A commissioned portrait sculpture can be a wonderful gift to give a friend or loved one. It's a great way to commemorate an important event, such as a wedding, graduation, or retirement. However, unlike other gifts, there is some involvement necessary on the part of the intended recipient. Before you commission a portrait sculpture for your friend or loved one, ask yourself these four questions first:
1. Does your loved one have somewhere to display the sculpture?
A unique, commissioned sculpture is a lovely gift which needs to be displayed. Before commissioning a sculpture, ask yourself if your loved one has room for it in their home. A recent college graduate who shares an apartment with several roommates might not have the requisite space.
2. Does your loved one have the time to sit for a sculpture?
When it comes to portraits, accuracy is of the utmost importance. If the sculpture is just a little off, it won't look like your intended recipient at all. That's why most portrait sculptors prefer to have their subjects sit for them. This allows the sculptor the opportunity to take measurements which will ensure accuracy. It will also give the sculptor the chance to observe their subject from every angle, taking into account things such as mannerisms and personality. If your loved one doesn't have the time to sit for a sculpture, you will need to take many photographs of them to send to the sculptor instead.
3. Can you find a sculptor in your area?
It's usually best to have a local artist complete your sculpture, since it allows you and the sculptor to discuss the project face to face. While it's possible to have a sculpture commissioned long distance, this makes correspondence much more difficult and can extend the amount of time it takes for the work to be completed. It also means you will likely need to have the sculpture shipped to your loved one, which can be quite expensive depending on the materials used. Before commissioning an artist who lives in another state, do your research and try to see if you can find a local sculptor instead.
4. Do you want a full body portrait or just a bust?
Portrait sculptors can create anything from a life-sized, full body representation of your loved one to a smaller and more compact bust. A full body sculpture is impressive, but it can take up a lot of space. If you want a more affordable option that can be displayed on a desk or in a foyer, a bust may be more suitable.