Updated: May 25, 2022
If an artist has a pleasing painting style and some beautiful works to show, the question will come up "Are you available for commissioned work?"
Some artists will eagerly say yes. Others will hesitate. Why? It depends on who the artist is. In German tradition we have the "artist" (Kuenstler) and the "professional art painter" (Kunstmaler). An artist just creates what is to his/her liking. A professional art painter usually creates his work to the needs and wants of his client.
Very often a professional art painter is educated at art school or university, and very often he/she can be considered way more skilful than a so-called "artist", even if the "artist" is world-famous and became rich from his works.
So what is the question about commissioned works?
Professional art painters work professional and for money, so orders are highly welcome, the more the better. The huge greyzone between professional art painters and artists is populated with self-styled "artists" who accept commissioned work because they need the money and chose to do art which sells - and which might be very beautiful as well. It all lies in the eye of the beholder.
Exceptions from the rule exist. The real highflyers in art history certainly had it all, art school education, unique artistic talent and unique showman's talent and big commercial talent. We talk about personalities like Dali and Picasso.
A true (painting) artist is hesitating when it comes to commissions. He/she is often an introvert, fixed on what he/she wants to do - wants to do in his/her own style and time. His/her true excellence can only be released by giving his/her own soul and being to the work. If there are wants and needs of a client, very often this cannot be achieved to the fullest.
Professional art painters are usually using a large variety of types and styles in his/her art while the true artist displays only his/her style. And - of course - the professional painting artist has to keep costs and price in proper view.