You’ve got your sofa and a stylish lamp, there just needs to be something interesting on the walls – and ‘that’ Ikea poster of a New York skyline definitely doesn’t cut it.
But fear not, it’s easier and a lot more possible than you think!
You just need to know where to look and what to look out for.
Insider tips. So you can ZAG while everyone else ZIGS.
So without further ado, here are the 3 most asked question people struggle with, and the insider solutions:
Question #1: Where do I find original and affordable art?
The best is always to buy straight from the artist!
- It’s a very economical way to avoid the commission galleries or stores charge.
- You’ll get to hear the stories and context about the work and artist.
- He can advise you on what work is best for you and your home.
- You’ll create a personal connection, they will enjoy engaging with you and sharing insight into their work.
- If you have any questions before or after your purchase, it’s easy to contact them.
Where to find those artists?
- Instagram: Instagram is the stomping grounds for independent, up and coming, and incredibly talented artists. If you’re looking for affordable original art get on the prowl. See a piece you love on your Instagram feed? Is the artist tagged? Go find them.
- Independent Coffee Shops: Independent coffee shops often display the work of local artists, especially up-and-comers, and typically the work is for sale.
- Art Festivals and Fairs: Local artists often exhibit and sell their work at art fairs. Find out what’s happening in your city in the arts, and then show up!
- Your friends: Don’t be affraid to ask others where they got something.
But take it slow. Don’t try to follow to many at the same time in case you get a visual overload.
When you found an artist you like, try to meet the artist in person, or follow them on Instagram and Facebook to get a glimpse into their lives! Signup for their newsletter if they have one.
Of course there also are a couple of online websites you can take a look at. Here are my favourites:
Question #2: Isn’t art way to expensive?
Despite what you may have been led to believe, original art does not have to be expensive.
Start with Photography:
Photography is a great medium for first-time buyers to focus on. Quite often prices are lower for this particularly arresting medium that is easy to fall in love with and to live with.
Many artists sell prints for as little as €50-€100, so it is not as hard as you may have thought to quickly build up your collection. Believe it or not, artists WANT to offer these options, as they want their work to be accessible to anyone who it speaks too. They appreciate each fan.
These are not the posters of days gone by that you are thinking of. Prints are an affordable option to own your favorite image, your favorite artist, and to allow you to sit with several artists’ works in your home, and decide who really speaks to you over time.
Set a budget
Try to set a budget in terms of what you can afford, and be prepared to spend a little bit more. The things that you’ll regret in purchasing will not be the works that you’ll buy, but mostly the works that you didn’t buy.
If you can’t afford a work you like, keep an eye on the artist. His or her work may show up elsewhere.
If you like a piece of art enough to own it and you can comfortably afford it, buy it. Artists like to stay in touch– and down the road, often pay you back in unexpected ways, like with special invitations to studio events or by offering you their best new art first. Over time, artists often become friends with people who really like their art and what might start out as a single purchase can ultimately evolve into a great relationship.
Focus on emerging artists:
Focusing on artwork by emerging artists is a great way to acquire stunning works at reasonable prices, and find works that don’t break the bank.
Look at it like this:
You wouldn’t buy real estate when the market is sky high, would you?
Buying from young artists who are only starting to make a name for themselves is like stumbling upon a great real estate deal.
Be discerning and brave. It’s a lot better to settle on a good example of this type of work from an exciting emerging artist than to scrimp and save to buy something second-rate from someone better-known. There is great satisfaction in supporting the next generation of artists.
Pro Tip: Framing a smaller-sized photograph in a matte border essentially acts as a window around an artwork and can give a smaller piece more impact.
Question #3: How do I find an artwork that fits my personality?
Finding the right work of art can seem intimidating at first. You may be worried about choosing the right size or the right colors that will fit your space. As it turns out, choosing art for the home is much more intuitive than one might think.
Fall in Love:
It is essential that you fall in love with the artwork you are buying before making the purchase. According to a recent survey by University College London, looking at a beautiful work of art impacts the brain in the same way as falling in love with a person.
While your home décor can obey certain rules, such as investing in neutral couches or flooring, you can use your walls for irrational or eclectic choices that represent your personality.
Buy something for the simple reason that you love looking at it. As Norman Ackroyd said about collecting, “When it goes on the wall, can you live with it? Sometimes of course the question is, could you live without it – and if it’s no, that’s when you really go for something.”
If you don’t love it, don’t despair:
Your tastes will change over time, and that’s fine – you can fall in love with something twice. If you hang an artwork at home and it doesn’t feel right, move it. Try putting it in different places, and see if it strikes an interesting dialogue with other works on your wall. Grouping works together can be really effective. Test out a group of frames by arranging them on the floor or a table top.
Finding art that you love can take time, whether in person or online. Don’t rush to fill every empty wall at once. Start with one or two key pieces, live with them for a bit, and build one by one from there.
Enjoy the process of discovery and allow your collection to develop naturally.
If you’re interested: I’m also putting together some stories about others who were experiencing the same problems, how and where they found their perfect print, and how it improved their homes.
I’m thinking about calling it Affordable Art for Insiders [AAI] .
Just request an invite below and I’ll contact you when they’re ready!
Finding good art, either online or locally, can take time – but the hunt is part of the fun. Savor the process of looking at beautiful pieces, and remember to listen to your heart when buying art so you put pieces on your wall that really speak to you.
Either way, the joy of developing an extensive collection over a number of years can’t be missed.
– Laura Noble