The best thing about buying art is that I will have it forever and I can enjoy it as much as I want. I have collected a lot of art throughout the years and each one I truly still love looking at and that I could never part with.
There are so many online resources to buy art, such as Etsy, Bigcartel, and Society 6, that have made it way more accessible for artists to show their artwork on a larger scale. I know I have spent many late nights browsing the Internet just looking at art, but there are a lot and these inside tips may help you find even more incredible art that is meant for you.
Sometimes buying real art can be really intimidating and pretty expensive, but here are a few inside tips that I have discovered in buying a real art piece, and sometimes for a great price. It's a little against the rules for me to be revealing these secrets because I am an artist and it's extremely difficult for artists to make any sort of anything on their artwork, hence the phrase, "Starving artists." However, knowing these secrets makes me excited to buy artwork and want to see even more art.
1. Art auctions. I have donated art to auctions and I know a lot of artists that will donate work to a good cause. Auctions are also a great way for an artist, especially an up and coming one, to get exposure. The best things about an auction, particularly a silent one, is that the prices start low and gradually increase. It's a great way to buy something for a good cause and typically a little less than retail price. If you are too far away for an auction, most auctions will have a online preview and then the out-of-towners can call-in before the auction or even during and make a bid.
2. Art Walks. An art-walk is usually a street that is dedicated for an evening of showing local artists and are loads of fun. We have several in my town and most big cities and little cities have them. They're often easy to find. Just, "Google," art-walk and your city's name. When I first started showing my work, I did art-walks because it was extremely inexpensive to show up and set up. This is a great way to actually meet a lot of artists and see a lot of art in a small area. There are some artists that solely make their living off of art-walks and markets. If you are looking for real artwork for your home, these are the best way to get art or get inspired for artwork in your space.
3. Open Studios or Studio Sales. What I love most about walking into an artist studio is getting a peek into their mind and their creative process. The amount of energy one feels in a studio or workspace is exhilarating. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it. If you are any sort of creative, I promise that by going to an open studio you will leave being inspired. Most cities have open studio tours, where the artist has to apply to get into and then on a certain weekend out of the year, there is a big group of artists opening their studios. I have discovered the most fun open studios are the ones that are hosted in artists buildings and have annual art shows were you go from room to room visiting artists. This is a great chance to buy smaller scale work like drawings, sketches and experimental work.
4. Layaway/make payments. Have you ever truly fallen in love with something that was too expensive? I certainly have, like all the time! Or have you seen a really large painting that you just had to have for your living room and it was totally outside of your budget? Well, guess what? Most artists accept payments, especially for large work. Not everyone can afford to drop $1,000 dollars on a piece of art, but what artists do to make their work more accessible is to work out a payment plan. It's really up to the artist if they do accept payments, but most work something out and most of the time they will let you know if they are doing a studio sale.
5. Christmas Group Shows. My personal favorite is Christmas Art Shows. There are lots of art galleries that gear-up for the holiday season and they want to provide affordable artwork or smaller reasonably priced work for special holiday gifts. Most galleries will do sneak-peeks, previews and post teasers on Facebook to get art lovers ready for the show. Some galleries even will do a special online gallery that you can buy the off the website that you can avoid the big holiday crowds.
6. Commissioned Art Work. If you love an artist's (cough-cough, like me?) artwork, and want something, it can be just as easy as contacting them directly for the price of commissioned artwork. Most artists charge per square inch or have set prices on sizes and you can get something that is unique that is meant just for you. You can also figure out what's in your budget and what you can afford because even if you can't buy that 3-foot-by-3 foot painting maybe you can afford a smaller work.
PS This print in the photo above is now available in my etsy shop!