Do you wanna buy artwork for your house but don't know where to start?
Sometimes the process can be quite overwhelming and a lot of the time it is more complicated than "I like it, let's buy it!".
Here are some tips that I've found helpful and also collected from some art collectors and I hope they'll help you as well.
BE WARY OF THE MATERIAL QUALITY
There is a big range of different materials that make an impact on the longevity and on the quality of the work. The most common discussion I’d say is about canvases and paint.
Paint, for example, can start at $2 for acrylic paint in bargain shops or places like Kmart. I’ve tried out, quite a big range of different paints and I saw some MASSIVE differences.
Not saying that expensive paints are automatically great (one of the most expensive red’s I purchased was the worst one I’ve ever used and It is still laying around in a corner, 90% full)
Saturation and Longevity are 2 big factors. If your artist worked with cheap paint it might not last as long and might need a restoration way sooner than you wanted it to be. When it comes to saturation, Cheap paint will (in most cases) not give you the same effect and you need quite a few layers to archive that look that you could get with better quality paint. After a couple of years or sometimes even MONTHS it can start to fade, layers can start to crack very early and I also heard that very cheap aquarelle paint CAN start to mould, so make sure you have a talk to your artist about what materials they use.
The same sort of applies to canvases and a lot of other mediums and materials as well, even art prints.
ASKING THE ARTIST QUESTIONS TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE ON THE SAME TRACK
I’ve heard of some cases where some artist & buyer collaborations escalated and it doesn’t happen often, I would actually say it is rare and it never happened to me personally, but it does happen.
Most of these happen because of bad communications, from both sides usually.
Of course, there are commissions where you just want the artist to do their thing, but let’s just say you want a Portrait of your Dog at Brighton beach.
Make sure to send enough reference pictures that show the dog (in that case) from the exact angle you want, make sure you specify the location, what exactly should be in the background, what the sky should look like, etc. If you already have a photo you want as a background of that specific location, PERFECT, send it over.
I also always make sure to ask a lot of questions and also send progress pictures to make sure that I am doing EXACTLY what the customer wants so that nothing can happen. So if you are unsure, ask for progress pictures.
DON'T TRY TO NEGOTIATE THE PRICE
Artist put so much into their work and it is quite hard to set a price for that sometimes (from an artists perspective) and a lot of the time we actually make the mistake of underpricing ourselves, especially at the start. One of the reasons for me to underprice myself at the start (2019) was because I got the response of “THIS IS $35? HOW ABOUT $20 AND I’LL BUY 2”. If you’re just at the start of your art career, those comments can influence you and the way you price.
These $35 drawings took me 2 days each, maybe 20 hours in total. I was ALREADY underpricing myself, obviously and was giving myself an hourly rate of $1.75. Let’s take the materials away and It would come down to $1.20 roughly.
Now, for that same drawing, I would charge roughly around ~$300+, even though It would take me 15 hours instead of 20 now. I’ve upgraded my materials since then as well, I LEARNED how to draw quicker and that experience goes into the price, then, of course, the time I spend drawing it and sometimes we have more factors to calculate in as well. So if an artist lists $1.500 for a painting, on canvas that they’ve spent hours, working on, don’t ask them to lower it or indicate that it is too expensive.
If you can't afford it, a lot of artists offer after-pay, payment plans and options like that OR you could always go a size smaller if it is a commission.
WHEN ORDERING COMMISSIONS, LOOK FOR AN ARTIST THAT SPECIALISED IN THE STYLE YOU WANT
Over the last years, I got quite a wide range of commissions in and I can do quite a wide range of styles. A lot of customers actually come to me and decide to get a comic commission, a logo, an abstract painting, etc. I CAN do those things and I am happy to experiment but I do specialise in realism, hyperrealism, surrealism and sometimes I go into the pop art direction and the reason for that is, that I enjoy it. It brings me joy to make things look realistic and to bring creepy elements in there every now and then, so If you would ask me to paint you a comic character, I can, BUT there are other artists out there that are 1000% more qualified to do this for you than a realism artist. I work with 100’s of layers and for a comic character f.e. You want something clean and bright colours (in most cases anyway) so something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
Research the artist that you want and make sure they work with the style you want. I personally decided to say no to any logo design enquiries and abstract paintings because I don’t have any personal connection to that sort of stuff and I’d just do those to get paid and it would be a chore and that’s is not what you want as an artist OR as a buyer.
The recent commissions that I got in, for example, were surrealism, realism, dark & even ocean and shark-related ones (so right up my alley) which I am super excited about and I can’t WAIT to start them. To be on the same page as the artist will be an absolutely rewarding experience for both parties and it will make future collaborations way more enjoyable.
GET TO KNOW YOUR ARTIST
I would say in most cases it can be quite special to get to know more about the artist that you are buying from. Learn a little bit about their journey, their life, what inspired them, thrives them and all those things, because that is exactly what would influence their work and it would create a bond with you and their work. This can be done with just a couple of minutes of research as well in most cases. In this case, it might be helpful to have a look at the artist directory on our website (CLICK ME)
On our website, once you've clicked on the link you can find the artist for you in a couple of steps. It will give you an option to look for photographers, painters, digital artists, glass artists, ceramic works, basically everything! If you want abstract or realism, we've got so many artists here AND you will be able to read a little bit about them in the Artist Directory as well.
LISTEN TO YOUR HEART
It is very important to think about the space you want the artwork to hang in and make sure it works with the overall decor BUT if your heart tells you to buy that piece because of a certain connection with the story or maybe the topic makes you feel a certain way, whatever it might be, grab it!
Space of course is still very important because if you can’t fit that piece through the door… then It might be a small problem but if you have the space for it, the artwork speaks to you and you would love to have that piece in your house, get it, you won’t regret it.