Commissioning Artworks

first things to consider

  • What size would you like the finished artwork to be?

  • Is it an icon, painting or sculpture...etc.

  • Where is it to be installed.

  • What is your budget? 

  • What is your deadline?

contact the artist

The artist will need to know what you have decided concerning the points listed above. This information will help to estimate the cost of producing the artwork.
Discussing your ideas with the artist will help you to understand each others perspectives and what is possible within the constraints of the project. If work is to be carried out on site, the artist will need to have access to the building.


Artworks require careful planning, so early notice of enquiry is strongly advised and appreciated. The size and complexity of the painting for example, will affect the time needed to design, plan and create it. 


working agreement or contract

Once the artist and client have decided to work together on a project, the artist will  draw up a contract or works agreement. With this signed by both parties, works can begin once an initial deposit is paid, (usually 25% )

The deposit will go toward materials and research to develop the client’s idea. The artist will then present him/her with two working drawings or sketches. Once the final sketch is agreed upon, the artist can commence production of the artwork.

stages of production

Stages given below are generally the same for all types of artworks. 

First stage: The artist develops the design in collaboration with the client.

Interim stage: The client may view the works and minor adjustments can be made. Further changes are not possible due to the physical properties of the clay. Due to materials and processes involved, an Icon cannot be altered at this stage.

Please Note: Major changes to sculpture or painting works at this stage would require a new brief and a new works agreement/contract. Should the client decide to withdraw from the project at any time; payment will be due for works undertaken to that date.

Final stage: Work is completed.  Delivery is arranged.


Payments are made in three instalments;

       25% Deposit / First stage - Research, design, materials. (Non-refundable)

       50% Interim stage - Art Work is at a mid-term stage.

       25% Completion - Work is completed to required finish.

While the information above is not extensive, it should help as an introductory guide for clients wishing to commission an artwork.

(c) J.Lewis B.Des.Hons