Hello there dear Artist,

I want to share something with you.  But, you know, this doesn’t happen often, but when it does it makes you sad and doubt yourself and your skills and you feel completely yuck inside.  

What am I talking about?  

An unhappy customer who wants to return their commission once they’ve paid for it and taken it home with them.

If this situation occurs and you don’t have a contract in place that clearly states what you terms are, it can be a very tricky situation for you and your customer.

The best thing to do is to avoid this sort of  situation totally by having a contract in place and stating your terms so there is no confusion or doubt between either you or your customer.

If you are stuck and don’t know what to write, here’s my contract information to give you an idea what to write. 

I wrote this myself, it has NOT been checked by a Solicitor or a Lawyer.  Please do not use it word for word.  It is much better to make it your own so you feel confident and proud of it.  Get it checked by a professional:

Dear Customer,

It will be my absolute pleasure to paint your pet XXXXX for you.

[NOW WRITE SOMETHING LOVELY AND PERSONAL HERE]

Above all, I want you to be 100% satisfied, throughout the creation of your commissioned painting. I will update you with a progress photo after every session, this is where you can suggest amendments if necessary. The process from start to finish usually takes around XXXX days.

Details:

Approx Painting size: XXXXX. Price unframed £XXXXX

Framing price will be additional XXXXX[AMEND AS NEEDED] 

The Portrait will be ready to collect from the XXXXX OR SHIPPED – ADD SHIPPING FEES + PACKAGING COSTS + TIME

Terms & Conditions

  • I ask for a small non-refundable deposit of 50% to book your slot.

  • Bank Transfer Details: XXXXX

  • Remaining payment of £XXXXX via BACS or CASH is required before you receive your portrait

  • Please note that the deposit is non-refundable

  • If for any reason you decide to cancel before the commissioned painting is complete, your deposit is non-refundable

  • If you decide that you do not want the commissioned painting before completion, your deposit will not be refunded.

  • All publishing, reproduction (full or derivative) of all artworks (and photographic reference when supplied) remain with THE ARTIST and can therefore be used for promotional purposes and advertising (for human portraits especially children, I always ask your permission first)

  • Once you have collected your commissioned painting, It cannot be returned because it is bespoke to your requirements.

REMEMBER THAT THESE ARE MY TERMS AND CONDITIONS.  YOUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAYBE COMPETELY DIFFERENT AND THAT’S OKAY.  JUST AS LONG AS YOU ARE HAPPY WITH THEM AND YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMER KNOW WHAT THEY ARE.

I used to be a little scared of the words “contract” and “terms and conditions”  BUT I now know that my customers really appreciate it and it makes them feel safe and comfortable, that they are in the hands of a Professional Artist.

Having a contract in place is essential basic requirement for any business.  As an artist creating commissions, you need to be very clear on your terms and conditions and it’s only fair that your customer knows what your terms and conditions are before they do business with you.  This will minimise and hopefully avoid any confusion and any possible upset on both sides. 

If you have sent your customer away with just the painting you will need to advise them on framing.  Learn how to do that here