6 Fun & Interesting Art Projects You Can Do on Commission

Published Feb. 19th 2013


Taking projects on commission is a great way to earn money and increase your skills as an artist. You will often find yourself working on all kinds of different and unique projects, and will also have the opportunity to learn how to work creatively within client briefs.

Commissions come in such a variety of projects that you’ll never be bored—here are just a few of the different types of commissions that artists take from their clients:

1. Mural design and painting

Murals are bold, beautiful works of art created on a mega scale. Murals appear both in public spaces as a way of giving a neighborhood personality, and in homes as a unique and striking decorative feature.

A client might commission you to create a mural for a children’s bedroom, or to paint something striking on the side of their office building. Murals are a great way for an artist to get the word out about their work in their own community.

2. Clothing designs and illustrations

Clothing designers are always looking for unique designs for printing on t-shirts, bags and other objects. If you’re an artist or illustrator who creates interesting designs using bold colors and a graphical style, your art might work especially well within the constraints of t-shirt design.

Whether creating art for high fashion or a local children’s clothing designer, creating work for wearable items is a really interesting challenge for an artist.

3. Artwork for hotels

Hotels are an ideal client for artists as they often commission several pieces of art at the same time. A hotel wants their décor to look uniform, so they will commission a piece of artwork for every bedroom, plus the lobby, plus they might even ask for a stock of prints to sell to guests. I’d like to be the artist who gets that commission!

4. Tattoo art and designs

Tattoo commissions are becoming more and more common, especially for artists with a bold, graphic style. Imagine your artwork permanently adorning someone’s body!

The key to a successful tattoo commission is to keep your design and colors simple—if the tattoo artist is struggling to draw it, your beautiful image will come out looking awful. Instead, focus on a bold design with a simple focal point. That’s much more effective!

5. Functional art

While art can be beautiful, it can also be functional, or part of larger decorative elements. Maybe you’re an artist who works in metal, ceramics, wool or other materials. A commission for you might include designing a unique tap fitting for a bathroom at a restaurant, or creating an art installation in the middle of your local park.

6. Magazine and book covers

Although many magazines use photography for their covers (faces are good at capturing attention), many publications use artwork or illustrations to create eye-catching covers. Talk to your local publishing houses about the possibility of commissions for cover artwork.

Commissions are a great way for an artist to earn a living, as long as you are prepared to work within a brief and to keep the client involved at every stage to ensure they are happy with the result. It’s very different from creating work for yourself, but it can be extremely satisfying and fun, too!

Did you like this article? Share it!
Then check out the related posts below.
Let's say one of your long-time clients has just asked about an unusual commission: he wants to have one of your drawings inked on his skin. What do you do? Tattoo commissions aren't the most common type of art commission, but they do occur. It's an honor as an artist to know someone will be w. . . read more
As an artist, getting a request for a commission and working out the details with that potential client is one of life's biggest thrills. It's a justification that your work is worth something, and that you're skilled enough and professional enough to take on your own clients. But sometimes a . . . read more
Taking art commissions from collectors can be an excellent way for an artist to forge a full-time career. If someone enjoys your work, they might ask you to create a custom piece for them for their home, office, or as a gift. . . and working with the client to realize their idea can also be ex. . . read more
Sometimes, even creative people can suffer from a lack of ideas. This happens often as an artist is building a following—he/she starts to feel the pressure to create, and the creativity doesn't come. It’s important not to get frustrated, but instead to use the opportunity to refresh your inspi. . . read more
One of the best ways to get your art into the public eye is to license it for reproduction on products. Licensing allows you to reach a wider audience, extend your brand to other mediums, and of course, make a little profit as well. When you license a work of art, you'll negotiate limited righ. . . read more
Stay current.
Subscribe to EmptyEasel's free weekly newsletter for artists. Sign up today!
CanvasFlyer
Art Contests
More art contests. . .
EE Writers
Alyice Edrich Cassie Rief Steff Metal Niki Hilsabeck Brandi Bowman Michelle Morris Lisa Orgler Adriana Guidi Carrie Lewis Aletta de Wal Erin SparlerLuke Montgomery

If you'd like to write for EmptyEasel, let us know!

We love publishing reader-submitted art tutorials, stories, and even reviews.Submit yours here!