How To Find An Artist To Commission

Have you ever needed artwork that no one has ever made? Something that’s in your imagination, but you don’t have the skills to do justice to it by putting it on canvas. Or there's a piece of art that is close to your heart but is sold out? In this case, you can commission an artist to make customized art for you. Many artists do commissioned work.

Commissioning art requires you to send a request to the artist with some specific details on what type of artwork you need. You can then work out and negotiate a deal with that artist, who will make artwork that you will own. There are many sources available where you can find artists to commission.

Finding an artist for commission

What Is an Art Commission?

An art commission is a request for a certain type of artwork. You reach out to an artist who will make artwork for you. Whether it be your holiday family portrait or a picture of your late beloved dog that you want to place in your living room, you can make a customized request to an artist who is willing to do commissioned work.

Custom Art Commission

Custom-commissioned artwork is completely based on what the client wants. There are some steps for getting commissioned custom art:

Step 1: Visualization: 

The first step when beginning to look for an artist is to visualize what you want. The main point behind the visualization is the purpose of art. Do you want to get something done as artwork in the memory of someone? Or is it for a personal or professional space


You must visualize what type of art genre you are looking for. What colors, themes, and ideas behind the art do you want? Whether it’s a storming horse or a boy painted in black and white, you should make notes of all the elements you want in the final design. 

The best way to get an idea about your art is to visit art auctions and browse online for similar paintings or pieces of art to help inspire you in your decision-making process. 

Step 2: Finding The Artist

Depending on the visualization, you should look for the best possible artist to do the job. This is done through online or physical research or by asking your friends and family for recommendations.

Step 3: Setting Up A Contract

Once you find an appropriate artist, the next step is to set up the paperwork. While this isn’t necessary, it helps save you in case there’s an issue down the line. You can put terms and conditions inside the contract that both parties have agreed on. If you want some changes when the art is delivered, that should also be part of the contract. Apart from other conditions, the following details are basic to include in the contract. 

  • Full legal name, phone number, and address of both parties.
  • Description of artwork
  • Clearly define the timeline of the project.
  • Include the method of payment.
  • Delivery and shipping dates.
  • A number of revisions to the art. 

Setting Up A Contract

Step 4: Payment And Review

Review the art for any changes. It is the point where there could be disagreements. So, you need to keep the terms of the contract in mind when asking for a review. 

Payment terms and conditions are decided during the contract and are very dependent on the artist you choose to hire. Some in-demand and popular artists require full payment up front (if they decide to take your commission in the first place). Less-known artists may require only a partial deposit,  typically equal to 50% of the final cost.

Art Commission Sources

Not all artists accept commission art, so you should find the ones who are open to this work. However, there are places where you can go to get commissioned art. Some of these are:

  • Art Galleries And Studios

A simple Google search will give you a long list of in-person art galleries and studios where you can discuss art commissioning not only with the gallery administration but also with the artists directly. A great example of this is Miguel Camarena from Arizona, who offers customized commissioned art of all types and genres. You can contact him here. Miguel Camarena has over four decades of experience working with clients. Here are some of his artwork. 

Art Galleries And Studios

Miguel not only works in Arizona but also accepts artwork commissions from other cities and countries, but for orders outside the United States, you need to contact him first. If you are in Arizona, it is best to visit the art gallery in Cave Creek.

Art Gallery Inside View

A visit to the gallery is the best way to find an artist, as it not only provides you with an in-person interaction with the artist to deliver your idea in a more personalized way, but you can also check the quality of the artwork by looking at the portfolio in person. 

Miguel Camarena with his clients

Considering the high cost of the original artwork, you must be comfortable with the artist. Meeting in person with them not only enhances the trust level but also allows you to judge their dedication, honesty, and passion for art. 

  • Online Art Stores And Websites

Similar to in-person art galleries, you can increase your scope by searching online for artists present throughout the globe. This way, you're not limited to artists or galleries in your nearby area but can target the best in the world.

The process for such art commissioning would consist of online meetings where you would discuss your ideas, and the artists would give you a timeline and a price tag. Afterward, if you accept their design and make the payment, they will ship the artwork to you.

  • Professional Artists

A lot of solo artists who are not linked up with art galleries can also get the job done. If you go this route, an advantage is that you will be charged less because the gallery fee would not exist in such a case. 

However, this way, you would have to make sure of the competence and credibility of the artist yourself, and if anything goes wrong, you would not have the comfort of a neutral art gallery by your side. You can, however, sign a contract with that artist on a personal level with all the clauses you want.

Here are some ways to find solo artists.

  • Communities: A community like Reddit is the best platform to find solo artists. There are many active subreddits for commission artwork where artists share their work daily. The only limitation is to build trust. You never know if the artist is genuine or if a vendor is passing orders. 
  • Social Media: Here, you can find both emerging solo and professional artists. There are platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook where millions of artists share their work regularly. You need to land in their inbox to ask if they can commission you a work. Indeed, it is a hectic process to DM hundreds of artists and then wait for their responses, along with the limitations of trust issues. Also, some artists show their non-serious behavior after the work is assigned.
  •  Etsy: Etsy makes your decision to choose the artist convenient, as there you can see all the professional portfolios along with prices. You can compare the rates and read reviews. Nevertheless, reaching out to each artist individually to inquire about commission availability can be an additional task.

Art Commission Prices

A general rule of thumb is to price by the hour or per square inch. The artists who charge by the hour can ask for a price up to $55–$200 per hour, whereas the ones who price by canvas area could charge $0.50–$4.00 per square inch. These rates are the benchmark for artists who do commissioned work on a regular basis. 

Art Commission Prices

However, if you’re impressed by the work of an artist and want a customized artwork made by them, they can charge you depending on their skill, experience, and reputation. For instance, a full-blown professional artist can charge you as much as $20,000 plus for a commissioned artwork. 

Is The Art Commissioning Location bound?

It is not necessary; many artists work worldwide. You can do so as long as the artist is okay with freelance work and you are okay with the shipping cost. Here at the Miguel Camarena Art Gallery, we ship most paintings rolled and in a heavy-duty tube, so the shipping cost is much lower as opposed to stretched and mounted artwork. Also, it is a much safer method of transporting artwork.  So, no matter if you are in Europe or Canada, we take orders from all over the world. 


Commissioned artwork is a great source to get customized artwork for someone who’s not an expert artist. They can then use that artwork for their decoration or as part of their collection. Because they own that artwork, they can even sell it and ask for whatever price they want. Hence, it could also be a way to make a profit and do business using their commissioned artwork.


What are some freelance websites where you can get artists for commissioned artwork?

The most renowned freelance websites, like Fiverr, Upwork, and Etsy, are great sources for getting commissioned artwork. The top artists all around the world usually have a good presence on these websites.

How do you make your commissioned artwork contract?

The most important things for an artwork contract are payment terms and the deadline for submission. Moreover, you can also put in things such as the number of reviews to be done by the artist. If the price range, number of orders, and criticality are high, you can get the services of a professional contract maker.

What are some examples of commissioned artwork?

Throughout history, rulers have been famous for getting commissioned artwork. Among these, the most famous ones are Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Michelangelo's Tomb of Lorenzo de Medici.

Share Tweet Pin it
Back to blog