me again, i've enjoyed painting minis more than ever before. :)

25-11-2011, 07:32
...Is it the love of painting? ..

Pretty much that with a hint of the latter things you listed. :)

25-11-2011, 13:06
Most of the painters I know do it for the extra cash and because they just like painting.

Love the Mordhiem guy btw Winterdyne.

25-11-2011, 13:43
Well I do it because I enjoy painting and really I get to paint models I wouldn't normally paint.

25-11-2011, 13:51
Cheers, 6mmhero. He got a pin in Warhammer Single (UK, 2011), so I quite like him too. One of the rare chances I've had to paint something of my own. I'd really like to do the mounted version of him too, in a slightly darker mood though.

25-11-2011, 15:11
Thanks for the replies guys. Although there is a small amount of money involved, it's nice to see there is a lot of passion for painting and the models involved.

Goat of Yuggoth
25-11-2011, 20:10
I do it occasionally, though I'm not nearly as fast as I should. And I wouldn't want to paint up a whole army for someone when I don't have a painted army for myself! So it's a Mercenary Unit here and there, a BB team or something similar, small scale working.

How I see it, it's kind of like doing something you like for others to enjoy as well. The pay isn't that marvelous, so it's kind of like charity work with nominal fees.

And yes, the pays usually get spent on more toys :D


Duke Georgal
29-11-2011, 14:44
The only commission painter I know does it because he is an obsessive figure painter that derives great pleasure from it. He will spend 20-30 hours a week painting figures.

He makes good money at it, but he also has a professional full time job.

His best attribute is that he is so fanatic about it, he never misses a deadline and his quality is dependable and a good value.

I could never paint for someone else.

29-11-2011, 15:06
Ive done commission work the past few years. In the beginning I thought it would be fun to paint and build armies that I normally wouldn't buy and it would give me some spending money for my own projects. however it quickly turned into a full time second job that pays very little for the time spent. I eventually had to tell my regular clients I wouldn't be taking any more orders as it almost killed the hobby for me and in the end wasn't worth it. just my experience.