Art commissioners

Show that you are a fair commissioner of art!

Artists often earn their livelihoods from multiple sources. Occasional gigs, assignments and invitations to speak are all part of an artist’s work. They are not marketing exercises for their art or voluntary activities alongside their “main work”.

Whether you commission an artist’s professional skills (such as a performance or work of art) or expertise (a talk or article), it all involves work that should be paid for.

Fair commissioners of art never offer artists visibility alone as compensation for their work. Paying fair remuneration demonstrates that you value the work performed by the artist and support a diverse and thriving art sector.

How to commission work from an artist responsibly:

  • When planning for a cultural event, for example, budget realistically for the share of the artist’s work right from the start. To help you do so, use recommendations and request offers.
  • When offering a work opportunity to an artist, bring up the subject of money immediately or request an offer from the artist.
  • Draw up an agreement in writing specifying remuneration and responsibilities.

If recommendations refer to wages, other costs payable by the artist should be taken into consideration, such as VAT, pension insurance, social security and working costs.


To help you commission work from artists, we have included links on this page to pay and fee recommendations for different fields of the arts, as well as agreement templates.

Recommendations are always base prices and indicative. Audiences get to see only a tiny portion of all the artistic work that goes into the finished product. The price should take into account the amount of preparation work, the duration of the performance/presentation, all the props that are required, the number of people involved, the location, the size of the audience, special requirements, and the length and merits of the artist’s professional career.

Lips and money