Part 2. Where? How to Find Art for Your Home & Office
You know 'why', now 'where'?
The first post in this series was centered around 'Why' art is an important element to include in your daily life. (In case you missed it you can hop over to it using this link, as a bonus a free downloadable sunflower art wallpaper is included at the bottom of the post)
After reading the last post, and having looked around your home and perhaps finding your walls rather wanting, you've decided to go on a quest to resolve the problem.
‘Art’ of course is the answer! The next question you’ll probably have is where to get the art you like, at a price you can afford? The following article will give you some great suggestions that you may not have thought of. As an aside, not only are the following ideas for finding art great for when you're looking for something for your home, but you can also find many wonderful and unique gifts in these locals and have fun while doing it.
Don't feel intimidated, it's only art
No doubt at some point, you’ve probably read a hi-brow article from someplace like architectural digest interviewing an investment banker in the process of amassing a large expensive collection of modern, perplexing art. When the average person is considering buying art, magazine articles such as these can be pretty intimidating. Take heart, acquiring art for your home isn’t rocket science The art you buy doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t even have to be an original painting. Viable alternatives can be art prints or even sketches, they are a very affordable way to have art in every room without breaking the bank.
What you really want is something you enjoy looking at every day at a price that you can afford.
To start with you need to figure out what kind of art you like. With the advent of the internet it’s easy to do a google image search to find what you like by plugging in various art terms, ex. Colors (warm tones, or cool tones, red, blue, yellow?) style (folk, abstract, realistic, modern, traditional) subject matter (beach, landscape, still life, abstract). As you browse the images and think about the space where you would like to place your artwork. Are there any pieces that pop out as being of interest to you. Do you feel drawn towards a particular color, style or subject? If you find one you like, click the link and check out the website. If the art you like is available and you can afford it, your problem is solved. If not, keep track of the keywords that describe the types of art you like.
When shopping be sure to keep in mind the location where you’ll be hanging it, this will dictate the size(s) you will be looking for. One large artwork or several small ones hung together.
Once you know the type of art you want, the next step is to find out where you can get it either online or locally.
Online Art Platforms- A few online sources are Etsy etsy.com/shop/SoloWorkStudio (this is my store URL, but it’s my article and hey there’s great art there : ) !!!) Other places with lots of options are society6.com, artspace.com, 20x200.com, art.cometc., These websites are a treasure trove of unique and exciting artworks. Type in your keywords into these websites and see out what comes up.
Social Media- It’s been a recent occurrence that you can also buy art via social media. Many artists are now selling their art directly to the public on Facebook, Instagram or via buyable pins on Pinterest. Use your search words on the social media sites that you frequent. Once you find a few artists who's work you enjoy you can follow them via their social media streams. Artists tend to post to social info about their studio, new work, art in progress and possible upcoming sales.
Artist’s websites- Any artist work their salt has their own website in which to display a portfolio of their artwork and to sell prints and products featuring their art. It's a great way to shop from the comfort of your own home. I know most of my sales are done online. The best part is that you and the artist are not limited by geographic location. You can buy art from anther state or country even and have it shipped direct to your home.
Online isn't the only place to buy art, go old schoolWhen searching google for places to buy art most of the results that will be returned are for online venues, but what many people forget to consider is that you can also go with local art. There are many places to find great art locally. Trust me I know, as an artist of many years I have had art in many types of venues. This is how we sold art in the old days before the internet lol.
Art in the park- Most towns and cities have a main local park. This is where artists will tend to congregate on sunny summer weekends to display their art to park visitors. I have spent many a Sunday afternoon showing my art in the local park. It’s a lovely way to spend the day casually chatting as people stroll by. Type into the Google search bar “Art in the Park” plus the name of your town, and to see what comes up.
Café Restaurant Exhibit- Another place to find art is the local café. Many independent café’s invite artists to display their art. It’s a win, win situation. The artist gets exposure and the cafe or restaurant get some great art on their walls. I currently have work in a local restaurant through the art gallery I display with.
Public Art Gallery Gift Shops- While the local public art gallery may display exhibitions featuring high prices modern art or valuable pieces from their collections, their gift shop usually has smaller works by many talented local artists for sale at a reasonable price. Original miniatures paintings and hand pulled prints, pottery and many other small objects d'art.
Artist Co-op Galleries- Many public art galleries have set out mandates that tend to exclude up and coming artist in favor of more established artist, hence the advent of the artist’s co-op. A collectively run gallery space where artists take turns 'manning' the sales desk. Many tourist towns have these types of co-op galleries. Although the quality of the artwork can be uneven (meaning some great art and some not so great art) you may get lucky and score a wonderful piece at a great price.
Art Rental Gallery- Where I live the regional public art gallery has a rental gallery where local artists can have their work displayed for rent. People can rent to own or just keep an ever-rotating collection of art by renting several pieces on a monthly basis. The rental price is based on a percentage of the selling price of the piece. This is great for a person or company who hosts many events or parties and therefore needs art that is new, different or seasonal for each event they plan. Even if you're only looking to rent one piece it is a wonderful way to test-drive a piece of art, to live with it for a bit to see if it truly is something you want to look at every day. As an artist, I think it's a wonderful idea. I have several pieces of my artwork in a rental gallery. https://muse.museumlondon.ca/
Art Fairs & Festivals - Every town has a least a couple festival during the summer months featuring food, music and local artisans. Peruse the artist's booths to check out what kind of art is being offered. You’ll find many different types of work and methods of creation. From original prints and paintings to sculptures and fabric art to more folky crafty wares like jewelry. The prices are generally quite affordable, plus you get all the fun a and entertainment of being at a festival.
Artist Studio Tours- Every town large and small that I've lived in has pamphlets for artist tours. This is a particularly interesting and informative way to purchase art. Artist tours give you a chance to see the studio where the art is made and to talk to the artist about the inspiration and processes behind creating the work. People, both artists and non- artists alike, are always fascinated by the art making process and how the artist comes up with the idea and then expresses it in physical form. I find the way other artist make work to be endlessly interesting, especially if they specialize in medium that I don't work with such as pottery, glass or sculpture. The bonus is that once you have acquired an art piece you also have first-hand information directly from the artist about the art piece that you can share with people who visit your home and see the work. Type into the Google search bar “Artist Studio Tours” plus the name of your town, and to see what comes up.
Estate Sales and Auctions- You can find some very interesting art via estate auctions. My husband and I picked up three limited edition art prints from an artist I knew but had passed away several years ago. The estate auction of one of his collectors was the only way to acquire the prints. We were surprised to see them come available at a local art auction and so jumped on them. With a quick search of google you'll find that there are many estate auction houses local to you. Some even have separate auctions just for art, and the quality of the art will be generally higher than a regular general estate auction.
From the list above you see that there are many interesting, fun and easy ways to buy beautiful and interesting art.I’ve laid out many ideas here for how to acquire art. Many of the suggestions also come with fun agendas for getting you out and about on a weekend, festivals, art tours, art in the park.
The purchasing of art has for a long time been cloaked in an air of mystery and thought of as the domain for those 'in the know' and with enough cash to enable them to put together impressive collections. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The average person with a limited budget can still acquire artwork that is interesting and beautiful, art that they can proudly display in their homes.