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How much to charge clients for art commissions, Latest Sale guidelines

Fine artists who wish to embark on the long journey of developing a portfolio of art commissions may find that their greatest challenge is determining how much to charge their clients. Art commissions may be carried out for private clients or commercial clients, with commercial clients often demanding specific needs are met that will generate a higher specification for art commissions that are developed.

Charging private clients for fine art commissions

Requirements for art commissions on behalf of private clients differ greatly from those of commercial clients. Fine artists are more likely to be able to develop art commissions for private clients that can be carried out far more quickly for many reasons. These reasons include the fact that fine artists will not have to adhere to strict brand guidelines nor take into consideration a company’s corporate ethos.

A private client’s dècor, personality and home environment will be paramount in developing the project and a specified art movement will also be important, whether this be a portrait painting, landscape painting, a piece of abstract art or a piece of urban art if so desired. Due to the more simplistic nature of developing art commissions for private clients, it is far easier to address fees as an overall project. A set project fee may be agreed for specific work to be carried out over a set timeframe of between one to three months. Any assigned hourly rates for projects can be more easily incorporated into an overall estimated project fee which is not necessarily the case for commercial clients.

Charging commercial clients for fine art commissions

Working with commercial clients to develop art commissions requires a clearly defined approach to timescales and expectations. Fine artists should always prepare a written brief that the client should sign with milestones clearly defined. With written agreements any change to the brief later on in the project can be identified and charged as additional factors that were not highlighted as being within the original scope of the project.

One point to note is that commercial clients may be given a project estimate however such projects or set fee estimates should include costs for art materials as well as the fine artist’s expected duration of the project. Fine artists must be realistic and fair so that they can best determine an hourly rate that is representative of their specialism, experience and artistic prowess. The Latest Sale team suggests hourly rates for fine artists should be not less than USD 30.00 per hour depending on the experience of the artist. For small scale and less complex projects of less than three weeks, fine artists may charge a nominal fee of around USD 20.00 per hour. Typically, art commissions with commercial clients can last on average six to twelve months, therefore correct budgeting for work and materials over such a long period of time is paramount.