5 Things To Consider When Purchasing Art
When I am exhibiting at an art show or event, I very much enjoy talking to people; not only about their interest in my work, I also love to hear their opinions and expectations about art in general as well. Often I hear folks say that they'd love to collect more art, but they don't know where to start, or have trouble choosing from so many inspiring pieces. When you think about it, buying something as personal and meaningful as art can be intimidating or daunting. I'd like to share a few points to ponder for anyone who may be considering investing in some artwork for their home, whether for the first time, or the tenth time, or if you're like me, to add to your collection leaning against the wall in your hallway, as all of your wall space is occupied by *gasp* more art.
Art does not, repeat, does not have to match the walls or furniture or decor. In fact, you might end up "losing" the piece like a faded wallflower if you try to make everything the same colour. You don't want a piece to clash outrageously with the flow of your room, but your artwork should complement the room and have a presence of its own, not blend in with the curtains. Choose art based on how it makes you feel and how it reflects your personality and taste, not on whether or not that abstract piece has the perfect shade of blue to match the rug up in the corner there... if colour is really a concern, a piece with many different colours, or plain black-and-white, is easy to "match up" with your style, and it will still match if you decide to redecorate in the future.
Don't buy the latest most popular subject matter. Stay away from trends and find your own likes and styles. Be unique. Remember in the 80s when everyone had those awful pink pastel pictures of metal furniture and flower vases? Sure you do. Do any of your friends have a painting of poppies? Those were very popular for a while, there must be millions of works with slight variations on the theme. Metal stars? There are less real ones in the sky. These items are fun and trendy and modern, "in the now", if you will, but that's more for decor... not so much for a true investment in art. Something you thought was fabulous for a minute may lose some of its lustre when you realize both your neighbours and your best friend have pretty much the same wall art. Go for timeless, not "this time".
Buy a piece to fit a specific spot, or buy a piece and then find a spot for it, but be open to moving your collection around periodically. Just because you bought that painting five years ago to go over the mantle, doesn't mean you can't buy this one to go there... just move the other over a bed. Changing it up every once in awhile can give the impression of a whole new room, and refreshen the energy in your home. It also leaves room for the possibility of obtaining more art - you never have to be "finished" your collection.... boring! What if your all-time favourite piece is still out there?
Your artist or gallery is not Wal-Mart. Have reasonable expectations about what you should pay for someone's creation, and understand what a treasure you are getting. Artists can't produce giant canvases in bulk to be sold at bargain prices. The cost to produce art can be very high. I use only premium paper and inks in my work, and they are very expensive. This is beyond what it costs for my equipment, not to mention my time. At the end of a sale, what I'm really getting is the pride from knowing someone is taking home my work. I am not laughing all the way to the bank with your money. In fact, I'm likely buying more supplies. Take into consideration all that the artist has put in to this amazing work so you can love it forever. You cannot find that on a shelf at a chain store.
Your art is for you, not for the occasional visitors you have to your house. So don't worry about how others will like it, and be self-confident... you have great taste in art - yours! Don't be afraid or shy, be bold and go for what you really want. If something really speaks to you, then it was meant to be yours, no matter the subject or medium. So proudly hang that nude oil painting, the epic digital fantasy landscape, the bold abstract design, and enjoy expressing yourself. That's what art is all about!
Have fun in the selection process, and remember how much it means to an artist when you purchase their work. On behalf of all artists, I say thank you! Now go out and make your little corner of this world brighter with new art!
I couldn't agree more with Rinka and yourself. I paint folk art on different mediums. I used to go to craft shows and had my work in a store on consignment as well as I did some custom pieces. I learned from a custom job I did that you cannot match what the customer wants.
I used to oil paint and I mix many of my colours.... unless I use the paint right out of the bottle, I could never match the colour exactly. I will never do custom work again, as the average person, unless they do arts or a craft can sometimes not understand that you can never recreate a piece exactly the same. I recall spending countless hours designing a pattern for a client on shutters, only to have the clients husband insist I had painted on the wrong part of the shutter and installed them upside down. I felt badly charging her (which was a very reasonable rate) because her husband wasn't happy obviously and he thought I was stupid for painting in on the "wrong" panel. Really, how do you hang a cluster of cascading flowers "upside down" ? ! The paintings (on four shutters) could not possibly be enjoyed by my client who asked me to create it as it was not displayed as they should have been and that made me feel badly.
Like you, I was just happy at the craft shows and through consignment that people purchased my work because they liked it. It was flattering to have someone want me to paint something special for them but I learned the hard way.
You are bang on when you said the money made from the sale of art often goes into more supplies .... it did in my case. It either went to purchasing more supplies or taking a class on a different technique.
I plan on purchasing a print or two from your collection .... Unfortunately, there are so many that I'd like and as you know we only have so much wall space.... so I'm going to be thinking about it long and hard. You really should number your prints so I can keep track of which ones I like....lol.... I've been through the stone shots over an over again and I'd like to keep track so I can just go in and find it quickly when I want to order.
I'd also like to compliment you on a great website and great photography ! Well Done !
Sarah, I absolutely agree with you! I am a stained glass artist. Every piece is different even if the same idea is used more than once. The use of different colours, textures etc. of glass makes every piece "one of a kind". When pricing, it is next to impossible to "get paid" for the time it takes to create and make a piece. You are certainly correct when you comment that the money received for our efforts basically allows us to purchase supplies for the next project! I love my art (in spite of the cuts and burns lol) and am "over the moon" when someone appreciates my art enough to buy it. As far as buying to match home décor - well - again, I'm in total agreement with you! If you see a piece of art that really catches your attention you will find that it will work in your home.
So, at the risk of repetition, you hit the proverbial nail on the head with your article "5 Things to Consider When Purchasing Art".
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