Our objective is to bring thoughtful consumers to MadeMay.com and connect them to our community of talented artists.
You can think of us as the AirBnB or Uber of commissioning artwork. Similarly to how AirBnB does not own their homes and similarly to how Uber does not own their cars, MadeMay does not own any artwork nor employ artists. Instead, we focus on connecting the customer with the artist through our platform and marketing efforts.
We are the opposite of platforms like Fiverr, which unfortunately devalue their suppliers and encourage bottom-of-the-barrel pricing. Although we don't brand ourselves as a luxury platform, we do brand ourselves as a premium platform. For instance, we individually vet all our artists before they can join our database.
As a result of being a premium marketplace, the clients we bring you are also your clients, and we expect our artists to provide high effort into each commission since artists are not only representing themselves, but also our trusted brand. Being friendly & providing a great customer experience dramatically increases your chances for future commissions.
In a world of cold, mass-produced, & automated products, our mission is to revive the human touch in commerce - one hand-made product at a time, made by a real person for a real person
As a reminder, there are 0% up-charges & 0% artist fees on direct commissions. That means if you send someone over to your MadeMay profile and they commission you - there are 0% fees. However, there is a 5% fee on commissions through the request form.
Since all artists on MadeMay are independent, we do not tell artists what to do or how to do it. Of course, we ask that everyone follows some basic guidelines, which are outlined on this page.
One more thing...we are an early-stage startup and our team works hard every day to serve you & our users. As we grow, we'd like to take a moment to thank you for trusting and joining us. :)
Your profile URL is MadeMay.com/YourUsernameHere
After you register and verify your email address, you will be asked to complete 3 steps before you account goes live:
1. Artist Form (public) - tells people what you are available to create
2. Profile Info (public) - tells people about yourself
3. Stripe (private) - tells us where to send you money
1. Artist Form
The first step helps our algorithm match clients to you.
For instance, you will be asked which Subject Type you specialize in; such as Pet Portraits. We ask you this information because, for example, we do not want to display landscape artists to customers that want pet portraits.
You can only select one Subject Type. Pick the one you want to receive commissions from. If you specialize in other Subject Types, you may create a separate/second account to be listed under another Subject Type. You do not need to apply a second time.
For other questions, such as the Size you are available to work in (Small, Medium, Large, XL), you can select multiple/all options. In fact, we encourage you to select as many options as possible if you are able to fulfill requests in different sizes - so you appear available in many different request "scenarios".
After you select & complete all the questions, you will be taken to the final page - the pricing matrix. This is where you will enter your pricing for the different "scenarios". (See Pricing Your Commissions below).
2. Profile Info
Our data shows that customers make only 50% of their buying decision on the artists' artwork, and the other 50%, interestingly, on the artist themselves. This means what you put in your profile is 50% of the persuasion!
Many artists get lots of views on their MadeMay profiles from potential clients (which is great!), but for many artists, these customers do not complete/follow-through with an order. This is often due to some customers being confused when viewing the artist profiles; and when a customer is confused, they lack confidence, and when they lack confidence, they do not purchase. We know commissions online can be tough, and we are here to help, but we also need your help in making sure the user experience is top-notch by giving consumers enough information about you!
Artists with a complete & good profile have a 82% higher chance of getting commissioned
As a result, please review these 3 top points when filling out your profile:
1. Your portfolio images should contain images of the Subject Type you selected. For example, if you chose to specialize in "Pet Portraits", you will be shown to customers that want "Pet Portraits" - as a result, the images on your MadeMay portfolio should contain images of pet portraits you have done. In other words, show your potential client what they can expect.
2. Upload a profile image. Customers like to see who is the master behind the masterpiece. Pro tip: include an image of you painting, customers typically like to envision their artists in the studio.
3. In the profile description, be specific on the medium you will use for the client. We are seeing many artists saying "I can do paintings in oil, acrylic, watercolor, and more", this is great, but this confuses the customer because they don't know what they are getting - oil, acrylic, watercolor, or something else? For the time being, pick a single medium you will do commissions with and roll with it.
We want to maintain a high quality database of artists for your & our customers, and failure to maintain a good profile will have your account removed as we only want to show complete & good profiles to our users. All MadeMay artists are talented, but getting everyone's profile right is a critical component.
Note: do not include your personal information, such as email addresses, or other website links in your MadeMay profile.
For more guidance on what to put in your profile description, see our article.
We partner with Stripe, a popular payment processor based in San Francisco. MadeMay does not have access to any of your banking information.
The flow of money:
Customer -> Stripe -> MadeMay -> Artist
When you accept a commission, payments may take up to 5 business days to be routed automatically to your bank account.
When you register on MadeMay to accept art commissions, the setup process requires completing a pricing matrix, which factors different "scenarios". These scenarios are simply the variables that commissions naturally contain.
For example, the pricing scenario for a 1-subject portrait will be different than the pricing scenario of a 4-subject portrait.
As a result, you might have a different price for each of the scenarios:
1. Portrait | Medium Size | 2 Subjects
2. Portrait | Medium Size | 4 Subjects
3. Portrait | Large Size | 1 Subject
...and so on.
When filling out your pricing matrix, factor in the 3 costs:
Primary cost components:
labor | materials | packaging
How long does it take you to complete each scenario?
Multiply that number by your hourly rate.
As a professional artist, you deserve a professional living wage so be sure to give yourself a price you feel is fair. As a reference point, the US Department of Labor Occupational Labor Statistics indicates the mean hourly wage of Fine Artists as $23.22.
For our example
If a [Portrait] [2-Subject] [Medium-Size] commission takes you an estimated 3 hours and you set your hourly rate at $30, then your labor cost is $90.
This typically includes the medium substance (i.e. acrylic paint) plus the canvas material. Only factor in the estimated used substance, and not the entire batch of material.
For the canvas, we ask our artists to use a pre-stretched canvas. These typically cost between $5 and $15. As a second and less preferred option, use rolled canvas, about $10/yard.
For our example
The material cost for a [Portrait] [2-Subject] [Medium-Size] commission is $20.
If you source from the right place, packaging shouldn't cost more than $5. We recommend not purchasing the packaging at shipping centers, as pricing is typically higher there.
For rolled canvas, we recommend buying a carton of "Heavy Duty Mailing Tubes". 1 carton includes 50 tubes; so the average price per tube is only $2.73.
For our example
The packaging cost is $3.
Remember - customers always look for a good deal. The lower your total price, the more likely you are to get commissioned. We do not recommend decreasing your labor costs, but to look for ways to decrease material & packaging costs.
Do not include shipping expenses in your total price. See Packaging & Shipping.
First and foremost, please have the materials you need readily available before you get commissioned. This is so we can shorten the time between the customer's order and the time the painting arrives on their doorstep.
Unless specified or approved by client, we ask artists to use canvas for the material surface. For some mediums, such as watercolor, you can use paper designed for watercolor.
There are many canvas types, we recommend the blank white standards. Be sure your canvas size is the same (or very similar) to the canvas size that is included in the customer's request, which is provided in your artist dashboard when you are commissioned.
Michaels and Blick are great options for procuring canvases.
Please use a canvas that is pre-stretched, as requiring the customer to stretch their painting reduces satisfaction.
For substance of paint, such as acrylics and oils, we leave this to artists since you're the expert. Our guideline here is buying in bulk to decrease the costs.
In many instances, customers don't know (or do not care) which medium is used. As a result, we suggest going with the cheaper medium (i.e. acrylic is usually cheaper than oil).
When you get commissioned, you will receive an email with the client's request so you can respond by "Accepting" or "Declining" the request.
You have 48 hours to respond.
You will receive the clients' contact information after you Accept the request.
If you do not respond within 48 hours, the commission will automatically expire.
Continually ignoring or declining requests may get your account terminated.
If you wish not to be listed on MadeMay for any reason, you can toggle off availability from your Account Settings.
In some instances, the client may not have given you all the information you need.
When this occurs, we suggest you Accept the commission so you can communicate with the client. In the event you change you mind after you accept, we can simply issue a refund.
Once you "Accept" a commission, you will be provided with all the necessary information, such as the client's contact information and address
After you Accept a commission, the client becomes your client, so be sure to reach out immediately letting them know you have received the request.
You are not required to provide updates or ask for client approval, but we suggest keeping clients in the loop with your progress.
Throughout the process, please consider recording yourself in a timelapse video and sending it to us. This is makes good marketing content so we can bring you more commissions.
Shipping is direct from artist to client.
#1 - You are responsible for the safety & quality of the package (until it's in the possession of the shipping carrier), so we recommend taking pictures throughout the process - including a photo/video of packing the painting into the package. Although rare, this is to help you in the case of a dispute.
#2 - When shipping, be sure to double-check with the carrier that the recipient/customer will be required to sign the package at delivery. This is to prevent theft or loss.
MadeMay recommends following the guidelines from UPS, our preferred partner, for packaging & shipping artwork.
When packaging & shipping, we recommend shipping with UPS or using the most economical options
After you have shipped the package, you will return to the Artist Dashboard to provide the Tracking ID and the Shipping Charge.
You will be reimbursed for the Shipping Charge.
As a reminder - do not include shipping costs in your total price; you will be reimbursed for shipping costs after you ship the package.
In the USA, if you earn above $600 in the year, we are required to send over tax documentation. Because all transactions are done through Stripe, these reports will be provided automatically.
Most of our legal requirements are outlined in the Terms & Conditions, but for instance - we may remove your account as we feel necessary. For example, we frequently send informative emails and newsletters, which often contain important information. Unsubscribing from our informative emails may result in removal because we need our artists to stay informed & aligned.
frequently asked questions
Originally headquartered in Washington DC, Requiren.com is now headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. We launched beta in 2019 and launched publicly in summer 2020.
On May 3, 2021, Requiren changed its name to MadeMay.
We are incorporated as a C-Corporation in
You can find out more About Us.
Registering & listing on MadeMay is entirely free.
We have an artist-aligned revenue model - we get paid when artists get paid.
On direct commissions, there is a 0% fee.
For instance, sharing your MadeMay profile URL and getting a direct order has 0% fees.
On standard commissions, we collect 5% from artists.
For instance, if a customer finds about MadeMay, starts a request, and chooses you as an artist, we deduct 5% from you.
When a customer commissions you, you will be notified by email and asked to "Accept" the commission in your Artist Dashboard. Once you accept it, payment is automatically released and you are paid upfront.
There are also price markups on standard commissions.
Note: there is a 2.9% payment processor fee from Stripe on all charges.
No. Your artwork is your artwork, and we do not use it for any commercial purposes.
However, we may use the artwork you upload in your MadeMay profile for marketing purposes - such as displaying it on our social media, website pages, or including it a newsletter.
Once you accept the a client's commission on your Artist Dashboard, your information is provided to the client and the client's information is provided to you.
We ask that you write to the client confirming that you are beginning the commission.
We also strongly encourage you provide courtesy check-ins with your client to inform them the status of the commission. Even if it's 1 or 2 sentences, we notice clients love to receive progress updates.
As low as $20, and as high as $10,000.
You may decline the commission.
However, our algorithm only shows artists that are likely to fulfill the request.
Because it decreases the user experience, continuously declining (or ignoring) commissions may result in account termination.
Artists handle the packaging & shipping.
The package goes directly from artist to client.
As a reminder, please keep the Tracking ID.
Cases are reviewed by our team.
In instances of damage, the client is fully refunded. (This is why we recommend providing pictures and videos of the finished product and package).
In instances of poor execution by artist, the client is refunded and the artist's funds are retrieved.
In grey areas, such as "It's good, but I was expecting a bit better", our team manually reviews to determine the outcome.
MadeMay is a technology company. We do not manufacture or sell any art - our technology simply connects customers that want custom art to those (you) that provide custom art.
In the future, you can expect more features to better connect consumers with custom-good creators.