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Have you've searched all your favorite retailers and cannot find that "perfect" peice ofartwork? Maybe you want to have a painting as memorial for a beloved pet or maybe a wall mural for you home or business. What to do? Believe or not, having an artist create acommissionedmasterpiece to your specifications is more common than you think (and not too difficult either.)

We're going to give you a few things to ponder when beginning the "planning stage" of your unique vision. These tips will help collectors understand materials, pricing and more importantly how to communicate what you're really hoping for from your designated artist.


So apaintingis apainting, right? Wrong! Just like a good pair of shoes, you can either pay for something that looks nice but cheap or you can pay for quality that will last. When prepping for that talk with your artist, think about the different types of canvas. There is regular grade canvas and "archival" canvas. This means your piece will begin with the best material and is built to last. Also, let's talk about regular canvas wrap versus gallery wrapped. Gallery wrapped means that your canvas is a deeper width which in turn makes your canvas protrude from the wall once hung. This option is preferred with abstract work that is more modern in nature or if your decor is more modern and you'd like to bypass framing your piece. It lends itself to not framing. Plus, it really looks more professional when the image on your canvas wraps around the edges as well.

What type of medium would you like your artist to use? Oils look beautiful and rich, watercolor lends itself to a more relaxed look and acrylics are versatile and can do both. Think about metallic paints, gold accents, textured surfaces, mixed materials and more. Think outside the box and make sure to look at colors in your room along with the home accents to compliment the artwork. It wouldn't make sense to have the wrong artwork as your focal point in the room.


This artwork may or may not be the focal but you're still aiming for something specific in mind or else you probably would have found a generic "print" at your local retailer by now. What are you trying to capture in the art? A mood, a memory, an actual location or maybe just a particularly trendy style? As you can see above in our examples, our various clients have looked for various solutions. For example, the female horse rider was a commemorative piece from one family member to another. Or, the tall abstract blue linear piece was more of an accent piece that contained colors that were requested to compliment the rooms decor. When speaking to the artist, feel free to have a few meetings before they even pick up the brush. The artist should feel they have a concrete idea of what you're expecting so that they can begin with sketches and color samples. Never assume theartist can read your mind with just one email. The artist is aiming for a satisfied customer who may refer them to friends and family and thus will work hard to communicate their vision before beginning. Some artists work differently but may give loose sketches to give you a "plan" of their idea. At this stage, it's ok to come back with feedback. It is not ok after a few emails showing their progress to come back and change your idea completely. Artists are professionals and must be compensated for their time accordingly.

Size / Placement

What size are you looking for? Is this the main piece in a large room? If so, size matters! Do not make the mistake of placing a small piece on an accent wall. The wall will dwarf the artwork. Also, the artist may give you suggestions on sizing and may even order a customized-sized canvas especially made for your unique space. Take your tape measure out and get a few measurements of the space. Take photos of the space so that the artist can reference this for sizing and lighting. Yes, light is a big factor in the staging of the artwork. We never want to see a painting in direct sunlight. Although most paints are archival in quality, even with the best pigments, they will fade with direct sunlight. You've paid for this special artwork, be mindful of where the light will hit it. Is it in an interior room? Maybe there isn't any light in the hallway? If that's the case, we've seen people place a special light affixed to the frame to give it a museum-quality spotlight. Please be mindful of the type installed and attached to the frame. Not all lights are created equal. Avoid heat-radiating lights which may damage the artwork.

We hope these bits of info will help with your personal orginal art. Each situation is different and these tips are loosely based on some of the basics. Happy "Arting"!!!