So you want to commission some artwork? Now what?

So you want to commission some artwork? Now what?

Embarking upon a commissioned piece of art for your company should be an exciting adventure, one that brings leaders in your organization together and helps to illuminate shared goals, visions and aspirations. This process can often uncover latent ideas about your company history, culture and future visions. It can also be fraught with subjective opinion, conflicting ideas about process, budget and more.

Utilizing a professional art consultant can help your group to identify the proper artist in addition to establishing a clear budget, process and timeline. The consultant will also help stakeholders to manage expectations, coordinate reviews with the artist as the work is in process and correctly mount, frame and install your new artwork. Finally, your consultant can help you enhance your original concept by engaging with all key stakeholders, including the artist, and facilitating the sharing of ideas, resulting in a more cohesive and successful outcome.

With that being said, there are still some best practices your group should consider before undertaking the commission.

  1. Be clear about the aims of the commission and what you hope to achieve by it. Consult widely with the members of your organization who will be in regular visual contact with the final piece of art, or whose customers will be in regular visual contact with the final piece of art.
  2. Decide what decision makers will be key stakeholders in the process and aim to keep the group small and focused. Art is a difficult thing to decide on by committee. Art and individuals preference on art is a subjective experience. Identify and define the selection process to be used and who will participate in the process. It is essential that all those who will be in a position to say “yes” to the final design are involved from the outse, from the drawing up of the brief through to the final selection. It should be a manageable group, which has the ability to remain involved throughout the whole process.
  3. Honor the revision timeline. Along the way with the process of commissions there is a point where a request for more revisions is too late. So the stakeholders involved have to be available for the designated revision opportunities.

Good communication and a cohesive decision making group can help to make the commission experience, along with a good consultant, smooth and successful, culminating in a work of art to be proud of for the lifespan of your company or organization.

Chris Pero