So They Hired You to Make Art

Even artists need to look out for themselves against bad projects


In the past, art was truly just an outlet for the passions. It was something that people did because they were good at it, and because they could afford to do it. In the past, it was unthinkable to make artistic work one’s livelihood, because the real world and art just didn’t really match.

However, today, you get a totally different picture. You now have people who can very well live to paint, but on the other side of the spectrum you also have people who paint to live. Surprisingly, people now consider it legitimate and acceptable that artists get paid to do some artwork. Check any tech blog, and this will be validated. While getting paid to do art is good, it’s still more important to see the two sides of the coin: is being commissioned to make art really as good as they say it is?


Disadvantages (which you can avoid) of Getting Hired to Make Art


Why do projects fail for most artists? The biggest reason that commission projects fall through is because the artist doesn’t do their due diligence before they enter into the relationship. You’ve simply GOT to research the person or company who is hiring you. You need to know that they have a good history with business relationships (which is what this is) and that other artists haven’t had negative experiences working with them in the past.

Here’s another reason for failure in the commissions: underestimation. Many artists who begin to work on commissions find they underestimate the time and effort required, meaning they under-quote their price, and end up spending months working on the project without any money coming in. Always ask for 50% upfront, and carefully work out how many hours you’ll need to finish a project, adding a 10% contingency to cover problems and delays.

Thus, as an artist, you need to realize that it’s not really just about getting the best products (at a discount, of course, from online shops like Lazada and Zalora). It’s also equally important to learn the business of art, and to think as people in the business sector do.


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