one summer...

Jake was bored and broke so he decided to paint. He composed a few paintings but quickly ran out of money for supplies. He never sold those paintings and didn't make any money as a new artist until he was commissioned to paint some fruit and vegetable still lifes. When he handed over his first commissioned painting, the clouds opened up, the sun brightened, and the canvasmatch model was conceived.

Walker and Jake tried to make sense of this, so they looked deeper. Many notebooks were filled, many pens ran dry and many pints were drank. They came to the realization that many artists have the same dilemma: creating art without a buyer in mind doesn't pay the bills.

They knew there had to be a better way to make 'artist' a viable career path. Canvasmatch was founded on the principle that artists should be able to make a living doing what they love.


We realized that the best model for making money as an artist is to produce artwork only when you know there will be a customer for it. People generally aren't clamoring for your paintings unless you are well known and creating enough to fill a gallery requires a significant investment of time and money. The occupation of 'artist' is much more practical when you are creating art specifically for buyers.

Commissioning art is not a new concept. Successful commissioning is though. Through experience we realized that it is difficult for the buyer and artist to match the expectations of one another. The process needs a bit of structure in order for the commissioning to succeed.

We think canvasmatch is the best way to commission a painting because we put buyers and artists on the same page. We're always looking for feedback on how to make the site easier, so please drop us a line.

We want to use these ideas to cultivate a community that supports art and the people that create it.

jake gafner

developer, co-founder

Causes, diagnoses, and fixes most site malfunctions. Sets ambitious deadlines for development. Has a knack for strategy, operational efficiency, and snowboarding. Wears cheap sunglasses.

the website

shout outs

fully responsive design

currently in beta release

web hosting by dreamhost

responsive lightbox by fancybox2

payment processing by stripe

secure socket layer by comodo

front-end built with bootstrap

back-end in PHP 5.3.X FastCGI

built with love from Wisconsin

with feedback from our community

walker richardson

designer, co-founder

Tries to keep the site clean and practical. Normalizes the deadlines set by Jake. Knows a heck of a lot about business, finance, and homebrewing beer. Hates onions and appreciates symmetry.

Press: "New site matches artists, patrons" by Allegra Dimperio | The Badger Herald