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Making decisions when buying art: 5 points to consider before you purchase...

Do you invest in an original, or keep the costs low and risk-free with a print? Do you choose something that will blend in, or stand out? Do you go big, or small? Paper or canvas? Landscape or abstract?

These are the sort of questions you might be having when hunting for the perfect addition to your home decor. Especially when it comes to original art, it is a special, luxury purchase and it's important that you come away feeling like you found the perfect piece. For some people, it's an instant connection and they know exactly what they're looking for, however others may be struggling to pinpoint exactly what it is they are looking for. This is particularly hard online, where there is so much choice!

In this blog post I have written about 5 things to consider before making a purchase, and hopefully after reading you will feel a bit more confident about choosing the right artwork for you and your home.

  1. Finding balance in the home - Should it stand out or compliment?

When art goes up on the wall, it changes the look and feel of the entire room. A lot of people underestimate what a difference it makes, but try swapping a picture that is hung already with something else and you will see for yourself how it changes the atmosphere. This is why it's important to choose a piece of work that will balance the space and add to it, rather than sitting awkwardly or looking cluttered. There are two ways of doing this: Picking something that will stand out, grab attention and create a feature, or choosing something to compliment the home, sitting alongside everything else to create the desired atmosphere, without taking over.

For example, in a busy home, with lot's of knickknacks and furniture, a busy painting is just going to add to the overload of colours and textures already there which in turn, will make it disappear amongst everything else that's going on. Finding balance would mean choosing something simplistic, with calmer colours which will compliment what's already there and maybe clear a space, to allow it to make an impact. Choosing something to "stand out" is the right choice in this home environment, because it more random rather than colour coordinated/intentionally designed.

Or maybe you have moved in to a brand new home which is very bare. Modern homes especially can tend to be mostly white, greys and blacks, so you may want to add energy and colours to make the space more interesting. So again, the choice of something to 'stand out' is needed.

Usually, choosing a piece to compliment the home means that there is an intentional colour scheme/ interior style that the home owners have chosen. For example, in a home with a warm neutral colour scheme & rustic features , a good artwork choice would be a warm painting with neutral colours - maybe a natural subject such as florals or a landscape.

Maybe a contemporary home with accents of red, might go for something more abstract with reds included.

So take a look at your own home and see what it needs. What is it missing? What colours have you chosen? Does it need something bright and vibrant or calming? Choose something that will create balance and compliment the home.

2. Art and personality: What does it make you feel?

I personally think this is the most important aspect of knowing if a painting is right for you. It should make you feel something. The reason people purchase art for their walls instead of a photograph maybe, is because there is more to art than just the imagery. There is a story, a reason and a purpose. Each painting I create means something to me, and is intended to convey a certain message.

So if you find that something stirs up a memory, takes you to your favourite place or maybe the core message is something you need to hear on a regular basis, then that's a pretty good sign that it a good fit. Regardless of whether it works in your home a not, this type of purchase is not to decorate your home, but to satisfy the human need to collect and treasure things that bring us joy. Life is too short to justify every purchase. Sometimes we just need to treat ourselves!

3. Original or print?

For a lot of people, prints are simply a more affordable way of buying the artwork they love, however there are also other scenarios where a print might be the better option.

I believe art is for everyone, no matter your age or budget, and prints are the perfect way to own artwork.

Some examples of why a print might be a better choice:

  • You move house a lot, or are living in temporary accommodation: Original art can be difficult to transport without damage, and might not fit in the new home so well.

  • The artwork is for a nursery/child's room: less risk of damage!

  • Your favourite original has sold - get a print instead!

  • You are not ready to invest in something larger at this point - purchasing a print is a great way to dip your toes in and see how the artwork looks in your home without making a huge spend.

4. Choosing the artist:

Of course, as you are here reading my blog I would like to think that you are interested in my artwork and potentially purchasing a piece of mine for your home, however there are so many other talented artists out there is so much choice!

I think it's really important that you understand the message and intention of the artist, and what that means for you as someone who will have their work up on your wall. Art is an expression of the artist, so naturally some of that will translate. It's a universal language because everyone can understand and read into the imagery, without the use of words. So what do you want to be looking at and taking in everyday? Does the artist capture something that makes sense to you?

I make a conscious effort to write a little explanation of what each painting I have up for sale means to me, and what my intentions were when creating it, so that anyone interested in buying it knows a bit more of the story. Many people will have their own interpretations of my work but at least they will know where my heart was when I painted it.

5. Getting your money's worth:

I have left this one until last because it may come across as fairly obvious, but it is an important one: Will you get your money's worth? Original art can be expensive, so it's important that you have the means to make the most of what you are going to spend on it.

How you present and hang the work in your home can either enhance it or take away from it, so before buying it's worth considering where and how you will hang it etc. If it's an unframed paper work, what frame will you choose and will it compliment the painting? How will you style it in your home, making sure that it is displayed in it's best light?

For example, if the place where you want to put it is very dark and dingy, you might want to put it some spotlights to shine on it and bring out the colours and textures.

In a home that's smaller, or is lacking a beautiful view, maybe you could purchase a landscape that can act like a window, making the room feel bigger because it draws you in, and creates a sense of space.

All these points are just suggestions for anyone who is thinking about purchasing an original and having a hard time making decisions, but by no means has to be taken as law. If you want to purchase an original even though you have no space for it and it doesn't go with your home decor then do it! That's great! These tips are just for anyone who is overwhelmed with the choice and hopefully after considering these 5 points, you will be 100% confident in your art purchases!

As always, if you have any other questions or would like to request a mock up of your favourite piece in your home, please get in touch.

Thanks for reading,

- Sophie

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