You've made the decision and you're ready. You want to hire an artist to create that special piece for your home. Maybe you want artwork to fill a space that needs something as a focal point or maybe you're decorating your soon-to-be-born baby's nursery and you want to share their unique name in a unique way. Whatever your reason WHO you choose to create your artwork for you is an important decision not to be taken lightly. Purchasing art for your home is a big step that should have a lot of thought put into it. There are a lot of things to consider when taking that step to have something custom made. Here I have listed some of those things that should help you have a smooth interaction with your chosen artist.
Research your artist! Go through their website or portfolio and familiarize yourself with their work and style. When commissioning an artist these things are important to see if they are a fit for you. Not all artists create all things. It's best to find an artist that fits your vision and style. Check out their online reviews. Do they have lots of positives or are they famous for not fulfilling their end of the bargain?
Know your budget! In most cases an artist will ask you what your budget is. This question isn't rude - it's simply to give them a starting point. As an artist knowing your budget helps me know how simple or how complicated, how big or how small I can get with a piece. The more work, detail and materials involved the higher the costs will most likely be.
Know what you want! Don't be vague. The more detail and information in regards to what you are wanting that you can provide the better but keep in mind that most artists create their best pieces when given a bit of free reign. Trust the process! If you have familiarized yourself with their work then this trust should be easily gained.
Ask about timelines. If you need your piece for a certain date let the artist know and be aware that they may not be able to accommodate it. Custom artwork takes time and artists can have many projects on the go at once. Setting clear expectations from the start will save you disappointment later.
Be prepared to pay a non refundable deposit. Often custom items cannot be resold to someone else and artists put a lot of time and money into the design process, materials and creation of a piece. Most artists will ask for a percentage of the final quote up front to cover these costs should anything run amiss. This quote should also outline the expected timeline and be in some form of writing. Verbal messages via social media can be a recipe for disaster. Having a paper trail will protect both you and the artist.
Don't ask an artist to copy someone else's work! If you have found something you love then ask the actual artist who created it in the first place to make it for you! It is unethical to copy another artists work and also violates copyright. It is ok to offer photos for inspiration but know that most artists will not want to copy someone else.
This brings me to my last point - don't ask an artist to use copyrighted images or brands in their work without permission from the owner. This goes for sports team logos, business logos, cartoon characters and more. It is against the law to use these images without permission and can get an artist who chooses to do so in big trouble! You may find an artist willing to take the risk but personally I have put too much into my business to lose it all over copyright and I will say no if asked.