Freelance Artist Contract Template - Free & Simple to Customize - Bonsai (2023)

What is an artist contract?

Artists are one of the most creative people we can find around considering their imaginative ability to come about with stunning ideas. Considering the shift in global employment and work methodologies, a lot of skilled persons now freelance including artists as they determine their pay and work schedule.

It feels great when you know you’re in charge of your time. You decide when to work without having a predetermined schedule by an employer. Owing to flexibility of work schedule in the freelance world, most people are damping their jobs to explore the benefits. What’s more?As a freelancer, you can determine how much you make, and so you don’t work with a fixed income at the end of the month.

Recent studies have shown that over 53 million Americans work as freelancers today changing the regular nine to five working hours schedule. As a freelance artist, beyond your creativity and giftings, there’s a place of keeping abreast with the current trends and the rapid shifts the industry experiences daily. Adding to your skills development, you know developing a professional artist contract is not negotiable to successfully handle your projects.

Like every other freelancer, you need to work with an artist contract template to safeguard your income. In most cases, freelancers disagree with clients over payment, and such issues may lead to termination and losses. Being a reputable freelance artist, you wouldn’t want such things to happen. Therefore, you should consider having an artist agreement template. Here, you define your scope of services and payment terms so that the client knows what they expect.

If you’re creating an artist contract for the first time, you’ll find it challenging. However, you don’t need to worry as you can always get a free artist contract template to help you design one. Usually, an artist contract template is already formatted, and, therefore, you won’t struggle trying to place information in the right place, similar to how you might face difficulties when you calculate your freelance artist tax deductions.

Nevertheless, not every artist agreement template will contain all the necessary sections to make a complete contract. It’s up to you to choose the best free artist contract template from the ones available, and capture everything you mentioned in your artist proposal template within it. Of course, it’s quite daunting to get one, but knowing the nitty-gritty of a good artist contract template should make the task easier. Even better, you can check the artist agreement template PDFs that are commonly used by freelance artists.

Perhaps you are already staring at a golden opportunity, and all you need is a free artist contract template that will present you well before a client. But how then do you create an agreement if you are yet to formulate one?

Do you want to know how to write an art contract? You are at the right place!

An art contract is a simple outline of the terms and conditions by which a freelancer and client agree to work. Also, It may be a complex document with several pages, depending on the project involved. The purpose of a contract is to set agreements on the following terms of work, the scope of work, deadline, limitations, and many more. Putting these in writing will prevent misunderstanding and keep both parties' stress levels low.

A contract is essential in the case of intellectual properties such as art. As a freelancer, whenever you sell your work is like you are selling your tangible properties like a car or a house. Also, with a contract, your mind will be at rest. You will have to worry about every single "what if." You can create your art contract by following our art contract template. You should adjust this template to suit your art services.

It becomes a challenge if you are yet to understand what it takes to make a good contract; and adding to the fact that new trends are emerging every day as clients also appreciate more bespoke agreements. If you find yourself in that situation, you may want to jump at every agreement you see.

But before you do that, let’s see what a artist agreement template is all about before we show you to identify a great artist contract template.

It is not uncommon to see different books on business advice on the need for a contract to work with every client. But in real business, people let things slip through the cracks. Some even believe that only big projects require a contract making them skip some vital paperwork.

But it’s actually a little stuff you ignore that have the potential of causing expensive and time-consuming problems. A contract is an agreement either to do or not to do something; it is a legally binding document that clearly outlines an agreement between two parties so that the “object” is achieved while preventing disputes or litigation.

Whether you are skilled at creating art, specialized in some activity, or you do a freelance recording as an artist, you would need an artist agreement template because human relationships could be messy, and memories are imperfect. Although a contract may not prevent you from all complexities and probable ambiguity in communications, it can bring about clarity and consensus between you as a freelancer and your client.

In most cases, you’ll be meeting your client for the first time, and you can’t work with them on the basis of trust without a contract. An artist contract template defines your role as a freelancer and the client’s obligations. Simply put, the artist agreement template highlights the services the clients expect from you, and how much you’d like to receive for every task you complete. However, there are other sections such as termination clause, patent rights, etc., which are also included in the artist agreement template.

Get an artist contract template now

What makes a good artist contract?

A free artist contract template isn’t necessarily a bulky document with so much information. It could be just a simple outline of the terms and conditions of a project by which you, as a consultant and your client have agreed to work. It could also be a complex document depending on the level of intricacies of the project and the number of elements involved.

Since we have several templates online, it’s essential to know what makes a good free artist contract template before choosing one.Since we have several templates online, it’s essential to know what makes a good free artist contract template before choosing one.

The following are essential elements in a good artist contract that would protect a freelance agent and his client.

2.1. Client information in the artist contract template

Freelance Artist Contract Template - Free & Simple to Customize - Bonsai (1)

You should have relevant information about your client on your artist contract as well as data about yourself as a freelancer. The agreement should detail or describe the parties clearly. All information provided should be with the consent of the parties involved.

Keep in mind that the agreement should protect the interest of both parties, and, therefore, before including client information in the free artist contract template, seek permission from the client to know what they’d like you to include in the contract.

2.2. Detail your services in the artist contract template

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Artists are creative and magical, and as such, your free artist contract template should spell out the services you would render to the prospective client. It could also give an overview of the goal, outlining the chunk of activities that would be seen in the end product.

The client is hiring you to offer specific services, and you must live up to this if you’d like them to pay you. They wouldn’t want to spend on services that don’t add value to their business. That’s why your free artist contract template should exhaustively cover the services you’ll be offering and how much they cost. Be as clear and precise as possible when drafting this section.

2.3. Payment method and schedule section of an artist contract template

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The payment plan of your client is a critical part of your artist contract. Freelancing is a risky business, and as such, there should be a clear definition of a milestone arrangement that would trigger the final payment for the project. The payment schedule can be weekly, bi-monthly or in any frequency agreed upon. After completing the assigned task, you want the client to deliver the payment first before you proceed to the next task.

As a freelance artist, you don’t want the client to pay you anytime they wish. That’s why your free artist contract template should highlight the payment timeline so that the client delivers your dues on time. Even then, don’t make the deadlines too tight for the client. Remember, sometime they’ll delay the payment due to genuine reasons. So give an allowance for such circumstances.

2.4. Intellectual property and copyrights in your artist contract template

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There needs to be an agreement on who owns the intellectual property you create. Should you reserve the right to the intellectual properties, you should come up with a license that permits its use to your clients, and the license expiry date should be stated if there is any.

2.5. Dispute resolution covered by an artist contract template

Should in case a party breaches the agreement, your artist contract should carry the medium of resolution; which may include arbitration, mediation, or court resolution.

2.6. Revisions and alterations of any artist contract template

You should give room for review and revisions of project in your proposal. However, you should beware of unlimited revisions by applying some clause that would prevent such happening. In doing this, answer questions on how alterations should be done, and at what point would you charge additional fees for the project. Through it all, a good relationship with your client would go a long way in making changes to your project with ease.

Other elements that your free artist contract template should capture include warranties, confidentiality/NDA, and Non-compete clause.

What should be included in the artist contract template?

3. Client information in an art contract template

In this section, you should provide details about your client, such as the name of your client, organization, email address, address, and phone number.

4. Project information covered by your art contract template

State the freelancing service you are offering for such a client. For example, Artwork will be designed to improve the body copy provided by the client and laid for a full-color brochure. All Artwork will be done to meet the client specifications and use the client supplied graphics. The project will be designed using some combination of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign. Then the final Artwork will be in a file format suitable for printing press production.

5. Project pricing details section of the art contract template

The project price is quoted based on a negotiated package price of $200 for the entire project. The price quote does not include a 10% sales tax. Additionally, if you both agreed to use PayPal as your form of payment, there is a computer-based service charge on the total fee. You should either include or exclude the service charge in the final invoice.Make sure to include all such details on your art contract.

6. Final payment terms of the art contract template

You should state the final payment terms in your art contract. For instance, within three days of project completion, before the final delivery, an itemized invoice will be delivered to the client.

Besides those, you should include the percentage deposit made before the project commenced. And the Final payment when the job is completed. Also, you should state that all final files will be delivered after the Checks are cleared.

7. Revisions of an art contract template

The total price paid for the project does not include unlimited revisions. I want to be sure you are satisfied with the final product. We have experienced that excellent communication between a freelancer and client can limit the revision to small corrections rather than total do-overs. Do-overs are a result of improper communication.

8. Ownership of artworkestablished by an art contract template

Include that your freelancing service agency retains ownership of all files until full payment has been made. Thus, upon full payment, the original artwork or fine becomes the client's property. This implies that the client will take all necessary credit for usage of the project by the unauthorized body.


A good contract does not have to be a thick document with lots of legal terms. A contract must be written in a simple language that both client and freelancer must understand clearly. You can use our art contract template to draft your own template.

Artist contract template FAQs

Do you have more questions about artist contract templates? Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions:

1. What are the benefits of using artist contract templates?

The major benefit of using an artist contract template for any new project is to protect your work and make sure you get paid on time, and to agree in writing with the client on the project scope and steps for resolving the problem

2. How do I create a artist contract template?

An artist contract template can be created either by starting from a sample, and editing it for the project's individual requirements, or by using Bonsai to draft and download one in just minutes. Sign up a the free trial today!

3. When do I draft and send the artist contract template?

An artist contract template is drafted and sent for signature whenever you start a new project.

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