6 insider tips on buying art

I am a huge sucker for a real-life painting. I just love going to an art show or the museum and strolling along through all of the paintings. There is something so special and magical about an an original piece of art that it's almost as if the artist was able to freeze time and capture a moment, an emotion, a movement, a feeling or even just the energy in the air. Art is something that lives within its materials and only an artist can make it come alive. It's looking at the layers of simplicity and complexity for the hidden meaning behind the layers of paint. It's watching a sculpture stare back at you almost like it's living and breathing. When it comes to sculptures, I just want to reach out and touch them.. or maybe I should say poke them!

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!


Lauren said...

I just adore this pineapple! The depth of color is really, really nice. My dad is an artist, and I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by art and understanding the importance of having it around you. And you're making me thing. We have a great art show here in town twice a year and I haven't been in AGES. ;)

Erin said...

Loving your new layout, girl!! And thanks for all the tips. I have hundreds of canvases and prints of my dad's to hang, so I can't see myself buying more art any time soon, but you never know! xo

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

thank you for the "insider" tips!!!

and i never knew anything about how artists charge... the charge per square inch idea, is fully new to me.

gentle hugs,

rooth said...

It's totally a dream of mine to commission something some day... save save save :)

Eva said...

Loving this pineapple ! thanks for all the tips ! Maybe Papa Noel is bringing to me a painting !

Anonymous said...

New blog header? Love it! Thank for tips. :)

Melissa Marie said...

I love the pineapple painting! :)

Rach said...

This is super helpful! The only art we have in our house is stuff that we've created. But I want to start expanding!

Christine D. | The Plumed Nest said...

i meant to say how much i loved your new blog design last time but i think i forgot, so let me say that first. it looks great!

such good tips. awhile ago i was feeling desperate for some art, so i started collecting, mostly vintage finds. now i have too much and have been purging. i decided that i need to start over with a few of my favorite pieces and invest a bit more over time with things i really love. and i have it in my mind to commission a piece from you someday. i'd love that. it's always more special when you know the artist too i think.