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Old 10-29-2011, 10:04 AM
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Chris_Johns Chris_Johns is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Warwickshire UK
Posts: 87
Re: Generic Artist's Contract

There is no way to absolutely guarantee to a client that they will like the finished piece even if you do detailed drawings and models the scale, materials and location will all have an effect and the person commissioning the work may have trouble visualising exactly how it will look from a drawing or even a model.

Equally you don't really want to tie yourself down too much at an early stage in the design process by saying 'this is exactly what it will be like' you may find better ways to do something or discover that one aspect simply won't work and I think it would be a strange piece of art which didn't evolve to some extent throughout the making process.

I think that the best thing is to make absolutely clear from the start that this is a creative process and not even the artist can always tell exactly how something will turn out.

what you can and should do though is make comitments about the quality and craftsmanship of the work. If a piece is fragile or delicate in any way then be clear about that, if it is intended for public exhibition outdoors then its reasonable fro a client to expect that it will be durable and have realistic maintenance requirements.

The most important thing about any contract is that the expectations and responsibilities of both sides are clearly set out from the start.

Of course there is always a risk that something just wont turn out quite as you hoped but that is part of the risk for both parties, it's just an inherent part of the way that art works.

What you don't want to do is get yourself in a position where you are taking all financial risk on yourself by investing time, materials and money in something that your client has made no real commitment to pay for.

Also the level of uncertainly about the outcome depends to a degree on the nature of the project. Clearly if you're attempting something highly experimental and controversial the client should be aware of this. On the other hand if what you're doing is a natural extension of your existing body of work you are both on much safer ground.

Personally I would be very reluctant to make work to a brief on approval. Either do your own work as you want and sell it when it's finished or work to a brief with a proper contract, anything else is asking for trouble in my opinion.
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