The first step is to find an artist that already paints the genre that you are interested in. For example, if you want a portrait of your dog, then asking an artist that has never painted animals is not going to work so well. You want to love the painting, so the artist needs to have skills in that area…demonstrable via their portfolio of work. Secondly, their painting style is important. I would say, and may be shot down by other artists, that you can ask a fine artist to paint in a more abstract fashion, but not always the other way around. Realistic fine art is a skill separate from other styles and requires years of dedicated self-practice.
Once you have found an artist, look to see what prices they have been charging for their work. If they are selling pieces for £500 they will probably be offended if you ask for a painting for £50. Artists work hard to get their value high and they do this by growing their popularity and demand. You are paying for an artist to sit for hours to create your piece. Even at minimum wage an 12-hour painting would cost you £98.52 next year (2019).
Once you have style, price and genre sorted. You will most likely need to gather some photographic sources of reference for the artist to work from. They will tell you what they need. Then you are all set. Just make sure you allow plenty of time for a first view, to the final piece.
I get a little frustrated when I mention that I am an artist. People meet you and ask “what do you do” (note that they rarely ask “who are you”, which is a discussion for another day). you reply “I am an artist”. You can literally see the cogs of thought turning in their heads
- You will struggle to make a living
- Artists only get rich when they are dead
- Can you paint my dog/house/baby (and I am not prepared to pay more than £50)
So, lets look at all the artists that have ‘made it’.
First we define what ‘making it’ actually is. So, roughly, I would say that we all need money to survive and the more comfortable we want to be, the more money we need to make. So the required earnings are entirely subjective.
The more important point is how we engage with people we do not know, expose them to our artwork and hope to capture someone that connects with a piece, enough to part with some cash.
Publicity is key. You are selling a brand and therefore you need people to understand your brand, want what it stands for and how it makes them feel to be associated with it. You are selling them a little bit of dream. Artists have to think more like Steve Jobs as an entrepreneur rather than as someone who paints.
- Make sure that your brand is consistent, unique, high quality in its production and offers them something they didn’t know they wanted.
- Always pay full attention to the marketplace an look at the trends in your area. Nothing stands still.
- Be the expert but be humble and always ask for feedback.
I am currently selling original paintings;
I am also selling high quality prints having secured a great supplier https://www.ironbridgeframing.co.uk