Tips for Buying Art

#behindthepalette Guide to Buying Art // www.evelynhenson.com


Questions related to buying art prints and paintings always seem to pop into my email inbox...which prints work best in a certain space, if you can mix original pieces with prints (YES!), if a painting would match (insert item here), whether the 8x10 painting would be better than the 20x20, etc. There's no right or wrong way to start your art collection, but, given I'm a bit of an art fanatic, I thought I'd share my advice on art buying. Here are 5 tricks to shop by: 


  1. Find something that speaks to you. This is the one I find most important. If you see artwork and don't feel something, then it's probably not be a "forever" purchase. If my first thought is "OMG," "obsessed," or "those colors!" then it'll probably wind up in my shopping cart. I might ponder a purchase if time allows, but I think you should always value your gut reaction. Make sure it's something you're excited about! 

  2. Don't buy something just to fill a blank wall. If it's not something you love, you'll just regret it down the road. If you're like me and can't handle living with bare walls, I recommend DIYing your own until you can splurge on that must-have piece.  

  3. The art you purchase should be a reflection of your home and style. They should share the same personality, you know?! I like to buy art that I can relate to, evokes a sense of happiness, or relaxes me. Don't get me wrong--I love art that really makes me think, or is, perhaps, even a little dark (Goya's Saturn, anyone?). I'm just saying I don't want to hang them on my walls because I want my home to be a cheery place. 

  4. Shop with a price range in mind, but don't let the numbers be a factor. Since it's never smart to spend more than your budget allows, I do suggest keeping a general price range in mind to avoid buyer's remorse; however, at the same time, I also don't think numbers should be a major factor. Don't let a $2,000 price tag let a painting be more "valuable" than that $45 painting if you love it 10x more. One of my favorite pieces of art is a 15 euro illustration I purchased from a street artist in Austria. Just because it doesn't have a high price tag doesn't always mean it's not worth buying. 

  5. Pay attention to the quality and details. This is a tricky one---especially if you don't know much about art. If you can see it in person, you'll be able to make quality judgements easily, so this rule is really something you only need to be aware of when you buy online, specifically on venues like Etsy, Ebay, etc. If you're unsure of the materials, google them to see or email to inquire. A few questions to think about are "where is the item printed or made?" "what materials were used?" or "does this need a frame or is it ready to hang?" All of these factors contribute to overall value, so look before you leap! 

  6. You know exactly where you want to hang it. I suppose this goes along with #1 and valuing that gut reaction, but if you see something and know immediately where you want to hang it, that's a win. 

  7. Get to know the artist. This is perhaps more of a suggestion than a "do or die" rule, but getting the background or a story behind your piece will instantly make it more special. You'll just feel more connected to the art. Plus, with the internet, it's sooo easy to find  more info. about the artists on your radar! 

Hope that helps!! XX



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