Friday, 7 September 2012

Working on Commission

Working on Commission © Evan Baden

I wanted to give an update on a project I have been involved with over the past several months.
One thing that I battle with as a practicing artist, as I think most practicing artists do, is money. Depending on how you work, making work can be expensive. In my case, I shoot with 4x5 film and print large scale. Printing, mounting and framing large pieces gets extremely expensive. And if you have to ship those pieces, it gets even worse.

So, the battle comes between making work, and making money. Free time is needed to make work, but at the same time up I have to have money in order to make work.
Working on Commission © Evan Baden

What I was graced with this summer was a corporate commission. They don't come around very often, but when they do, they are fantastic. This particular one involved creating a book that included photographs of their employees from around the world.

These commissions are fantastic for two reasons. First, they usually pay quite well, which helps when you are involved in making your own, personal work. Second, they involve your art. You are essentially getting paid to make your own work.

Working on Commission © Evan Baden

I was lucky and asked to work on this commission for a company that wanted to do something different. They asked me to explore the people working at their company, pretty much without restriction. That is unusual, and it was something I was excited about. Many times when working with a corporation, they want to have complete control over their image. I was shocked when I had shot half the project and had not been asked to show images to anyone. And while there was some input added later in the process, I am still surprised at how restrained they have been with the whole process.

During the project I traveled through Europe, the US, and Vietnam. It was a fantastic experience and is almost finished. I will be back in Italy for the book release as well as an exhibition this fall. I am hoping this will be something that I can use in the future, possibly as a promotional tool for either more work like this or editorial work (another way to get by while devoting time for your own work).
For now I am just grateful for the experience this summer, and the continued ability to devote so much time to my own work.

Evan Baden (Foam Magazine #22/Peeping)

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