Monday, December 21, 2009

Gift Tip #22: Original Art

Art can really make a difference in any space, large or small. While it's not like paint, it is a close runner up to changing a room in an instant! I recently got the guts to create a wall collage and am so happy I did so. I am currently looking for artwork to place in the frames. Right now, I have some placeholders (i.e. postcards, magazine ads, stationary, etc) because I am taking my time to pick out pieces that reflect my style.

Art is a tricky gift to give- you really need to know what the giftee likes (watercolors, oil, ink, etc). One way of finding out is visiting a few galleries or art museums with the giftee and remembering which ones he/she resonated with.

Also, art does not have to be expensive but you should be picking pieces that the giftee will love to see displayed for years to come.

Here are some tips when picking out art:

Be patient.
If you’re interested in a particular piece, ask the artist for a photo of it or a link to the artist’s Web site so you can think about it for awhile. Sometimes deliberation will help you avoid the bad impulse buy.

Shop solo or with a trusted sidekick.
Larger festivals can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have all day to browse. You may prefer to shop with a trusted friend, someone who knows their taste and can lend some back-up willpower – to buy or not.

Picture the empty wall.
If you have a particular corner of the house in mind, know the dimensions of the available space. Keep an eye out for surprises, too. You’ll find a place for it if you like it.

If you like it, really really like it, then buy it.
You can find good artwork for a few hundred dollars, and often much less. For the price of a fancy dinner or tickets to a show, you could own a painting or sculpture that you’ll enjoy for much longer than a night on the town.

Study the artist’s biography. Knowing some fundamental information about an artist can help you gauge their potential for growth and will often provide a deeper understanding of their work.

Look for dedication, not education. When looking for a great doctor or lawyer, academic accreditation matters. When looking for great art, however, it is not as important. Artists whose work appreciates the fastest exhibit a strong work ethic and a lifelong dedication to producing great art. Picasso, for example, had no formal training past the age of 16, but was the most prolific artist of the 20th century.

Interact directly with the artist. This allows you the opportunity to augment the information provided in an artist’s biography, and helps ensure a smooth transaction- especially when buying online. It is also advantageous to get a feel for the artist’s personality and stick-to-itiveness.

Negotiate. If you find an artist whose work falls well within your budget, offer to buy multiple pieces at a discounted price. Alternately, you could suggest buying successive pieces over time for a predetermined amount.


Pin It!

No comments: