Advice from Liam O'Callaghan

Do the legal side of things first, the contract including a payment schedule.

Get some money up front (a 3rd of the budget) and don't put your own money into the project. If it turns sour you may not be able to retreve this money and it will spare you frustration and anger if things go wrong.

It may be beneficial to both parties to have a separate research and development phases with it's own time frame, budget and payment laid out.

Be very clear that initial working drawings, models may evolve/ change and differ to the final work.

Language is very important. This may be obvious to you as a working artist but the commissioners are not artists and may have drawn another conclusions. Do not presume that they understand - to over explain, repeat yourself and double check is much better for all involved.

Leave a paper trail  -  After meetings sit down and write an email to the commissioners stating what you think was covered and agreed on at the meeting. It is a good habit to get into this as it clarifies things for both parties and it gives the commissioners the opportunity to respond if they feel there is a misunderstanding. This type of communication can prevent the project from getting confused and derailing. It also leaves a record of communication that will be very important should the project turn sour. A file of emails can show that you the artist have kept the commissioners informed and can help you argue and prove a point.

If the project budget is big enough it is a good idea to take on board a project manager. This can be helpful for many reasons:-They may speak a language that the commissioners understand, take minutes at meetings, work on the paper trail, budgets, accounts, sourcing information that may be needed, do organisational stuff that you may not have time to do due to your focus on making the work, or things you may not be that efficient at. They can help keep the momentom of the project, which is important, be another body and mind with you when in meetings with 4 or 5 people from the commissioners team, and other stuff that I can think of right now.

If there is a liaison person between the two parties in the project, I feel strongly that this person should be independent from both parties and that their fee should be part of the overall budget.



no news in this list.

more opportunities

Focus On



Nazareth Housing Association provides independent living houses for individuals and couples who are 65 and over and on the Sligo County Council housing list.  Nazareth Village is comprised of 48 houses in a garden setting.  The Village was financed as a public-private partnership between Nazareth Housing Association and Sligo County Council with funding from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.  

more about this article