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Commissioned Work


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1st off. good job on the site redesign.

i haven't made a thread in a long ass time and the other ones i made probably weren't any good.

but i recently was referred by a friend to paint some walls in a particular night club. i would like to take this on and make some dough along with having a nice and semi big surface to work on.

the client kind of left it open, some general idea of what they want.

when i went to check it out, i was offered more space than originally discussed and thats fine with me. now i wouldn't just be painting letters on a wall, it would be more of a themed thing through out sections of the space.

i would like to know what kind of experiences ya'll have had with commissioned work, mostly site specific as opposed to print type things.

so feel free to share.

if this is in the wong place sorry.

please and thanks motherbitches!

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I did some free painting for community type stuff in my town out of my pocket (I paid for all my paint, gave them my time for free). Both times it fucking sucked. I went and painted (at least 4-5 hours and a good amount of paint at each site) and everything was painted over before I could get flicks.


The moral of the story: find out excactly what the person wants. Do drawings in advance and show them to the club owner before you start painting. Communication is key.

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i am a "fake ass graffer" i have done a few comission graff related mural fake graffiti stuff for several different types of business and establishments... if money is involved and youre really looking to make money... be sure you get it... make sure everything is clear beforehand... nearly every piece of art i have been supposed to be paid for... was the wrong amount or not at all... somehow i always get fucked... if the cost of materials is on you be sure to take that into account when youre asking for your price... i agree with having the sketches also.. let them know a timeframe you think it will take too.. let them know what they are paying for... ive found people are amazed by art and all claim to want it and have to have it.. they just dont want to pay for it... if you cant get paid up front at least get the agreement straight before you do a damn thing

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Contract, contract, contract. Have a contract. If this is a real paying job, be sure you have the guy write up a contract. If not, be sure you write up an invoice and hand it to him when the job is complete. If supplies are on you, ask for some cash up front to pay for them. If you think it's going to cost you $100 in materials, ask for $300. When you submit an invoice, be sure to put "Due upon receipt" at the bottom of the invoice. Andmake sure you keep a copy of that for your records as well. Drawings are a must. That way there's no suprises. Anything the owner doesn't like gets handled prior to painting. Time frame is a good thing. Let him know how long it's going to take you and how jacked up his space is going to be from fumes and dust. This may promt him to get some heavy duty fans. Good for his space, and good for your lungs.


If I think of anything else... I'll get back to you.

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another thing id add... is always get more paint then you estimate. like.. double.. ive been surprised sometimes when i paint something small and use 3 times the amount of paint i expected... while other times.. it works out even or i use a quarter... theres nothing worse then.. running out of paint because it fucks up your timeframe.. and if you are getting gallons mixed.. or even spray paint from different batches.. the mix can vary and lead to weird matte/glossy patches and color differences.

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carrying a gun in the waist band of your pants and ever so casually letting dude know your holding is a good way to ensure that he doesn't mess around.

as soon as he realizes you're represented by the offices of smith and wesson, he'll be much more likely play fair.


that ones for free. ;)

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Like Nekro said "Communication is KEEEEY!!"


My homey is in the process of painting a bike shop for these fools and in the beginning they were like "We'll give you 200 dollars for paint"...and they acted like they were doing my homey some kinda favor by letting him paint their shop and for paying for the paint...I mean that's not shit... And then they came back and they were like "Oh we'll give you a hundred bucks for paint". So far they've spent 50 bucks on paint and my homeboy has had to use almost all of his extra stash of paint plus at least 40 hours of his personal time and last night he asked these mother fuckers if they'd hook up some more paint (cause he used all his) and they were trying to front like he was asking for to much or putting them out or some shit....I mean hello he's painting THEIR shop..PER THEIR REQUEST..


Bottom line and moral...Outline and Hightlight your expectations! When it comes to business type negotiations even if they're your friends don't act like the homey when you're negotiating...Get what you're entitled to...And don't let people walk all over you.


If you're getting paid (besides your paint) write up an agreement outlining who's getting what.


And if you're not getting paid but they're gonna pay for paint make sure they pay for the paint upfront!

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if your trying to start a bussiness with this like I have been in the works of doing be prepared to have alot of people try to back out on you after they pretend like hey want some shit done. There are many people that have seen my murals around the city and want to commision us to do thier builindg then all of hte sudden they find a bullshit excuse to bak out when things are about to get started. Such as my most recent one involves a pet shop and the owner is having furnace problems and won't be able to pay for the mural now. He says he might want us to do it in the spring.


Also if your doing stuff on the outside of the building you might want to check up on permits just to be safe. Where I live if you paint a mural on the side of a building that does not pertain to the work done inside teh building you do not need any permits since it is deemed public art. If there is a sign painted on the building and you paint over it and then repaint the sign on the building you do not need a permit but if the deminsions of the sign change at all you will need a new signage permit. Also if the mural you paint does pertain to what happens inside the building or the bussiness they deal in then it can be considered a billboard and a permit will have to be obtained for it.


Needless to say with all this permit shit it is key to have sketches of the the finished product and its also a good idea to super impose your sketches onto a picture of the building.


zack morris

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...that's a good point zach...i remmeber doing research myself on this when someone was taling to me about doing a mural...here it had everything to do with the name of the building, and words that described what went on inside...for instance, if it's an ice cream shop called "joe's"...i can paint as much icecream it self as i want along with anyother words...but if i paint the words 'joes' or 'ice cream' or 'cones' or anything directly related...then it becomes a sign instead of an art mural and not only do you need a permit but it's then subjugated to a tax...but these laws change in different areas, it's a good idea to meet with somebody at city hall and find out what kind of restrictions there are in your locality...

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I've had the oppertunity to do a few pretty big commissions over the years and its no cake-walk thats for sure.


Get everything in writing and upfront. This shows you how serious they actually are and also shows them how serious YOU are. There's nothing worse than going into a job and not knowing what you're doing. Showing them you are professional and on the ball is invaluable.


- Have Sketches done (or concept designs at the very least).

- Have a contract written up.

- Get your materials money up front. Don't budge about this one.

- The way I work it is 50% up front after materials (when the materials get to the job site) and 50% when completed. You can work that however you want though.

- All transportation costs (gas, transit), additional materials (tape, chaulk, roller covers & cages, mask filters, new roll of film, etc.), food and beverages and anything else you might think of using for the job included in the budget. So be sure to jack it up a little.

- Stipulate that YOU get to keep the leftover paint after its completed.


If you go into a job knowing what you're doing and what you're talking about, the respect level they have for you increases exponentionally, which can translate into a higher budget.


If anyones got any doubts about what i'm talking about, check the "Mario" video that just got released on BET...

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