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How to start offering calligraphy commissions

What is a calligraphy commission?

A commission is a paid-for custom creation that is created for another person. The client will usually come to you with requirements for the commission; for calligraphers, this is usually in the form of the words they want written.

Your role as the calligrapher is to write out the words of the client's choice onto paper.

How skilled do you need to be to offer commissions?

A big question that a lot of artists have is whether they are actually "good enough" to start accepting paid work. Imposter syndrome plays a huge part in this feeling, and you're not alone if you don't quite feel ready.

So how do you determine if you are ready?

Someone has seen pictures of your work and they are willing to pay for it. It doesn't matter if you think you're ready, as a client willing to pay is proof enough.

Custom calligraphy commission

Reasons to offer calligraphy commissions

Commissions are a fantastic way to earn money as a calligrapher, particularly as a first step into monetising your craft.

Benefits of calligraphy commissions:

  1. Calligraphy commissions are an affordable niche to get into. All you need is pen and paper!

  2. Don't need to learn additional skills to get started

  3. You will improve your calligraphy skills by putting your best work out there

  4. Sentimentality - a lot of the work you create will be meaningful

  5. It's great for those that love to sit down and create for hours

Custom calligraphy commission

Challenges of calligraphy commissions

Every art niche has challenges and commissions are no exception.

Cons of calligraphy commissions:

  1. Intense focus required - spelling mistakes and errors are common in larger pieces. You will need to be meticulous and detail-orientated

  2. Hand cramps! You can't create for an extended period of time as pain in your hand will stop you

  3. Deadline stress - clients will often require pieces by a certain deadline which can add to the stress of creating pieces

Why my calligraphy commissions are closed

If you have a nosey at my commissions page you'll see that my calligraphy commissions are closed.

Now that's not to say that I appreciate the chance to work on my previous pieces, I loved that I was able to create sentimental pieces. However, behind the scenes I would often make mistakes and find myself frazzled. In the end, creating custom calligraphy commissions just wasn't "my thing" - teaching calligraphy is.

You can listen to my podcast episode with my co-host Candace about why we stopped offering commissions.

Want to learn more about calligraphy commissions?

Check out The Creative Biz Success Society! My membership for artists in business. I talk about niching down, pricing your work, how to find commission clients and more.


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