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What to Expect when Hiring an Art Consultant in 2024

As the art world is constantly evolving and changing, hiring a consultant to help navigate the art market is becoming essential. In our many years of experience we have found that clients who choose to work closely with an art consultant usually experience less stress, better prices on artwork sales and a beautiful curated collection they can be proud of. David Knowles, Creative director at Artelier explains "if we were presented with the exact same project in the same context, we would do it differently, we are always pushing ourselves and our clients, redefining what it means to be an art consultant today."

As an experienced art consultancy, Artelier excels in guiding clients through the intricate process of crafting a tailor-made art collection for their personal aesthetic and unique projects. In this article, we address some of the most frequently asked questions about art consultants.

Living Room Feature Wall | Art Consultant

What does an art consultant do?

Art consultants are experts in art history who develop art collections for private, hospitality, corporate and public projects. After initial consultations, your chosen art consultancy curates a detailed art proposal which responds to the project and the site.

Once the final artworks are agreed upon, the art consultants then oversee sourcing or commissioning of the artworks. This involves liaising with the artists and clients and creating specialist solutions for practical requirements. Art consultants should put the client's mind at ease by handling the presentation and installation of the artwork; this requires specialist technical and curatorial skills that neither the artist nor the client may possess, so they will utilise their professional contacts.

Office Art | Board Room Art | Art Consultant


Why hire an art consultant?

Art consultants play an increasingly vital role across various industries. Their extensive knowledge of the art market and connections with contemporary artists make them instrumental in helping clients bring their artistic visions to life, whether it involves commissioning a standout piece of contemporary art or curating a bespoke art collection. Art consultancy services become especially crucial for larger collections, as top-tier art consultants excel in achieving a balance, curating exceptional art that shines individually while contributing harmoniously to a cohesive collection.

In addition to sourcing and commissioning art, art consultants are also experts in logistics and installation. For substantial projects like corporate or hotel art consultancy projects, a turnkey art service ensures clients receive a comprehensive art package, eliminating the need to hire multiple fine art specialists. Hiring an experienced consultant to oversee every aspect of the art curation process ensures a hassle-free experience for art buyers, as they are well-versed in managing the expectations and challenges associated with such projects.

Lobby Art Installation


What to expect when hiring an art consultant?

Every project undertaken by an art consultancy represents a transformative journey. While clients may arrive with initial ideas, the art consultant's role is to refine these concepts, introduce clients to fresh possibilities and artists, and curate a diverse array of artwork options. As the project evolves from the conceptual stage to proposals, commissioning, and ultimately installation, the consultant assumes the role of project manager, ensuring the final artwork is delivered impeccably to meet the client's standards.

4 Step Process

Step 1: The effectiveness of seasoned art consultants hinges on meticulous planning. After initial discussions to understand the client and their project, the top art curator or consultancy will independently develop artwork ideas and create a curatorial proposal. At Artelier, our entire curatorial team participates in this initial phase to harness a broad spectrum of research. Upon presenting the concept proposal to the client, they indicate which ideas, styles and individual artworks they like best.

Step 2: Armed with this feedback, art consultants proceed to refine and tailor proposals to suit the client's preferences, developing site-specific proposals to cater for the client's preferences. Throughout the journey, clients offer feedback at every juncture, yet are freed from labour-intensive and knowledge-intensive tasks such as exhaustive research and the creation of sophisticated curatorial proposals.

Step 3: After the client has finalised their choices, the art consultant begins working with artists. At this stage, the client can rest assured that the consultant is taking care of the complex commissioning process, and effectively project managing artwork development. The consultant can also organise for the artist to provide samples, sketches and designs to the client, involving them directly in the artistic choices. The art consultant's involvement streamlines the process and gives a level of security to the client.

Step 4: Finally, a turnkey art consultancy firm will handle all logistical stages. They will organise specialist artwork packing, arrange shipping and secure appropriate insurance. Due to their specialist artistic knowledge, the art consultants will also typically develop custom plinths or frames, as well as fixings and fastenings that are appropriate to the artwork and its context. With a team of technicians and representatives on hand at every location, the art consultancy will ensure that the artwork is installed properly and flawlessly presented.

Engaging a reputable art consultant guarantees clients a comprehensive bespoke art package, meticulously addressing every stage of the process. The outcome is a world-class artwork or collection, competitively priced and expertly tailored to the unique demands of the project.

Yacht Mural | Art Consultant


Help in navigating the art market

If you have never worked with art dealers, gallerists, auction houses and artists, navigating your way around the art market can be an intimidating prospect. An art consultant can assist you by being a good listener and taking the time to understand your interests, personal aesthetic and artwork requirements. Art advisors can give private clients tours of galleries and art fairs helping to educate the client on a specific art movement, a particular art genre or style.

Having the help of a trusted art advisor who is impartial and has your best interest at heart can be invaluable when dealing with all types of stakeholders within the art world.

How much does an art consultant charge?

Each art consultant establishes their unique pricing structure, which can vary based on the industry and the quantity of artworks needed. When commissioning a single bespoke artwork, the consultant's fee typically falls in the range of 5-15% of the artwork's value, depending on the project's specific requirements.

For larger, more extensive projects that demand a longer-term commitment from the art consultancy firm, the fee structure is often presented as a comprehensive package. This package covers both art consultancy fees and artwork costs. The client and art consultant collaboratively define the project's scope, which includes determining the total number of required artworks, their designated locations, and specifying the services the consultant will provide. Clients may have a predefined art budget in mind, and in such cases, art consultants will tailor the project's scope and their services to align with the budget.

Hiring an art consultancy firm typically saves money for the client. Art consultants bring a wealth of experience to the table, enabling them to source high-quality artworks within budget constraints while accurately assessing fair pricing for these pieces. Moreover, their expertise extends to collaborating closely with artists, ensuring that the development of each artwork aligns seamlessly with the practical needs of the designated space. This proactive approach helps prevent costly modifications or potential damage that might arise in the absence of an art consultant's guidance.

Furthermore, art consultancies boast a network of affiliated art specialists, encompassing handlers, technicians interior designers, and framers. Leveraging this network allows them to secure competitively priced services without compromising on quality.

Ultimately, the fees charged by an art consultant are tailored to the specific and unique requirements of each project. To kickstart the collaboration, our art consultants offer an initial consultation at no cost. During this consultation, we discuss your project's particulars, including providing preliminary cost estimates, ensuring transparency and client satisfaction.

Bedroom Feature Wall | Art Consultant


How do you find an art consultant?

As a niche field, art consultancy firms are generally more under-the-radar than well-known interior design or architecture firms. Many high-end projects collaborate with art consultants, but they are rarely named by journalists in articles about the project. This means that, aside from using galleries or drawing on recommendations from personal networks, the best place to discover art consultants is online.

Many art consultants have extensive websites, with examples of the art they have commissioned for projects and the different contexts and art world they work in. By browsing the websites, it is often clear for a client whether the art consultant works at the same calibre as their project. This is especially important to establish for more complex, high profile and larger-scale projects, as a large amount of trust is placed in any specialists.

The paramount step in finding the right art consultant involves open communication and ensuring a good fit. When reaching out to an consultant, initiate the conversation with an introduction to your project and provide contact details. Artelier Art Consultancy, for instance, offers an invaluable opportunity for a free and informal initial consultation with our creative director. During this consultation, prospective clients can delve into their project's intricacies, allowing for a more thorough understanding of their needs while Artelier discusses its relevant experience and expertise.

Mount Fuji Mural | Art Consultant


Common Mistakes To Avoid

Lack of Research: Failing to research the type of art you need and your consultant's experience can be a costly error. Ensure your consultant has relevant expertise.

Unclear Vision: Don't hold back when it comes to conveying your desired outcome. Initiate a meaningful discussion with your consultant from the very start, whether it's during the initial call or introductory meeting, and continue the dialogue throughout the process. Even if you're in the exploratory stage, be sure to express your ideas clearly. Prioritising open and ongoing discussions with your art consultant can ensure your objectives remain perfectly aligned.

Closed-Mindedness: Avoid the trap of rigidly sticking to your initial ideas. It's common for individuals to enter with a fixed idea and disregard the consultant's alternative perspectives. Embracing an open-minded approach to your project vision can lead to superior results


Artelier Art Consultancy

Artelier are a top UK art consultancy working internationally, with extensive expertise on larger projects – functioning as public art consultants, corporate art consultants or hotel art consultants – as well as private projects in residences, onboard yachts and aircraft.

Follow the below links to learn more about Artelier and what we do:

Industry Homepages: Residences; Hotels; Yachts; Aircraft; Corporate; Public.


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