While I don't do many commission pieces, I do get one every now and then and I try and go all out on them. It's usually someone that has seen my work and then contacts me with the job. That's a lie... I do tons of commission work these days.
A few weeks ago, I had someone contact me for a single model. He had seen my twin-thunderhammer model here and wanted to know if I could make something similar for him. It was going to take some substantial work to pull off but I knew it was something I could do for him.
Not all commissions come full circle though, there are a lot of reasons they fall short. From personal reasons, to price or whatever the case may be. This one ended up on the "cutting room floor" as they say in the movie business.
But there are 3 things I would look for when looking if I were going to have someone do work for me.
First is communication.
This is an absolute must. If they don't answer my emails or they're not clear with what's going on or taking the time to explain everything until I'm satisifed, I'm going to reconsider. If an artist is open and honest about doing stuff for you, they should be happy to answer all of your questions without any hesitation.
I do this with my "clients." There are usually a ton of emails before the project even starts making sure I know exactly what my they want. They're paying for it and they should be the one in charge.
Another thing is progress. I make sure to send WIP photos so they can see the progress and even make corrections if need be as their project progresses along.
Second is quality.
There are all kinds of levels of work out there. Some are Golden Daemon level, some look like a little less. You should have a real good idea of what your finished model will look like before it's even started.
Don't be afraid to ask questions about how something will be done either. Remember, you're the one in charge. If you are looking for a particular look, color scheme or whatever... don't be afraid to speak up.
Third is price.
You're not likely going to find Golden Daemon quality for basement prices but you should get what you're paying for. Everyone has a budget, shop around and get the most for your money. It goes without saying that the more work involved or the greater the challenge in completing your commission, the more you're likely going to have to pay.
Whatever amount you decide to spend, make sure price is something you discuss up fromt and you know exactly what you're paying for.
The top picture is a sketch of that twin-thunderhammer Terminator I was supposed to do, he would have been fun, but sometimes it just doesn't turn out.
Getting something done on commission might be the only way you get that certain conversion or one-of-a-kind paint job you want. Just make sure that you're getting a good deal too.