My personal philosophy on commission work

Written by Ron Saikowski, January 4, 2018

While I don't do many commission pieces anymore, I do get a request every now and then and if my schedule allows, I consider taking it on. It's usually someone that has seen my work somewhere online and then contacts me with the job. Most of the work I do these days is pro bono to help out other hobbyists with their projects.

But if I were to go looking for an artist to do something for me, whether it be a card alter for my Old School deck or a particular Space Marine Terminator for Space Hulk... there are 3 things I would look for:

1. Communication
2. Quality
3. Price

First is communication.
This is an absolute must. If they don't answer my emails or they're not clear with what's going on or taking the time to explain everything until I'm satisifed, I'm going to reconsider. If an artist is open and honest about doing stuff for you, they should be happy to answer all of your questions without any hesitation.

I did this with my "clients." There were usually a ton of emails before the project even started making sure I knew exactly what they wanted. They're paying for it and they should be the one in charge. Another thing was progress. In the longer projects, I made sure to send WIP photos so they could see the progress and even make corrections if applicable as their project progressed along.

Second is quality.
There are all kinds of levels of work out there. Some are top tier professional level, some a little less. You should have a real good idea of what your finished project will look like before it's even started.

Don't be afraid to ask questions about how something will be done either. Remember, you're the one in charge. If you're looking for a particular look, color scheme or whatever... don't be afraid to speak up.

Third is price.
You're not likely going to professional quality for basement prices, but you should get what you're paying for. Everyone has a budget, shop around and get the most for your money. It goes without saying that the more work involved or the greater the challenge in completing your commission, the more you're likely going to have to pay.

Whatever amount you decide to spend, make sure price is something you discuss up front and you know exactly what you're paying for.

Getting something done on commission might be the only way you get that certain conversion or one-of-a-kind card alter you want. Just make sure that you're getting a good deal too.

Here are the two previous articles I did on commissions
Part 1: How to find a good artist
Part 2: How to find a good client (and be one too!)

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IMAGE: Michelangelo's The Libyan Sibyl from the Sistine Chapel.
KEYWORDS: Old School Magic, artwork, artist, commission