Commissions: Robertson Fine Art's Guide To 'Personalising' Your Artwork

Commissions: Robertson Fine Art's Guide To 'Personalising' Your Artwork

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your favourite memory of a place, person or special event, transfixed in time so you could treasure it forever? Art is one of the most unique and interesting ways to recreate those personal moments in time, whether it be a portrait of your family, the city you grew up in or your beloved pet - and commissioning your own artwork allows you not only to be part of the final outcome, but also the process of creating it too. You can choose the subject matter, the colours, the style and even the dimensions of the work and be fully engaged with the development and design of your own bespoke image- what an exciting opportunity! If you have been dreaming about commissioning a piece of artwork for a while, but have no idea where to start, then fear not... as you have come to the right place! Keep reading as we guide you through the do's and don'ts and the relevant steps you need to take to get you on your way to transforming those memories into the visual representation you've always wanted.
Commission of Angus Young For Client by Paul Oz


Make A Plan
Ok so first thing first, get yourself prepared - if you are looking for a commission then it's most likely because you have something extra special in mind that you would like an artist to paint for you. Grab a pen and paper and jot down any concepts you have regarding the subject matter, composition or colour scheme that would be suitable for you. If the work is to be of a particular person or place and you already have or can source reference images, then you'll also want to collate these too, as they will be very helpful in assisting the artist with composition and colours. You will also want to have a rough idea in mind of your budget and the desired scale of the piece too - remembering that size may be dependent on what your budget is and vice versa. Another thing you might want to consider the style of your artwork - will it be completed using oil paints or digitally, for instance? What kind of colour scheme would you be most appealing to you, bright and bold or natural and muted? Will it be photo realistic, or more abstracted? This point is only really crucial if you haven't quite settled on an artist yet, as if you have already chosen the creator of your work -  then you will know their styles well enough to consider them for your commission. Of course, it is also important to recognise that this is just the initial planning phase, so things may adapt along the way after conversing with your art advisor and/or artist, but if you begin with the basic criteria then you will have the first stepping stone to your journey into commissioning your first ever piece of artwork.


Do Your Research
If you have chosen the artist you would like to create your new masterpiece then it is important to explore all aspects of their practice -  you want to get a good feel for all possible techniques they may use, the materials they favour and what scales they normally work on. It is also a good idea to understand what subject matters they are best known for as this can be very useful when deliberating what you would like them to paint. Some artists fall into a few different categories, but most of the time they will be especially skilled in one particular theme, whether that be wildlife, landscapes or portraits - so this is something you will want to take into consideration. Lastly, it is vital to research the price points of your chosen artists original artwork in the current market - you don't want to get completely transfixed on a single artist and their work, only to find yourself disappointed when you come to realise that even a small work by them is thousands of pounds out from your proposed budget. 
Commission by Katy Jade Dobson


Don't 'Over Plan' Though....
We completely understand how personal this process can be for you and how you want everything to be just right - especially when this might be something you have dreamed about having for such a long time! It is easy to get carried away researching an artists work or conjuring up images in your mind of exactly how you want it to look right down to the very minute details - but this can often hinder the process rather than help it. Although it is great to direct the artist with an outline of what you would like, we would also say it is necessary to allow them some 'artistic licence' with their work too. As previously mentioned in the first two points, things may adapt along the way, and creative beings such as artists are known to produce their very best work when they are assigned some form of 'brief', but are allowed to put their own personal stamp on it at the same time. It can be scary to put your complete trust into your artist, but remember that they will be skilled in this process and they have single-handedly produced a previous portfolio of works that you have fallen in love with - so chances are they will pay just as much attention to detail with your special work. Another point to be made  is not to presume that anything goes just because it's what you want when it comes to your brief. Your art advisor and even the artist themselves will always use their best judgement in these circumstances, and although we all want to be as accommodating as we can in this kind of situation  - if we or the artist aren't completely convinced that the final outcome will be up to a certain standard then we will be honest and direct with you about this. 
Commission of Prince For Client by JJ Adams


Talk It Through
With the first three points all in mind, the next step in the process would be to arrange a conversation with a Robertson Fine Art staff member to discuss all the areas of your possible commission. Here we can give you advice regarding the ideas you have come up with, and use our expertise on your preferred artist to tighten up your brief so we can present it to them in it's best possible form. This is a great time to ask as many questions as you need to and to pick our brain about any further guidance we may be able to provide. We will act as a sort of 'middle man' for this purchase, and if the artist can allow time in their schedule at that point to complete the work, then we will lay out all of the information for you regarding realistic timescales, costs and any other notes that we feel are relevant so you have a clear vision of how the process will continue. If we feel any changes should be made to your brief then as stated above we will also discuss this with you and once we have agreed on all of the details of the work, we will put it all forward to the artist. Depending on your choice of artist and their practice, we can keep you informed with preliminary sketches and/or updated images of the work in progress. We will strive to make the entire experience as simple and as easy for you as we can and get the achieve the best possible outcome, an artwork that we hope you will treasure forever.
 Commission By Katy Jade Dobson


Most Importantly.. Have Fun
Commissioning your own artwork is not only a highly unique process, but also a very personal one. The most essential part of this extraordinary journey is to enjoy it every step of the way, as you watch your idea transform into a beautiful creation that you can treasure for a lifetime, and even pass it down to the next generation. One of the best parts of our job is when we get the opportunity to unveil the final commissioned artwork to those clients we have been working so closely with for months and seeing their reaction when it all comes to fruition. It really is an experience, not just a purchase - so relax, have fun and if you are considering a commission for yourself then take the first step today and discuss it with us on 0131 285 0695 - we promise you won't regret it.
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