Brought to you by The Commissioned
(Photo from The Commissioned)
I was recently introduced to The Commissioned and invited to experience their art commission services.
Having a background in art, design and photography; having a lot of friends who purchase art for their homes; and having bought my own art, I was really drawn to the whole concept of the website.
I was excited beyond belief!
What is it?
The Commissioned has a large selection of talented artist from all over the world. You can look through their bio, browse through their works, and then start a direct conversation with an artist to commission a work of art for yourself.
You can chose colours that will suit the décor of your house. You can choose a subject that will celebrate a special moment in your life. You can capture a special message as a gift to a friend. The scope is endless!
My Commissioning Experience
I had quite a clear idea of what I wanted.
I wanted an abstract painting inspired by one of our family walks through a beautiful forest.
I took some lovely photos during the walk and wanted to capture the moment somehow. I also wanted the painting to have blurry figures of my 3 children, just to remind me of that happy moment as I looked at them through the leaves.
Sign up and Browse!
I signed up to the site and began to browse through the hundreds of artists, view their works and read about a bit about them (you can actually browse without signing up).
When you sign up, you get to see all the artists’ indicative prices and the size of their paintings, such as: Small Canvas (11×14 inch) USD123.20 or Medium Canvas (24×36 inch) USD691.20.
You can also “Favourite” the artists whose works catch your eye, so you can view them again later.
I was quite fascinated to discover artists from all over the world – United States, Asia, Europe, Philipines, Japan, Moscow, Finland, Poland, Russia, Spain, Argentina and more.
In the end, I utterly fell in love with artist, Deusa Blumke’s work.
She was born in Brazil and currently pursuing Masters Degree in Singapore. She has a looooong list of exhibited works in her portfolio, has won a few awards for her art… but most of all I loved her style. I loved her spontaneous strokes, her bold colours, her blobs, splatters and unique layering.
Examples of Deusa Blumke’s work (courtesy of the artist).
So I sent her a message to start a conversation.
I requested that I was keen for an abstract painting based on the theme of “A Forest Walk”. I’d like the painting to look more like a forest, not a path in a forest.
I enclosed some photos I took while on our recent forest walk. I told her that I would love for her to use them as inspiration for shapes and colour, in particular greens, blues, greys, browns, whites, black (but not too much black!)
I told her I loved the colours, strokes, movement and spontaneity of her featured artworks and would like the painting to have the same strokes, blobs, movement and spontaneity. I don’t really like the use of hard lines/edges and geometric shapes.
I also mentioned to her that I would like the painting to include 3 little abstract figures in the background, dressed in a navy/grey blue (much like the photo above). However I didn’t want them to be the focus of the picture; they are just playing within the scenery.
She loved the photos! She agreed to the collaboration, we settled the price, I made the payment and she set to work.
(I was given a promo code to use at The Commissioned for this review.)
I was super, super, super excited, and a bit nervous!
I couldn’t believe I was going to own one of her paintings! But what if I don’t like it? What if it’s not quite what I wanted? I guess I can ask her to tweak it a bit?
Updates: Work in Progress
A week later, Deusa sent me an update: A photo of her work in progress!
Holy cow! Amazing! – Was my first response!
Usually a sketch is adequate for the first stage of communication, but all artists, designers and creatives work in different ways… and it can be a bit risky for a client to see an unfinished photo of the artwork. I had to keep that in mind.
It’s like a wedding cake maker sending a photo of their fruitcake; A car paint shop sending a photo of their first coat; A chef sending a photo of their chopping board. The masterpiece is not yet revealed! It’s still in progress!
I have to admit that I stared at the unfinished painting a bit more than I should have. I got a bit worried. The graphic designer in me kicked in and I was concerned that there was too much brown, and not enough bright colours, and maybe I should send a message to direct her?
I probably could have done that. The website has a “Creative Studio” section, which brings together all your conversations with artists, all your current and past commissioned works, and any photos sent back and forth.
The site basically makes it very open and easy to have a conversation with the artist.
But I wanted to see the whole process through, being respectful to the artist, being true to the art process and having confidence in her talent.
So I didn’t ask her to change anything. I knew she would deliver something amazing in the end.
It would be like me telling a master chef, halfway through making my meal, to “OH REMEMBER TO ADD SOME SALT TO MAKE IT TASTY OK?”
Out of curiosity, I asked if she could send over some photos of her workspace, so I could publish it on my blog. Seeing photos of the work in progress, within the workspace, was pretty exciting! But this might not be a typical step in the commissioning process.
A few days later, she sent some more photo of her work in progress.
Then a few days later, she sent a few more.
Finally, 12 days after we agreed to collaborate, she sent over her final photos and a message, part of it saying, “Unless you would like to have some more of a certain colour or adjustments, I’m finished :)”
I didn’t want her to do anything else to it! I was absolutely thrilled with her final work!
I was so so so happy with it!
I pinched myself, as I couldn’t believe that it was MINE and that Deusa had painted it for me, based on my photos.
She did such an amazing job! Her layers of dots make the leaves and lights look like they are dancing and sparkling. The watery brown blobs make me smile, remembering how fun it was to stomp through the mud. She had captured that perfectly.
And can you see the 3 little figures? How gorgeous!
OK I know that it was my idea, but I love that they are there in the landscape and I have to search for them a bit with my eyes. And I love that they are in a kind of glowing spotlight on the ground. The visual balance of green dots all over the painting is just wonderful. It’s an absolutely gorgeous artwork to look and STARE at :)
I was gushing! I couldn’t wait to have it delivered.
I finalised the details on the website. The project was complete and it was published into my personal art gallery (on the site), along with a direct URL and details.
(You can view mine here: Karen Cheng’s Gallery )
Next, I paid a bit extra for secure international delivery, and after a few days, the painting arrived at my doorstep, wrapped up in lots of bubble wrap, sticky tape and a secure box.
I made a special little space in my home for it.
But then I felt that it got lost (visually) next to all my objects, so I hung it on the wall instead.
To be honest, I was very unsure whether this whole experience would run smoothly, and I was worried that I would have a poor experience. I mean, the whole IDEA of buying art online, sounds fraught with danger, dodgy sellers and con-artists!
But I was very, very pleased with the whole process. The customer service was excellent. There was an online chat function, and team members were all incredibly helpful.
I have already told 5-6 good friends about this site. I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut about it. Okay, I may have raved about it.
I also pointed them to another client review on the site, because I know lots of grandmothers, aunties, mothers who would LOVE to get something similar for their special girls. Basically she commissioned a watercolour illustration of her daughter dancing through a forest, with cute little forest creatures! So cute!
As for me, I am tempted to get another painting commissioned, as I have another two ideas:
1) A unique, abstract family portrait, with 5 abstract figures playing at the beach. I liked the idea of bright blue sky, blue-green ocean and yellow sand. I liked the idea of a bright, bold painting to remember all my family’s trips to the beach.
2) A still life of some pale pink roses in a crystal glass jar. I wanted pastel pinks, pale greens, lots of white and black. Basically I wanted a stylish, moody painting to hang above a small white table and add a colourful lift to a corner in my house.
What do you think??
Do pop over to The Commissioned for a peek!