Rise Art

Accepted a Commission? Points to consider

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott @ Rise Art on September 28, 2010

Working on commissions can be a very enriching experience for both, the commissioner and the artist. In order to ensure a smooth collaboration, we have come up with a little list of issues that need to be taken into consideration and agreed on, in order to avoid misunderstandings on both sides.

But first and foremost, it is crucial for you as artist to gain a detailed understanding of what the commissioned piece requires. Thus, communication and discussion are highly important.

As artist, you might want to ask for certain specifications in written form. To avoid misunderstandings, we believe that it is best to set out several details in a written brief,  of which both parties receive a copy.

This agreement should include the following points:

  • It should state details about the commission, such as: Where will it be displayed? Does it serve a particular purpose?
  • Determine the materials to be used.
  • Agree a timescale for the completion of the commission.
  • Payment structure needs to be set. Often, payment is divided in three thirds: the first third is paid upon agreeing on the commission, the second-third is paid half way through the work and the last third once the artwork is finished. However, you may want to structure it differently based on other criteria and milestones.
  • Outline clearly who pays for material as well as productions undertaken by a third party.
  • Define who is responsible for the delivery  and insurance of the artwork? Are there any special transport requirements? Determine the costs and who pays for the delivery.
  • Will the artwork you are creating require installing? If so, who will do this? You as artist? A technician? Can the commissioner install it by himself?
  • Does the artwork need specific requirements for conservation and maintenance? If so, inform your client about it!
  • Ownership & moral rights – you have to come to an agreement of ownership. Some basic texts about copyright can be found here.
  • Finally, it should state the names of the involved parties, and a date.

Here a few examples of agreements/contracts used between a commissioner and artist:

Did you find this post helpful? What are your experience? Share your thoughts with us!


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