View Full Version : Tips and advice for starting Commission work

23-04-2013, 08:49
Hi Forum users..

Im looking at starting to take on commission work for people and was hoping to get some advice from fellow painters and commision workers....

What are the main pitfalls in commission work and what is the best advice you could giive somebody starting off?

I also do not have a name yet so Im looking at you guys/gals for inspiration!!!

I look forward to hearing what you have to say, And thankyou in advance for your help....

23-04-2013, 08:59
Tip one, don't use fancy colour font as my warseer background is black and I can't read your post without highlighting it.

Tip two, post a gallery with loads of examples of your work before undertaking any work.

Tip three, don't overstretch, if you take any and all jobs and fill out your calender for the next 6 months and expect people to pay up front, don't be surprised if they get pissed off at having to wait 6 months for their commission to be done.

Tip four, don't do it as a full time job at first.

23-04-2013, 09:11
My friend ran a lot of commission work and i used to act as his business consultant (I used to consult small-to-medium businesses, moved on to bigger firms now)

- Decide on your contract. This is the most important part of your business and be sure to explain it with great detail. Explain how you work, in what timeframes you work, what is your accepted method of payment(Usually %50 to start off, %50 when you send\deliver the finished product. Bigger, more prestigious studios can demand %100 price from the head start. For payments , use PayPal. It is widely accepted to be a safe form of currency exchange, many people use it, and you can Edit\Create Invoices which makes it easier for both you and your customer to track your transactions. Always keep track of these invoices.

-When someone commissions a work from you, before accepting the job, let your would-be client to explain to you in great detail, what he wants. You might also request pictures that resemble his wishes. Only accept if you are %100 sure you can pull it off.There is no shame in refusing work because you think you can't do it for any reason whatsoever. Be sure to explain to your client how you are going to tackle the project. ALWAYS POST WIP PICTURES! If your client changes his mind\does not like a particular detail, finding it out at the last possible second will spell disaster.

-Remember that you are supposed to create a model in align with your clients taste, not yours. Take projects that you will enjoy, but do not impose your tastes to other people. Compromise and exchange ideas with your client till you can create a mutually acceptable goal. Remember that arguing\figthing is a waste of time. If you are somehow unable to communicate productively, kindly back off, and request that he\she should look for another commission artist.

-Learn to take good pictures of your work, and save a lot of those WIP and Final Product Pictures for your website(Websites\Blogs are good!) Those pictures and details like which paints\colors are used and such are important. Other people can look those up and determine if you are truly the person they want to work with.

Hope these help.

23-04-2013, 09:18
I'll echo what's been said above, use plain normal font/colours (black for white/white for black backgrounds) when communicating with clients potential or otherwise.
Also having an online gallery or 'portfolio' of previous work is a must.

Snazzy clear easy to navigate online presence for your business will help too, give people a place to contact you and view your work etc.

Finally don't over stretch yourself and start off slow and as the saying goes 'don't give up your day job' at least untill your so snowed under with WELL PAYING commisions that it's worth dropping what you already do for income. Also starting off small allows you the chance to see if you can break through the painting burn out wall one can hit when required to paint to a standard and deadline repeatedly.

23-04-2013, 09:36
Thankyou for the quick replies... I must appologise for the font colour, Out of habit I use it on Outlook and forgot about Warseers Black background...

Some good advice and plenty for me to think about.... Im going to be looking at starting slow and building up a gallery both on here and some Youtube videos!! I guess its all about getting your name out there and being realistic with deadlines and your own abilites!!

Thanks again all..

23-04-2013, 11:08
Get opinions from other people in the hobby as to your level of workmanship. Don't just ask friends; they might be too nice about it. You need to make sure that your current skills are something people would pay money for, and if not you need to do what you can to improve to a more workable level.

23-04-2013, 11:13
Perhaps shamelss plugging on Coolminiornot will attract interest?