J. Wesley Willis | Fine Art
There Are Two Kinds of Commission Work. I do One Of Them.
THE FIRST KIND
A patron hires an artist to execute the patron's artistic vision. Here the patron is hiring a creative hand. This is comparable to hiring a ghost writer to tell your story. The story comes from you, but it's crafted by an artist paid to be your proxy.
No. I don't do this kind.
THE SECOND KIND
A patron provides a subject and hires an artist to execute the artist's vision of that subject.
The patron is asking the artist to interpret a specific subject in their established style and aesthetic philosophy.
Yes. I do this kind of commission.
Painting is more than illustrating a subject. The body of an artist's work usually fits within themes that come to define that artist. You don't just find stylistic commonalities from one Van Gogh painting to another; the collection of his work is a document in itself. Each painting tends to have elements essential to the whole body of work. That's what makes a Van Gogh a Van Gogh or an a Richard Diebenkorn a Richard Diebenkorn.
Commissions of the first kind tend to send artists astray of of their artistic vision. They create exceptions to the rule in their body of work.
I think the reason some patrons ask artists to execute their vision in the artists hand is that they don't fully see the elements that comprise the artist's style. They imagine the artists technical ability is their style, and thus they can apply it to any vision. (But that's not the case. Salvador Dali couldn't paint the same subjects as Frederick Remington and still create an essential Salvador Dali painting. Different vision. Different philosophy. Yet both had great technical mastery and the ability to illustrate anything they wanted.
In other words: The vision is part of the art.
I charge the same per square inch price for commissions as other paintings (see pricing) plus $75-$200 to acquire whatever source materials I'll need.
Contact Me About Your Commission.