Commissioning Artwork

The thought of having a specially created work of art by a professional artist can be exciting and a little daunting at the same time. Each artist approaches the process in a different way, so we have put together a set of guidelines for customers and artists to help facilitate this relationship. The World Parrot Trust will act as a mediator and banker in the early stages of a commission, but the relationship is ultimately between the artist and customer.

As full-time artists, these individuals do make their living through their profession, which takes a lifetime of study and practice. So just as you would expect to pay a plumber a reasonable rate for the knowledge and time, so is the case here. There are many artists out there who will copy your photo and do a reasonable job at it, who don't need to earn a living. But if you are looking for a true work of art to cherish, a commissioned piece is always worth the investment.

How long will it take?

This will depend on an artist's availability, the complexity of the composition, and mediums used.

What Next?

What do I want? That might sound like a silly question, but it is best to get everything right, or at least most of it, before a painting begins.

Explore the work of different artists to see their individual style. Once you find a style that suits your tastes, find out if they take commissions, as well as get an idea of their prices.

Questions to consider...

  • Number of birds
  • Head show or full-length bird
  • Pose of the bird
  • Plain or habitat background
  • Portrait or landscape orientation
  • Size of the unframed work
  • Medium required, such as oils, acrylic or watercolour sketch
  • Do you want it framed or will you do this yourself? Not all artists will provide frames and if they do, it will increase shipping costs.
  • Sketch out your idea, no matter how basic your drawing skills. A lot can be gleaned from this.
  • Do you have photographs and do these show the character and special features of your bird?

Customers often leave everything to the artist, only specifying the species. However, it is still a good idea to think about what you want, or if you have seen something you like, whether that is a work of art or a photograph not even parrot related.

What to do next?

Once you have thought about what you would like, even though it might be vague at first, contact us with your choice of artist(s), a brief idea using the aforementioned checklist, and a rough idea of your budget. 

  • We will contact the artist(s) on your behalf.
  • Once the relevant artist(s) have replied, we will be back in touch with the options and expected cost.
  • You then make your choice, and we will act as the mediator between the artist and yourself for an agreed-upon price.
  • We will ask for a 25% non-refundable payment before work commences with the balance on completion.
  • An agreement signed by the artist and yourself will be drawn up outlining expectations, etc.