9 Questions to Ask Before Buying Art
Art from a buyer’s perspective can be both exciting and intimidating. There are many ways to do it and there are lots of things to consider. Choosing the artwork is a challenge in itself because, let’s be honest, there are so many beautiful artworks out there, just waiting to be discovered! That said, here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself before looking:
1. Why do you want to purchase an artwork?
While there are some people who take pride in making their first artwork purchase, others simply want to give a meaningful gift or fill a blank wall in their home. It can even be to support an artist or contribute to a cause. There are many reasons to buy art but, determining this will make everything else a lot easier to navigate.
2. What is your budget?
Try as you might, you won’t be able to buy all the art pieces you want (huhu). It’s important to determine how much you’re comfortable with spending. That will help you choose between buying an original piece, a limited-edition print, open-edition print... don’t worry, there are many options! Prices of artworks usually vary based on size, medium, intricacy and even the artist’s level of experience, so having a budget will narrow your options down by a whole lot which will make deciding a lot easier!
3. What is your style preference?
Find some time to evaluate your personal taste - or the taste of the person you're buying the artwork for. Do you want something colorful and vibrant like an abstract piece? Or do you prefer clean lines and muted tones, like the minimalist pieces? The more you know about what you like and dislike, the easier it is to choose the perfect style for you. Try and look up art styles and discover a world of possibilities!
4. What is your preferred art medium?
Artists use different mediums because they express themselves in different ways. There are digital illustrators and photographers whose sole output is on print, and there are painters and other visual artists from whom you might also buy original work. Some art enthusiasts are simply more drawn to specific mediums, but if you’re still having a hard time deciding, keep reading!
5. What size will it be?
Art comes in all shapes and sizes. Small pieces may be subtle and allow for other things to be placed around it. Large pieces may be bold and require an entire wall surface to itself. You can either measure your wall and look for the best fitting artwork, or measure the piece you’re eyeing and see if it will work for you. Remember that as the size increases, so does the price!
6. Will it suit your space?
Although the piece can speak for itself, it’s surroundings contribute to the way you see, feel and react to it. Consider factors such as light, position, space, room color, furniture, and atmosphere when you decide where to place the piece. Take your time here, especially if it’s going to be the focal point of a room you’re in every day! (If you're buying a gift, it might help to take sneaky measurements of their wall or headboard!)
7. Who is the artist?
If you already have an artwork in mind, know that the artist poured a lot of time, effort and emotion into it and chances are, you’ll want to support them even more when you get to know them. While it may be an investment to buy from veteran artists, it's always nice to purchase work from emerging artists and support people at the early stages of their career. You never know how much their work will be worth one day!
8. Where do I buy my artwork?
This is a tough one. The art spectrum is huge! There are places where artists sell work for a couple of dollars and huge galleries that sell pieces by the million. Buying directly from the artist is also a great option, so that you’re sure the money goes to the right place. As much as possible, if you want art, purchase from platforms that truly support artists!
9. How does the artwork make you feel?
Of course, at the end of the day, it all boils down to whether or not the artwork makes a good impression on you or not. It’s the overall impact that counts. Does it resonate with you? Does it make you feel at peace? When you find the right artwork for you, you’ll simply know. More often than not, it’s a gut feeling - that may bring out other emotions as well. Art, after all, can take you on a journey of self-discovery!
Buying art doesn’t need to get too technical. It's a creative process in itself. Have fun, ask questions and choose the artwork that makes you feel best!
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