View Full Version : Commissioned Block

05-12-2003, 12:05 AM
Has anyone ever carved a block on commission? I made an agreement which is turning out to be different from what I thought I was agreeing too. I realize now the price I set is probably too low. The upside is I may get a good deal of free publicity and local recognition. This is my first experience with a commission. Don't know if I'm liking it. They loved my original design, but before the meeting was over they wanted small changes to meet their vision based on pulling pieces from other types of art. I agreed to the changes, but it may kill me when it comes to the carving (not the difficulty...the knowing they are based on someone else's idea). I'm in limbo now while I await feedback on the revised design. I carved the first design and pulled a proof. I don't want to carve again until I know it is what they want, but it is hard to convey or know that it will work (for me) without carving.

05-12-2003, 03:05 PM
I would explain to them that much of the time involved in this medium is in the carving. Personally, I would have done a black and white ink drawing or something similar first and submitted that for the design. I would definitely have a problem drawing from other people's artwork and would question it. Particularly on legal grounds. But I don't know how much/what you are being asked to use.

A commission should always outline the different stages of the commission. Prices for drafts, changes, and then final artwork. That makes it clear to a client that first drafts may be in a different medium and also that they can only make substantial changes up to a certain point. In printmaking this is doubly necessary because our plates can't always be changed!

In your position what I might do is use the proof plate you created as a basis, then make the changes in ink/drawing added to the first plate. Of course, you might have to put paper over certain sections of the proof print. Since collage and stuff might worry the client I would then photocopy the whole revised image onto good quality paper to present to them. Making clear that the plate has not been carved yet of course so the final version may have slight differences.


05-12-2003, 10:28 PM
timelady, thanks for the reply. If I had been more clear on what the client wanted I would have made a more thorough agreement. My original understanding was they wanted a block to use like a stamp and that is what I agreed to provide. I did try to point that out in my last meeting. Not sure they understood. I've sketched out the new design and scanned it, copied a mirror image and emailed both to the client. I've advised I'm waiting for their feedback before I carve. In the over all scheme of things the images the client wants are trivial. I don't think they add to the design at all, but fortunately they don't detract either. Just a silly notion the client has. I guess we all have to learn the hard way unless we've got a backbone of steel.

05-22-2003, 09:15 PM
Sorry I have been engaged in other things lately; being away on a trip and trying to get ready for one show and a possible other one.

Lino is something that you can not go back in and change without it coming out looking like a patch job. Go by humblebees formula for pricing. It is the same one I use. I can't believe you took a commission for a lino........lol I refuse to do commission work at all any more. I don't like dealing with customers :D If someone likes what I have done and wants to buy it then fine, but no commission work.

05-22-2003, 09:40 PM
My instincts were not to do commission work, but I was flattered that the request came just from a casual mention that I carve my own blocks to print. I really thought I had talked myself out of the job when I pointed out most of what the client is trying to do could be done easier on a computer. Then he called out of the blue a couple months later and was ready to accept my original proposal to deliver a block to him that he could use as a stamp. Now the whole thing has changed. I submitted another sketch and am still in limbo. I much prefer they buy what I offer and be done with it. I'll end up paying more for supplies than I'll receive.:crying: