BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BUYING ART
Tips for investing in artwork you love
By Kelly Cushing
Buying art can be overwhelming and feel intimidating. The notion that art is for the ‘well do to’ and ‘elite’ is not the case. Art is a personal venture, just like the food you crave and the music you listen to, art is a personal preference. Do you like muted tones or bright and colourful? Do you like abstract or realism? Scenics or cityscapes? The options are endless.
You may be in the process of buying art to decorate your bedroom wall or you want to create a theme in your home. There may even be a particular artist or style of art that you love. Whichever you require, this article will give you guidance.
Where do you start?
Is the space you have large or small? Measure the space you wish to fill in, order to determine the optimal space for your new art piece. Small spaces around the home to fill up may be a good place to start. Distant horizon lines and nature are powerful in helping small living spaces appear larger. You can always change its location.
If you do have a large space you want to eventually fill, think about photography. A large anchor piece is a good place to start and landscape photography is a good option. Photography generally is more affordable than the painting of the same size. Photography is also usually less expensive than the same size painting which is great for beginners.
Art pieces can range in price from $20 and up. Original pieces are expensive with emerging artists usually less expensive than established artists. If an original piece is not in your budget, other options may be Limited Edition prints (numbered & signed by the artist) or the more affordable version in a standard print (which might be purchased online).
Remember if you purchase an original artwork, you are supporting a real, living person and not a commercial operation.
If you love it, save for it – or purchase a more affordable version of it – or purchase a similar artwork while you save for that perfect piece.
Buying off the internet is far from perfect, so follow your heart and take your time. Research the artist and ask questions if you want by emailing their website. Art is about being curious. Remember if you like a piece, and if its too expensive for your pocketbook, there is surely another piece of artwork that is similar and can fit your budget. If it’s important to you, you can start to plan and budget for that one perfect piece or artist.
3. APPROACH BUYING ART AS A LOVE AFFAIR
Finding meaningful art for your home and lifestyle takes consideration. Just as you shouldn’t ‘make a commitment’ after the first date, allow yourself the opportunity to determine what you really like. What can you live with on your walls? You need to explore & develop a relationship with art styles and artists work that you love. You may find different mediums and styles that unexpectedly resonate with you, provide visual pleasure, excite you and fill your heart.
Your search should be both methodical and spontaneous. You may have your mind set on a certain type of art, yet experience ‘love at first sight’ for something completely different.
Enjoy the adventure! Like any relationship, your art collection will develop its own story and have more significance for you as it evolves over time.
Buying artwork that you love is a reflection of who you are and an investment in your happiness. You are worth it!
- BE MINDFUL OF THE COST OF ORIGINAL ARTWORKS
When you’re considering the money to buy an original piece, think of the impact it will have on the artist. When you’re buying art, it’s not just putting something beautiful in your home. You can have a true impact. You’re supporting a real, living person not a corporation. If you don’t yet have the budget to spend a lot, dip your toe with prints and photography.
Framing can be expensive so buy unframed prints and find a creative way to hang them. Hang your art clothesline style with clothespins and Twine, simple and inexpensive. Or lean pieces on a shelf if they are on a wood or hardboard. Wrapped canvases don’t need to be framed, they look fantastic the way they are.
5. DEFINE YOUR SPACE
A common misconception is that art needs to match. Your home should look personal to you, not like a family photo album or a home décor catalog.
Determine a loose color palette to help keep it all cohesive and ensure that it will integrate well with your décor.
If you have muted furniture and décor, make a statement with your art but if you want your furniture to stand out, choose more understated muted art that compliments your décor.
A great way to express your personality is to create a gallery wall using small pieces, you can tell a story and convey your personality.
Like most design items, hang your pieces in odd numbers to provide a balance. Placing your art off-centre is another way to create a visual balance and add character.
Play with textures and mediums. Pieces that have a texture to them create a new dimension to the space.
- GIFT WITH CARE
Purchasing art is a very personal experience. This undoubtedly, makes gifting art complex. Unless you know this person extremely well and understand their tastes, purchase a gift card to an art gallery where you think they can find what their heart desires.
- INCREASES MENTAL HEALTH
Although there are many studies of how creating art aids in mental health, there is also a growing appreciation that art can alter your mood and mental well-being. Having a space that gives balance, clarity and Zen is conducive to a healthier, happier environment. Art can inspire you, reinforcing the fact that buying the art you love is of the utmost importance. Art should be seen as an extension of your personality and values.
Most importantly, choose art that makes you happy and resonates with YOU!