Is it possible to commission an artist?
June 16, 2012 6:49 PM   Subscribe

My wife keeps a list of all the words our 1 year old has learned to say. As a present I thought it might be nice to commission an artist to make a collage of them that we could put on the wall. I'm in London, England. I have no idea how one would do this, or if it would be affordable (I'd be prepared to spend up to around a thousand pounds). Can you commission an artist - and if so, how would you find one?
posted by anonymous to Shopping (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
As the proud owner of a notepad full of words my kid learned when he was around a year old, I can say the list was much more interesting to make as he was learning to speak than it is to look at now that he's 3.

If you're convinced that you'll still want this on your wall in a year, I'd suggest calling a local art school and seeing if they can recommend someone.
posted by foodgeek at 6:53 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Maybe do something like wordle and have a nice print made on canvas?
posted by Nickel Pickle at 6:58 PM on June 16, 2012 [9 favorites]

You could probably find someone on Etsy who would do this (and for considerably less money). Look around and find someone whose style you like, then send them a private message asking if they take this kind of commission.
posted by feets at 7:02 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like the wordle idea, and you could have it made into a custom wall decal.
posted by lakeroon at 7:30 PM on June 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

You should look for a letterpress artist. Either locally or via Etsy. If you were to do this, and you wanted it to be graphically really interesting, letterpress is probably exactly what you want.

Not sure about how this works in London, but in New York there are quite a few artists' cooperatives and creative/skillsharing centers where letterpress aficionados tend to congregate. Maybe look out for something like this in your neck of the woods? Also maybe check out some local art schools, though letterpress is a bit antiquated to be included in the arts curriculum nowadays. Though it's trendy enough that you'll inevitably find letterpress folks anywhere you find design students.
posted by Sara C. at 7:45 PM on June 16, 2012

I agree with feets -- Etsy's a good way to go if you don't mind wading through a lot of stuff to find an artist you like.

Or you could post it on the Metafilter Jobs subsite; there are lots of talented artists around these parts!
posted by enlarged to show texture at 8:32 PM on June 16, 2012

She's probably really busy, but I would TOTALLY try to get in touch with Linzie Hunter. She's in London. I think her lettering style would be awesome for this. If not, maybe she could recommend someone.
posted by circular at 9:17 PM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have a look on Not on the Highstreet, there are lots of custom pictures available there.
posted by markdj at 1:38 AM on June 17, 2012

Some possibilities:

- put up notices around Central St Martins and other art schools.

- Stroll around the small galleries in and around Shoreditch, identify the artists you like and see if you can find them, through the gallery or online. Expect to find street-art-ish and print-ish stuff here.

- Go to Magma books (the Seven Dials branch has a larger range), look through their art and design magazines for artists you like and try and contact them. Again, this is going to be graphics and print heavy.

- If you want letterpress, Sort is very good. In fact, they should be exhibiting at the Cockpit Arts summer open house in Holborn today and you can speak to them directly.
posted by tavegyl at 2:02 AM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can try out EveryArt, which puts you in contact with artists to do just the sort of commission work you are looking for.
posted by chiefthe at 2:36 AM on June 17, 2012

A friend's running a startup that does exactly that: EveryArt.

Namely, they let you connect with artists to commission work, and the quality of art is pretty dang high! Prices vary, but there are definitely plenty of artists within your price range.
posted by anateus at 2:36 AM on June 17, 2012

I don't know if it works in the UK, but has a lot of folks who will do just about anything you need for $5.
posted by nathanrudy at 6:09 AM on June 17, 2012

i am a designer who specializes in custom typography and lettering. this would be a wonderful art piece as a silkscreen print or letterpress, both of which i can do. if you are interested in seeing some of my work and would like to discuss your project and pricing, etc, please feel free to memail me.
posted by violetk at 1:24 PM on June 17, 2012 has a lot of text prints that are customiseable. I've never used them myself but have heard that they tend to charge a bit more than on the artists' own website (commission, maybe?) so you can browse the site for styles and perhaps see if anyone you like will do something like this?
posted by mippy at 2:49 PM on June 17, 2012

If you decide to go with the DIY option, I suggest, which is a bit more flexible than Wordle.
posted by Cheese Monster at 3:51 PM on June 17, 2012

Oh, duuuuuuuuuude! Try dwellephant. He's pretty much the most awesome. Ever.

And if you don't like his lettering, he's done some amazing commissions.
posted by youandiandaflame at 4:30 PM on June 17, 2012

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