Why commission art when you can buy a work of art off the shelf? Here are seven good reasons why.

1) It is personal.
Art is beautiful and can be deeply personal and meaningful. Yet many of us don’t experience a profound sense of connection with the pieces we see when we step into an art gallery. Commissioned art, however, is different. When you commission a work of art, it is truly yours. It’s not someone else’s story, someone else’s choice or someone else’s inspiration. It’s yours.

2) You get exactly what you want.
Art is often purchased after the artist has created the piece, so you may have to search for an artwork that resonates with you, and even when you do, you may not be completely happy with the work - it is, after all, someone else’s vision. On the other hand, commissioning a work of art gives you control over the art piece. It is tailored to you and your needs, so you are sure to get exactly what you desire in an art piece.

3) It combines two persons’ creativity.
They say that two is better than one. When it comes to commissioning a painting, we can’t agree more. When you commission an artist, don’t be surprised when ideas morph and take a new shape along the way. You may even create something bigger than what you’d originally imagined.

4) It makes an awesome gift.
If you have a special occasion coming up, a specially created, customized work of art (a portrait perhaps?) may just be the thing to sweep your loved one off her feet.

Commissioning a meaningful work of art for your family is likely to result in a gift that goes on for generations to come. Check out this family portrait recently created by Leslie Low for instance, or this whimsical watercolor piece of a fairy-girl dancing in the woods.

5) It is more affordable than you think.
Buying paintings from a gallery usually comes at a hefty price. Commissioning art (via The Commissioned) is now a lot more accessible and within reach of the general public, with prices starting from less than USD100 for a small canvas piece. Now, for a piece of original art created just for you, we think it's a pretty good deal.

6) It is simple to do.
It starts with a dream, or a vision, maybe a photograph, or even a memory. Share it with an artist that you admire, listen to her views, give feedback, and enjoy the ride.

7) It is fun.
Have you ever wondered what goes into the mind of an artist when he’s working on a painting? Well, now you’re able to get a glimpse of the creativity and thinking that goes on behind the scenes, as your artist shares updates with you, and you view photos of your artwork in progress.

As this client who recently commissioned an artwork of a golden buddha puts it, "Being able to see the art in the making, step by step, was quite an eye-opener! This is something you don't get to see if you buy a piece of art off the rack."

And if all that isn't enough to make you want to commission a piece straightaway, here's a bonus reason for you. You also get a cool gallery page that you can share with your friends. How amazing is that!

So, go ahead, browse through our amazing selection of artists, and start a conversation with the ones you love.