Digging Deep!

As I was reading Art Biz Blog I came across an interesting question and since it made me stop and think, I decided it would be a good question to pass along and find out your thoughts.

The originial piece can be found here: Deep Thought Thursday: Commissioned art
Here's what it asks, "Is commissioned art inherently of lesser quality?"

"Does the fact that you, the artist, must please another person with the work make it less important? Or does it mean that it is somehow tainted, impure?"

Wow, that's sort of deep, I think.  At first I blurted out "NO!"  Then, I thought,..."Well it can, at times, compromise an artist's signature style or way of producing their art." (We're not just talking jewelry designs here either - all forms of art are included in this question.) 

Hmmm,......(Remember that?  "Things that make you go 'hmmm'?) 

Whether you're an artist or a designer, a person who just knows what they like and what they don't, an avid collector of various types of art, a business person, whatever,.......let me know what you think and let's get this discussion going, shall we?

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Art In All Forms!!



  1. M.H. of C.G. Arizona emailed me w/this response:
    "Commissioned Art, although not the artists original idea, is still a creation by the artist and it is much harder for the Artist to satisfy and fulfill someone else's idea than to create his/her own original work. To me, both are of equal quality."

  2. Suzanne Tina Wagner Stevens commented on your note "Digging Deep!":

    "I've not had many commissioned pieces, but for the one I have had, the person 'ordering' the piece generally gave me a lot of leeway insofar as the individuality of the overall design. That is, they gave me general direction, but I was fully free to put my own mark on the finished piece. In that case, I'd have to say 'no', but I can certainly see how it might feel that way to an artist whose sponsor is too much of a micromanager. I found as a copywriter that most things I wrote were tainted, but that was just part of the process. But I didn't like it, and that's why I don't do it anymore! Oops, long enough, eh?"

  3. I don't think it's of lesser value at all. I think as an artist it can be difficult to be told what to do, that can carry over into many aspects of our lives too. I don't generally do commissions because of that reason but I did recently accept a commission job. It's a landscape painting in watercolor, I took it because I haven't painted in w/c in a while and I thought it might be fun. In this case it's serving the client and serving me. That's the best case scenario. Commissions that are drudgery can feel like they're lesser value because your heart isn't in it and when that happens the work is sometimes not as good as it could've been.

  4. Carlynne - I do agree with what you said in response to "commissions that are drudgery" and about how, as an artist, "it can be difficult to be told what to do".....I find that true at time w/creating, teaching and with writing.

    I think what Marsha says rings true too - "although not the artists original idea, is still a creation by the artist and it is much harder for the Artist to satisfy and fulfill someone else's idea than to create his/her own original work" - I have found it more of a challenge doing work that's commissioned more often than doing what just comes to me - however, I sometimes really like those challenges and at other times,...well not as much.

    And Tina,...Yes, it's funny how when we're 'micro-managed' we do tend to feel that our art is somehow less important or not as "pure". Being giving the ability to create what we see and feel usually makes the artist feel much more valuable and that value leaks into what we create (at least in our minds/hearts, anyway!). :)

    Thanks for all the comments - this is very interesting!


Thanks for sharing what you have to say - I love hearing your comments!