How to Commission Custom Work from Kristin Sweedler
Quite a bit of my work is done on a commission basis—people see my work and approach me to design and build a piece that meets their needs or desires. Some find me by word of mouth, some via the web and some by chance encounter with me or a piece of my art.
I view custom work as an exciting collaborative process:
For you, it's an opportunity to participate directly in the creation of a work of art, or to have me create that thing that you can see so clearly but can't find anywhere. It's exciting for me too, because your input pushes me to explore new ideas or techniques that might not otherwise have presented themselves.
Custom design is a conversation:
The initial stages of a commissioned work involves questions and dialog. This is the point where you tell me what you want in terms of subject matter, size and basic appearance. We'll talk about materials, cost and a time frame. If you know where you want the piece to go or plan to display it along with pieces that you already own, you'll have the option of sending me photos. I will use my experience and expertise to make suggestions about the best ways to turn your idea into art. Each project is different, and requires taking into account the future environment of a piece, technical limitations of materials, and your tastes and budget. Sometimes the strongest elements of a piece of art are generated by the constraints of the project.
When the project reaches a halfway point, we will have a second consultation. I will send you pictures of the ongoing project and give you the opportunity to make comments and requests.
Cost, schedule and process:
My standard payment process is to charge in 3 installments (1/3 of total cost each time). Payment can be made by check or online using the secure payment service provided by PayPal . Checks cover the cost of project development and materials and are not refundable if project is canceled before completion.There would be an initial payment immediately after our first consultation, before I started the piece. When the piece was halfway done, I would send you an update on how things were going and photos of what I'd done so far. You would have the opportunity to give me your input (e.g.- "I'd rather have this thing over there"). The second payment would occur at this time. The final payment takes place when the final piece arrives at your address. If you live within the state of Maryland there will be a 5% sales tax. I generally ship pieces via FedEx or UPS. The costs of shipping are not included.
You'd be welcome to visit my studio during the sculpting process, provided you gave me advanced warning. I live in Annapolis, Maryland, USA.