If you've been considering starting an art collection of original works, then you're well aware that one thing remains consistent through your search - original artwork isn't cheap. And most artists, even those who are emerging onto the scene, are selling prints of their work for a fraction of the price of the original.
So why not just buy prints? Here are three reasons why...
1. Support the Cause
I am a big advocate for supporting the local art scene, and as you may have noticed, I have a particular interest in emerging artists making an effort to get discovered. Purchasing the original artwork of an emerging artist shows appreciation for their work and helps bolster the art community.
While prints these days are produced in very high resolution and quality, nothing can compare to the way light catches an original painting. It's much easier to appreciate the artist's style; brush strokes, texture, and other elements of the piece go unappreciated in a print. Also, no two pieces of original art are exactly the same. Embrace the fact that you'll have an absolutely unique work of art in your home.
Original artwork, even produced by emerging artists, is an investment. You're going to spend good money on a piece of art, why wouldn't you want it to appreciate in value? Prints don't appreciate at all. Think about one emerging artist you've found and come to really enjoy. In time, it's entirely possible that that artist's collection becomes popular and just blows up! Imagine if you bought a piece of art early on and it became a fruitful investment... not bad, right?
There are a lot of opinions on what makes the most sense when it comes to originals vs. prints. Just don't let the price scare you away.
Let me ask you one thing… who ever said you aren’t artistic? Oh, you think that because your stick figure doodles make your 6 year old cousin’s refrigerator drawings look like a Rembrandt, you can’t produce something worthy of framing and hanging in your home? I call your bluff.
I say, you’ve just never really tried. You’ve never really experimented. You’ve never really let go and just let the paint and your emotion take control. But hey, it’s not too late.
Do you remember the scene in Good Will Hunting when Matt Damon first walks into Robin Williams office in Charlestown? Damon goes over to a painting on the windowsill, comments on the painting – Williams’ response - “You know what the real bitch of it is? It’s a paint by number”. Why not go out and find a few paint by numbers? See what you can do with ‘em to warm yourself up.
Are you looking for a way to work out some of your stress? Get some paint, get a huge canvas, go out to the garage, and just start whipping paint around! Let loose! Who knows what the result might be – it could end up hanging in your bedroom in three weeks, and you might have found a new hobby.
If you don’t feel like making a mess, or sticking between the lines, I urge you to check out
The Paint Bar, in Newton MA. What better way to try and evoke your inner artist than going out, having a few drinks, and completing your own original painting? The Paint Bar has an instructor leading a class painting Boston landscapes like Fenway Park and the Citgo Sign, and copying masters’ works like Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Check out the Paint Bar at http://www.thepaintbar.com/
If you really do want to fill your bare walls with some original art, it can’t hurt to try and fill them with your own work!
If you’ve made the conscious decision to fill your walls with original art, first, let me applaud you. To me, there is just something very satisfying in having something in your possession that is incredibly unique, refreshing, and evokes genuine emotion. But, making this type of purchase can be somewhat involving. I want to make sure that you have a few pointers in finding just the right pieces to jazz up those walls, and even start a collection. So, without further ado…
Don’t Be a Poser!
This is the most important aspect of picking out art, in my opinion. You have to decide what fits you – what style do you like? What pieces evoke some sort of emotion or feeling? Don’t you dare buy artwork because someone else thinks it’s great or because you think it makes you look sophisticated. Don’t buy an abstract piece if you really like contemporary landscapes. Be true to yourself, and find some work of art that you absolutely love.
What Medium Are You Looking For?
This is definitely essentially in your search process. Are you looking for a painting on canvas? A framed drawing? Possibly black and white photography? It's possible to be completely open to all mediums and just pick something you like when you find it. Every piece of art has its place - pick the work to fit in its space.
There are a lot of ways to look around for art that really strikes your fancy. Start by looking online, finding some artists that you really appreciate, or work in your desired medium. Also, make a point to visit galleries, or even simply walk in whenever you might stumble across one. This world of original art is vast and unique – see as much of it as you can.
Pick a Size.
It’s imperative that when picking out a piece of art, that you have a clear idea of the space you intend to hang it. The last thing you want is the room to be dwarfed by an oversized wall painting taking over, or a series of framed photographs that go unappreciated because they don't take up enough space.
Pick a Budget.
Did you know that an original 12” x 14” painting by Andy Warhol can cost over $50,000? Yeah... ridiculous! But I also know that you’re probably not looking to fill your South Beach penthouse with paintings by the pioneer of pop art. With that said, original art can be pretty pricey, even work done by the lesser known artists of the world. But it doesn’t have to be. Be sure to figure out what you want to spend – and stick to it. You can always buy more!