Walking the tight-rope of an art commission

Getting a commission is an exciting prospect, being asked to create a bespoke artwork for a benefactor is exhilarating.

But it’s also a strange burden.


Normally, when I create artworks, it flows, it’s a representation of what in my mind, a story I’m trying to tell, a feeling I’m trying to conjure up.

With a commission, it’s not so straight forward. There’s a bit of second guessing, will they like this, what colours do they prefer, will this fit with their other works.

Every thought like this is a bit of a speed hump, a tiny stumbling block that can bring an artist unstuck.

Forging on is the only way forward, there’s no way to create art by committee and so you put the inner voices behind, leave the second-guessing to the critics and finish the work.

Then I leave it for a while, sit it somewhere prominent where I’ll see it all the time. Check it out while I’m drinking my morning tea, pass it by on my way for a pee, I live with it for a while and if I still like it, if it still feels right, then it’s ready.


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