Finding and purchasing artwork is no easy feat. Sometimes it takes months or even years to find a piece of art that fits perfectly with your existing home decor or an artist you have a connection with. And this is ok!
While it can be daunting and intimidating to look for artwork for your home, there’s truly only one thing that matters when it comes to buying art.
Do you want to take a guess at what it may be? Here are just a few common myths I’ve heard from people in the market to purchase art for their home.
Buying Art Common Myth #1: You Need to Have an "In"
The traditional art buying world can seem reserved for the elite. And what I mean by traditional is the way you think art should be bought or the conventional methods of purchasing artwork. High-end galleries or pricey art sourcing and consulting firms probably come to mind. While these institutions can lead to fruitful finds, there are other - more affordable - ways of being introduced to works of art.
During the pandemic there has been an uptick of independent artists sharing and selling their work on Instagram, Etsy, Pinterest, you name it! Not to mention the number of new online galleries that have appeared over the last two years.
So you can debunk your theory that you need to be in some high-class social circle who frequent private viewings at city galleries to have access to good art. You just need your phone and good wifi :)
Buying Art Common Myth #2: You Need Lots of Money and You Need to Act Fast
If you’re buying a Banksy or an ape NFT then yes you’ll need a boat load of money, but there is plenty of art out there that are appropriately - dare I say even affordably - priced. By no means do you need to be ready to drop thousands of dollars on a large statement abstract out of fear that someone else will snatch it away from you.
An art buying philosophy I’ve come to admire over the years is the “slow prowl”. It sounds a little animalistic, but it’s the idea of not rushing the purchase. Get familiar and comfortable with different price points. Learn about different styles. Get to know the artist. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time and buying when you feel ready.
Buying Art Common Myth #3: You Need to Have Plenty of Wall space
It’s logical to think that you need wall space to hang artwork. I mean, you’re not wrong, but art doesn’t only have to be hung. I think people get stuck on one image of what it means to have art in your home - a large statement piece over your couch, bed, or dining room table.
If you can do it, go for it! But keep in mind there are so many ways to have art on display in your home - on the wall, on a desk, on a bookshelf, on the backs of doors, on a windowsill… you get my point. Don’t feel like you need a stunning home with plenty of wall space to welcome art into your life.
Buying Art Common Myth #4: You Need to Know the Ins and Outs of the Art World
There’s a lot of jargon when it comes to art, and overtime you will come to understand how certain words are tied to different mediums, finishes, and applications. But in the beginning you can keep it really simple! When you’re just starting to dip your toe into the art world, you’ll be just fine concerning yourself with only the size of the artwork, the style, and how to care for it.
The size is pretty self-explanatory; what do you have space for in your home? And remember, you don’t need a big blank wall per Common Myth #3. As mentioned in Common Myth #2, exploring different styles and mediums will help you get familiar with the breadth of art offerings and narrow down what you personally like. Have fun with this! There’s no right or wrong answer. Lastly, art does require light weight care. Most artists will sell their works already varnished - a protective seal applied to the top of a piece of art to prevent the colors from fading. Be sure to ask about this if it’s not clearly stated in the artwork description.
The 1 thing you need to have before buying art is…
Already innate to you and completely free. All you need is to be aware of is how a piece makes you feel. There is something extremely visceral about how you (and only you) perceive a piece of artwork; that’s why art is so subjective! A piece of art has the power to make you feel a certain way, awaken certain emotions, and literally stop you in your tracks in admiration. If you ever see an artwork and say to yourself, “I need to have that” that’s when you know you should buy a masterpiece!
A Quick Story: A few years ago I was participating in a neighborhood art walk. I had my pieces all laid out on a table at a storefront. People would come and go. Ask more about me and my work or just browse the available pieces. One lady approached the table and lingered for quite a while. I was certain she was going to make a purchase, but after about ten minutes she said thank you and went on her way. I was shocked honestly; of all the people that stopped by that day, she stayed the longest. Another thirty minutes go by, and I see the same lady walking back towards my table. She looked relieved as she reached out for one of my mini abstracts and said, “I’m glad it’s still here. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and knew I had to come back for it. There’s just something about it.”
So there you have it! The one thing you need to have before buying art is something you already innately have. It’s just about listening to that feeling. Buying art is 100% about being connected with the work for your own personal reasons. It’s irresistible. It’s memorable. It brings you an inexplicable and immense amount of joy. And as crazy as it may sound, you can’t imagine your life without that piece of art.