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YES, I absolutely do take COMMISSIONS!

HOW IT WORKS
1/4
THE COMMISSIONS PROCESS IN 5 BASIC STEPS
next slide: types of art
 - condensed

1

2

3

4

5

TALK

AGREE

CREATE

COMPLETE

SEND

For most projects,

simply reach out!

I'll respond to discuss details & provide a quote

Once we've agreed on project parameters,

I typically take a deposit before getting started.

Depending on the project, I may use your  reference photos or source some myself.

I update you on the finished work & bill for any remaining balance or shipping costs.

After payment is received, I send the finished project by mail or digital download.

 SPECIFIC TO MINI PET PORTRAITS:

Direct-ordered in my shop

One-payment purchase

Your photos, uploaded

Notice & tracking number

Expedited or Xpresspost

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 -   e x p a n d e d
HOW IT WORKS
WHAT TYPES
OF COMMISSIONS
DO YOU DO?

1) Which artistic styles, mediums and subject matter do you work with?

2) How does one go about commissioning you?

What is that process like?

1) Which artistic styles, mediums and subject matter do you work with?

I get this question a lot. Experience has taught me this one is actually two questions in a trench coat. What people are really asking comes down to two main ideas, namely:

The short answers are:  "Many" and "It's easier than you think!" respectively, but let's answer each of these questions in greater depth, starting with the first:

FINE ART, CRAFT, ILLUSTRATION & DESIGN.

I offer commissioned work in a variety of 2D and 3D artforms, such as painting with oil, acrylic, and ink; greyscale, monochrome or full colour drawing, in wet and dry media; illustrative design including digital drawings and vector graphics, surface design (infinitely repeating patterns on fabric/wallpaper) as well as leather carving, burning and painting, murals and more...

My past custom projects include portraiture of people, pets, homes and structures, landscapes, abstracts and even design guides for other artistic projects. I've been commissioned to create scenes and imagery that range from imaginative dreamscapes to objective realism and everything in between. I've made kinetic sculptures as Christmas ornaments, interactive paintings as mural-games on the concrete of a public square, and glazed ceramics with unique illustrations to make one-of-a-kind gifts. In addition to developing new surface pattern (fabric/wallpaper) designs, I've also customized my existing surface patterns to better fit a client's interior design project.

  • Painting

  • Drawing

  • Illustration

  • Murals (indoor / outdoor)

  • Fabric / wallpaper design

  • Digital illustration

  • Vector graphics

  • Transparent backgrounds

  • Designs or concepts for use by other artists & makers (eg tattoos, embroidery, cross-stitch, collaborations)

Looking for more details & examples of the types of work I do? Fans of point form can click on the different category tabs in the table above and expand the overview gallery.

 

Also, check out past custom projects, explore my wider porttfolio, or just keep on scrolling!

HOW DO I
COMMISSION AN
ARTWORK?

At the top of this section, I mentioned two meanings to the question "What types of commissions do you do?" Above, I talked in more detail about the artforms, styles, etc,  that I work in. But what about the second meaning?

2) How does one go about commissioning you?

What is that process like?

THE COMMISSION PROCESS

ALL COMMISSIONS START BY REACHING OUT or PLACING AN ORDER.

After receiving an order for a standardized "Direct" commission (currently miniature pet portraits only), I create and ship the work according to your order details. Instead of an initial consultation, the 'talk' and 'agree' steps are covered by my item descriptions and policies as well as your purchase choices. For all other commission inquiries, I respond to discuss details and provide a quote. Once we've agreed on the project parameters, I typically take a deposit before getting started. When the work is complete, you'll get an update with photo(s) of the art, along with a bill for any remaining balance and shipping costs. After it's paid off, I send your finished project by mail/courier (or digital transfer in certain cases). ​ Together, client and artist can bring a commission from idea to completion in 5 basic steps.

Together, client and artist can bring a commission from idea to completion in 5 basic steps.

1

2

3

4

5

TALK

AGREE

CREATE

COMPLETE

SEND

For most projects,

simply reach out!

I'll respond to discuss details & provide a quote

Once we've agreed on project parameters,

I typically take a deposit before getting started.

Depending on the project, I may use your  reference photos or source some myself.

I update you on the finished work & bill for any remaining balance or shipping costs.

After payment is received, I send the finished project by mail or digital download.

 SPECIFIC TO MINI PET PORTRAITS:

Direct-ordered in my shop

One-payment purchase

Your photos, uploaded

Notice & tracking number

Expedited or Xpresspost

how-to-commission-art
20190304_114147_edited_edited_edited.jpg
WHAT KINDS OF
COMMISSION PROJECTS
HAVE YOU DONE?

PAST PROJECTS

Flip through this gallery for examples of custom projects covering a variety of 2D & 3D art forms. The ccompanying quotes have been paraphrased to summarize the client's ideas, preferences, and project parameters.

4 COMMON "TYPES" OF COMMISSION

Some commissions are really straightforward - you know what size/style/medium you want, you give me a photo and I make some art from it. ​ Many are a little more creative - a scene you imagine, or a certain style of design, something that I can help you figure out or draft a concept for. In these cases, I still have the client send me images to use either as direct reference or as style reference / inspiration. These projects can range from fairly simple, to quite complex, but initial consultation is free, during which I can help give you a better idea of what the steps of your particular project might be. ​ Even if you commission me to create an original according to my own whims, interests, and style (ie, my personal studio practice), we will still chat about what what you have in mind regarding size, style, medium, timeline, budget, and any other considerations. ​ One exception where a starting conversation is not necessary is direct orders placed through my shop. The pre-set parameters of my [Mini Pet Portraits] allow me to offer this quick and easy order option, because most of those questions are answered ahead of time (ie graphite on square paper, pet on white background, 1 week+shipping, 4 size options priced accordingly, etc). The product descriptions, images, and shop policies essentially replace the consultation phase. The purchase forms the agreement, then reference images of the pet(s) can be [uploaded directly] through my site. A receipt is emailed immediately upon payment, and I send confirmations when your images are received as well when the finished product ships. ​ What I've described above are four basic variations on 'what the process is like'. I call them the ["Core Four"], recapped below. On this page you will also find ["How it works - in 5 steps"], describing what happens in each of these phases: 'talk, agree, create, complete, and send', as well as ["How it works - FAQ-style".]

My custom projects tend to fall into one of four groups. Each describes a slightly different balance of input between client and artist. I call these:

THE CORE
FOUR

Direct

No consultation required - standardized pet portraits can be ordered online. Just pick a size & upload photos.

Mini Pets 1 - A Hand Hug for Sun Cat_edi


simply sweet

Straightforward

Basic re-creation of a photographic image in whatever style, medium, and size suits the project.

27_edited.jpg


artwork from a photo

Creative

For custom art and design that be a little more involved, creative, or specific in nature.

3326_WILDE_1_edited.jpg


your idea, my creation

Original

If you appreciate the non-commissioned art I make in my studio practice, but want it new & made for you.

house landscape 2 glare burned out slightly_edited_edited_edited.jpg


my idea, just for you

FAQ-STYLE
WHAT TO EXPECT

They don't teach 'how to commission an artist' in school.

This is  why I like to offer a few key details up front that help give an idea of what to expect.

 

Note: A lot of this is repeated/restated information from above, but I appreciate that some people might prefer to run their eyes over clean and simple text, without any distracting visuals - even those of us who also like visual distraction!

 

Please don't feel shy to ask for clarification, help or accommodation at any point!

FAQ-typesofcommissions

I do a lot of different artforms, but I don’t do all of them. That would be ridiculous (and awesome). As far as the limitations, possibilities, and process goes, the most concise answer I can give is this:

 

You can commission me to create almost anything that is both doable for me and affordable for you. 
 

What is doable for me can vary based not only on my (ever-growing) skill set, but also on external factors such as time or budget constraints, access to certain materials, etc. It also has limits based on personal factors such as basic human decency (no racism, homophobia, etc.), and whether I feel my skill set is appropriate to your request. For example, I don’t do animation, metalsmithing or graphic design/layout, so I would decline those projects, though I could potentially provide illustration/concept support. In some cases, I will offer to redirect your inquiry to other artists if I know someone who might be a better fit.

 

Honesty and pragmatism are important to me, but I am also ambitious, and I love how often I get to say “Yes, I can do that!”

To get a better idea of what I have worked with in terms of artforms, subject matter, styles and so on, please see What Types of Commissions Do You Do? which includes a point-form summary, as well as a Fine Art, Craft, Design & Illustration gallery that gives a more visually stimulating overview. View Past Projects to see many real life examples of custom commissions I’ve made for clients. Not everything I create is a commission; explore more work in my portfolio and on my Instagram.

Please know that if you don’t see an example of something in particular, this doesn’t mean your idea is off the table. I simply don’t always have the best pictures of everything I’ve done (or can do), and I’m always trying new things, so please don't be shy to ask! 

To learn more about the commissions process, see How it Works, where I show how every commission shares the same underlying 5 simple steps, and explain the four most common ways in which people hire me for my art skills.

What types of commissions do you do?

FAQ-expectations

Most commissions follow the same 5 basic steps, as outlined in How it Works.

Basically, first we talk about what you want, then agree on the scope of the project and payment structure - which usually starts with a deposit. From there, I create the work, sending you an update and final invoice when it's done. Once you've completed payment, I send over the work!

 

Of course, things can get a little more structured depending on the scope of the project, but these five are the backbone of it all.

You can also expect kindness in addition to professionalism, guidance, and communication. This includes politely declining if I don't think a project is right for me.

faq-DESCRIB


What if I don't know how to describe my idea?

Part of my job is to help you with that!   (see also: why is consultation necessary?)

Art can be intimidating. Do think about what you want, but don't worry about using the exact right terminology right off the bat, and know that it's okay to ramble or seem unsure when first getting your thoughts out.

 

In our free consultation discussion I will listen and ask questions, aiming to get a sense of what you like, and what is important to you about the project. I invite you to reference art you've seen before, share images with me, etc., and I can do the same, which helps us get on the same page.

The key points that come out of our consultation will be outlined in your quote, including medium, size, subject, timeline, cost and any other important considerations we discussed. Though I obviously can't show you a completed custom artwork before it exists, we can still align our expectations so we both have the same project parameters in writing. 

While I am open and flexible with this guidance, I also strive for efficiency. It's in both our best interest to get one or several quote options ready for you to consider within a reasonably short period of time.

If, after our initial conversation, producing a quote would seem to require substantially more back-and-forth than another phone call or two and/or a handful of digital communications, then I can offer a quote for a project proposal consultation.  I will never surprise you by back-charging consultation fees (Yikes! No way). No, in the event that things are running longer than I can afford to accommodate unpaid, I will let you know, and will require your agreement in writing to continue with a fee-based consultation process. 

FAQ-consultation

You may know exactly what you want. That's great, but it's also fine if you don't! Often, people come to me with only a vague idea in mind, but are looking for guidance and clarity on their options. Whether or not you can picture your project perfectly before you reach out to me isn't all that important - what's important is that we align our expectations before I begin work on your piece. 

 

As humans, sometimes we think we want a particular thing, but it turns out to be only one or a few aspects of a project that we are dead-set on, and the rest may be more flexible than we imagined. Naturally, we use whatever language we have to describe something, but it can be frustrating or intimidating to try describe it perfectly in one go. Anyone who has tried describing to a mechanic exactly what's wrong with their car knows that when you're not an expert, it can be hard to find the right words! Rest assured that any words (or pictures) you have are the right ones to start us off with.  Consultation not only helps make sure we're talking about the same thing, sharing whatever descriptions and examples work for us, but also narrows down the things you care about most, while opening options that can help make the project a success.

When we do just a little bit of work together up front,  we prevent misunderstandings. As a made-up example, a client might ask for a 'rich pastel piece' and up with a pastel-on-paper work in rich jewel tones, when, unbeknownst to us both, what they were actually picturing was a buttery oil painting in a 'pastel' colour palette. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for a 'pastel piece'. Don't worry about being perfect, or knowing enough about art. My job is to clarify, and put it in writing (usually just a few sentences/point form). Your only job is to talk to me just enough so I can do that.

The only time consultation is not necessary when I have set up pre-determined parameters for a type of project I do a lot, such that I can list it in my shop for a set price (Mini Pet Portraits). In this case, the item descriptions, options, details and shop policies essentially replace the consultation. The price and timeline are already set. You choose from a very limited set of options regarding size and shipping and pay up front.


Why is consultation necessary?

FAQ-payments

We usually start with a free and friendly conversation about the project so that I can provide a quote.

Mini Pet Portraits are the only custom art commissions that can be ordered directly from my shop without any initial consultation. Customization options are streamlined under set prices, making them available for purchase in one easy online payment up front.

For all other commissions, there are typically two payments - a 50% deposit at the beginning, then the remainder and any shipping costs at the end.

That said, I offer different payment structure options to suit the situation, as part of the project agreement. Examples might include: equal monthly payments, a smaller deposit for a design proposal phase, or full payment up front for convenience and expedited completion.

Accepted payment methods include credit card, e-transfer, and PayPal. When I send an invoice, it typically has a payment link included, but if you ever want clarification, or there's a method you're more comfortable with, just ask and I will gladly try to accommodate where possible!

FAQ-charge

How do you charge for your work?

Ah, the dreaded ‘it depends’. The truth is though, it simply makes sense to offer custom pricing for most custom work. Size, complexity, medium, and timeline all factor in.

 

However, it may help to know that:
 

  • I’ve done small or simple projects for just tens of dollars, and larger, more complex ones for thousands. 

  • Most fall somewhere between $50 and $1500, with some in the range of $2500 - $7500. 

  • Initial consultation and quoting is always free.

  • I won’t start your project until we’ve agreed on the price and expectations.

  • For standardized commissions, prices are posted on the [order form].
    Mini Pet Portraits, for example, range from $45 to $235 depending on size.

  • Packing and shipping is charged separately, but discussed up front.  

Read on to learn more about how size, medium, timeline and complexity can affect the price:

SIZE

For a more traditional painting or drawing, smaller is cheaper and larger is more expensive - but only up to a certain point. While my pricing formula does incorporate a relative calculation between size and price, both ends of the scale are adjusted to keep everything reasonable and in line with the amount of work and cost involved on my end. The adjustment means that a 6x4 foot painting doesn’t cost a million dollars and a 4 inch square isn’t fifty cents.

MEDIUM

The medium can matter. Materials have a purchase cost, plain and simple, and the difficulty of working with certain materials can also factor in. I am game for almost any project I feel is within my capability. Some projects that veer into sculpture, installation, fine craft, public art and multimedia formats may be tricky to transport, or coordinate time for, or require specialised materials and tools. On the other hand, they could be cheaper than you ever imagined! So don’t be shy to ask.

TIMELINE

This one is pretty simple: rush jobs cost more. That said, neither of us benefit from overly prolonged back and forth. The goal is to agree on a timeline that’s both feasible for me and affordable for you, and stick to that.

COMPLEXITY

This can be a little tricky to define, but I can try to explain by way of example: Take Mini Pet Portraits. These are on the low end of complexity, in terms of straightforwardness - since they’re standardized, monochromatic drawings in graphite pencil on paper, I’m not fussing with colour balance or wet layers of paint. They are made using a primary reference photo, without custom adjustment, adding or changing backgrounds, etc. I can compose them how I need to on the page, centred in white space. However, they are higher in complexity when it comes to detail, as compared to my simplified line drawings of animals used as embroidery guides, for instance. With Mini Pet Portraits, I use tiny pencils sharpened on a nail file to capture fur texture, highlights on eyes, whiskers, tabby patterns etc. High realism is one type of higher complexity, and smaller is not always simpler, although the more square inches I cover in detailed rendering, the longer it takes me. There can be invisible complexity that hides in important stages of composition and design planning, even in artworks that look very minimalist when completed. And then there’s the complexity of the execution itself; some images just have a LOT of little changes of light and colour all right next to each other, across the whole surface of the artwork, and it can take a lot of time to apply a sheer high number of brushstrokes, so to speak, if nothing else.

Here’s the thing about complexity: I don’t expect you to know or even guess the complexity of a project before you ask about it. And actually, there’s no need to know, outside of your own curiosity and desire to understand how the art is made and why it costs what it does. I keep my quotes simple and straightforward, going into deeper detail if asked.

Once I hear your first thoughts, I can offer either one quote, or a couple different options, since almost every project could be done within some range of simpler to more complex.  


You and I will work together in our free consultation - I will guide and listen - to discover what you have in mind. The goal is to come to a common understanding on which possibilities best match your parameters of time, budget, and artistic vision.

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CONTACT ME

ABOUT YOUR CUSTOM ART IDEA OR QUESTION

request a quote, or start a conversation

Thanks for reaching out!