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  1. #1
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    Art Social Enterprise or Co-Operative?

    Hi All,

    I am launching a new art commissioning platform that makes it easy for individuals and businesses to commission unique art from you guys


    We are also a Social Enterprise, this means we give 51% of our profits to benefit society.


    The issue is most people don't seem to know what a Social Enterprise is so we are thinking of just giving 51% of our profits to all the Artisans who are registered with us and who take our commissions. Most of these need support in any case.


    Could we get some feedback in terms of what you guys think would be better?


    This is the website https://www.commissionit.co.uk


    All the best


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  3. #2
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    I had a good nose around for the members before approving the post. As we're the makers, we get charged 5-20% depending on the size of the contract - the larger the contract, the smaller the commission. On very large projects, you will subcontract us and there is no commission after price agreed. Deposit are paid, money can be held in escrow etc etc. You can give each supplier a page to promote themselves. I presume you will promote people, as it looks like you want to be choosy as to whom you represent.

    How big do art contracts get? Because you cover a lot of stuff, including architecture. Also that portrait you're showcasing, isn't that great. And yes, giving artists more money is a great idea.

  4. #3
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    Hmm... reading more https://www.commissionit.co.uk/art-c...ngs-to-murals/ The prices start a bit on the low side, especially after taking a commission. If you are representing quality, that should cost even if an artist isn't a name.

  5. #4
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    Hi, The lower end is for art students who are studying we don't determine the price, we simply as each artist the price they are looking to charge. So for a student who is looking to start their career like https://www.commissionit.co.uk/portf...tings-on-paper her smallest works start at just £55 however other artists are charging £1,500 on our site and we also work with some of the most experienced artists who charge around £12,000 as covered https://www.commissionit.co.uk/art-c...ings-to-murals. So we work towards the clients brief and around the rates artists set themselves.

    Thanks

  6. #5
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    p.s To clarify, makers don't get charged anything. We simply ask each maker to quote against a brief if they wish to do the commission. We then quote the client the amount the artist want to charge + our 5-20% margin. The client then pays the total to us, the artist gets 100% of what they asked for and we take the margin on top. I hope that makes sense

  7. #6
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    Okay that makes sense. Why didn't you form a Community Interest Company instead of a normal limited company? Will you be getting a CIC37? BTW, it doesn't stop you making money.

  8. #7
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    If money is going to the platform, at least as much should go to the artist, preferably more.

    The amount going to charity should be clear in amount and destination and auditable, and good luck choosing a cause everyone can agree on.

  9. #8
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    As i have many years experience running limited companies i used this structure however i am totally open to the available options. We are a certified Social Enterprise as at https://buysocialdirectory.org.uk/su.../commission-it under the current structure and there are around 10K CICs companies registered on this same directory who are not certified Social Enterprises so it's not black and white.

    Although we have already taken and delivered a number of art commissions, we have not yet launched.

    Anyhow, i would be keen to get feedback from artists and makers directly as to what they want.

    Is it ok for me to make some posts without infringing on your rules?

    Would also like to get some of your artists potentially signed up so we can include them in our launch.

    Regards

  10. #9
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    The current idea highlighted under About us https://www.commissionit.co.uk/about-us-2/ is:

    The client and maker select the cause out of the main ones https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/38JJ53P. As stated, the maker gets 100% of the fees they ask for. We get a minimal amount and half of that goes to good causes.

    It seems most people still don't understand what a Social Enterprise is so we are reviewing the proposal and may opt to just give the artists/makers who supply commissions through us a share in our profits. This is much easier to understand and most artists/makers need as much support as possible and hopefully can get more involved in our collaborative approach as highlighted here https://www.commissionit.co.uk/about...-collaborative

  11. #10
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    What about rights, can artist keep them as well or can they negotiation these with client?
    Last edited by stonec; February 11th, 2019 at 01:54 PM.

  12. #11
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    Sure. Your sponsors are legit entities. I will ask more questions later. IRL I'm an auditor who specialises in charities - asking questions is my business, but now I'm recovering from the flu.

    So how many artists are you looking to recruit? Have you defined what areas your art will cover? Will you set a minimum price? I think it's important that artists don't start bidding themselves into the ground, which can happen on places like Fiver.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    I think it's important that artists don't start bidding themselves into the ground, which can happen on places like Fiver.
    I have never used places like Fiverr but their reputation more than ruins it for everyone. But it's become sadly accepted practice to try to get an artist's hard work for pennies on the hour.

    I looked at the site from the job listing and found it an interesting concept. I've always felt a little hesitant to take commissions, mostly because I seem to attract difficult clients.
    "No one escapes unhappiness."

  14. #13
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    It might help to have juried types or levels of artist, like Epilogue used to. The only way to fight a rush to the bottom is to have a standard.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnyhugger View Post
    It might help to have juried types or levels of artist, like Epilogue used to. The only way to fight a rush to the bottom is to have a standard.
    People need to be educated not to work free or low prices as it will hurt artists in long run. Noah Bradley wrote about that while ago https://medium.com/@noahbradley/mini...ts-4f8e00024a4

  16. #15
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    Well if the artist is setting the price, the customer needs to accept it. If they're going to promote quality art, then there should be no problem.

  17. #16
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    We are COMPLETELY different from fiver and not trying to compete with them, nor do we want to.

    It's about linking the best available talent at the right market rate for each artist. We cover local sittings as well as online work and don't want small quick low jobs, instead, we want to help artist produce the best work possible. You can view the existing artists here and we are now only looking for mid to high-end artists to sign up in multiple disciplines.

    We take all the hassle away from artists by qualifying the clients, using our commission's frameworks https://www.commissionit.co.uk/about...ing-contracts/ and processes to maximize the likelihood of a successful commission and make payments safe for both parties.

    For all those interested in taking commissions please read this https://www.commissionit.co.uk/how-t...commissions-2/

    thanks

  18. #17
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    Hi, had not heard of Epilogue, is this it http://www.epilogue.net. Yes sounds like a great idea.

  19. #18
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    commissionit, I know we sound a bit sceptic, but we have seen so many sites come here, start/ die, or rip artists off. Yours looks like you're going after big jobs like architecture etc. Epilogue has a lot of digital artists, which is great for concept work etc, but I'm not sure how they'd fit into your scheme of more tangible work, plus most won't be available to work locally. How global are you intending to be? If I were you, I'd try to capture the UK market. Commissioned work for artists normally work with 50% deposit (non-refundable) and balance on approval. This can vary depending on size and complexity. I really like the idea of promoting local artists for portraits, pet portraits etc.

    We are a leading oil painting reproductions company specialising in oil paintings from your photos at highly competitive prices.
    All our artworks are genuinely hand-painted oil paintings on canvas. No machine printing or computer spraying is used. Our artists are talented art graduates who will create museum-quality works for you.
    The above sounds like a Chinese art factory. Unless I've taken the photo and met the sitter, I've always needed a load of photos to get to know the subject better, to choose which bits would make a good composition and gone from there. Sometimes, I wonder why people even bother with artists when most of your examples have not bothered to change anything and just copied the photo. The only one that looks good on your site is the little Chinese boy.

    I have a colleague who commissioned a pet portrait and sounded so disappointed that it looked like the photo with slightly fluffier ears. Artist should be creating art, not photocopies.

  20. #19
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    The thing is you can't get amateurs and people in developing nations to stop low-balling. You only have a hope of establishing a pro-pricing norm in a semi-to-pro subset of the community, in a space limited to them offering some kind of quality guarantee. Hence the suggestion for juried entry.

    But even that kind of jurying only works for subsets of commission types. I passed Epilogue jurying, but I could never be a pro-level character or concept artist because that's not in my skill set. I did magazine illustration and stuff like that. You need pros in an area to jury prospects in that area. It gets labor intensive.

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