Where to start looking for Art online?

Why buy wall art?

There can be no doubt that filling your home with décor that reflects you and your personality, has a positive impact on transforming your house into a home and a big part of this process involves the purchase or creation of wall art.

What do white or plain walls say about you? In terms of the vibe, it’s not always good and it’s certainly doesn’t make your house a home.

Why is art important?

Thinking creatively about your walls and choosing art that fits your aesthetic, interests and personality can affect you positively every day and so your choice of wall art is very important. The tricky bit is discovering art that fits you and your spaces.

Where is the best place to buy art?

Gone are the days of trying to hunt down suitable outlets on the high street (the fact is that these are becoming few and far between and those that do stock art or prints usually have limited choice and styles – either that or the prices are Art Gallery high).  

In today’s world, thankfully, we have the internet – which is not only a never ending source of inspiration, but also offers us the opportunity to track down artists, to connect with them and to add to the excitement generated from purchasing something truly special. None of which can really be achieved on the high street.

What are the Top 5 places to buy art online?

Whether you are looking for super-affordable prints or poster art that you can frame yourself, or you want high-end (or higher end) artwork from emerging or known artists, what follows here is a list of the Top 5 places you can  start looking at if you are considering shopping on-line for art or looking for inspiration.

The sites listed have been chosen because of their popularity and the wide range of options available. They offer the home buyer an infinite number of choices to influence the feel of their home through the purchase of art. Each one offers an opportunity to be inspired, to gain a flavour of what appeals to you and where your purse sits in terms of a budget. If this is something you’ve never done before I highly recommend it. It may open your eyes to a myriad of possibilities which could make your space unique.

It’s all part of the research process to get your design project right first time. The aim being to buy something that you will continue to appreciate over time, rather than something that will end up in the loft.

Decorating your home and making it your own is an exciting time, but even though you may be in a hurry to get it all done, it’s important that you shop around, do some online browsing and source the best art for your project.

How will I know which art and artist is right for me?

The first thing to do is browse.

Browsing will allow you to quickly get a sense of what attracts you and what does not. What colours will work in your space and what won’t. What kind of sizes you’re looking for and what shapes? Just a few clicks into a website and you will know if it is worth continuing to explore. If you are feeling inspired and/or curious… continue! If what you are seeing doesn’t interest you… move on. It is as simple as that.

Do I need to connect with an artist or gallery before I buy?

As an artist, I understand that customers need to browse, that’s the first step to finding a good fit for your project. Whether it’s on the high street or on the internet, browsing is part of our shopping experience and the purchase of art should be no different.

In addition to browsing, customers also need to chat. To reach out and touch base with those we are buying from. As customers, we need to ask questions, sometimes we need to see the artwork that we are looking at in different lights and at different angles. Just like we would do if we were in a shop. This is why I encourage potential customers to talk to me and I make myself accessible to them. It makes all the difference and gives customers the comfort of knowing that they can ask whatever they want, and they will get an informed, honest answer. With the advent of the Zoom and FaceTime era, you can get a personal one-to-one experience when shopping… something that is sadly missing from high street shopping these days.

To date, in the most part, those that are attracted to my work and have taken the time out to connect with me have found my art to be a perfect fit in their spaces, but I’d be the wrong choice for many other art shoppers and I’m more than happy to help everyone make the right choice before they purchase!

Is good communication important when buying art?

Exploring with an artist or site that is open to communicating with you rather than just promoting the ‘click and collect/ship’ shopping experience is the key to a positive experience and a well-informed purchase.

Ideally, you should aim to find an online art provider who offers you the facility to connect with the artist directly. Even if you are super confident that what you are looking at is right for you, I would still recommend reaching out as part of your buying decision. If the vibe is good, you will know, and if it isn’t you move on. Simple.

After exploring with the artist/gallery, then make sure the pieces hang together (excuse the pun), like shipping policy etc. Inform yourself so you know what to expect once you have placed your order.

I’m quite protective of my work and so I am on pins the minute it leaves me until I have confirmation that it has arrived safely with the purchaser. This is for two reasons. The first is it is my work and so it is a part of me, and I want to know it is safe. Secondly, it is important to me that whoever invests in my work (no matter how big or small the investment), receives their investment in good order. That’s part of my professional pride and my gratitude to every customer for their investment in me and their support of my work.

What are the Top 5 Art Buying Websites?

To help you begin your quest for the perfect piece (or pieces) of art for your home design project, here are 5 of the most popular sites online now.

To inform this list, I visited each site and viewed the first page of art for sale and sampled the prices. I’ve included some of this detail below, but I would encourage you to explore for yourselves. After all, it’s why I wrote this piece.

Affordable British Art

http://affordablebritishart.co.uk/

Affordable British Art accommodates a diverse range of artists under its banner. The site is set up to afford Artists (who otherwise might not have an online presence) with an opportunity to showcase their work to Art lovers and buyers. The aim is to provide artists with a low cost online solution so that their work is accessible, price wise. This is achieved through the low entry fee for artists. A win win situation for the art buyer and the artist.

Well worth browsing when your looking to complete your home décor project.

First Page Review: No Prices / clickable links for more information.

Price Range: Variable / Three links clicked 1: £ 20,000 2: £ 799 3. £ 225

Etsy.com

Etsy is a very popular online platform for independent sellers. One of its unique selling points is that through Etsy you can access “…millions of one-of-a-kind items…’ So, if sourcing something unique for your design project appeals this certainly is a place to visit, browse, get ideas, and source art.

To inform this article, I visited the site and typed ‘ART’ into the search bar. The first page included a wide variety of choice from Vinyl Lyric Prints, to custom Pet Art, with prices ranging from the lowest of £ 3.00 and the most expensive on that page being £ 115.71.

One drawback (if it is one) is that although I typed ART into the search bar, the page included items which were not ART: an art décor bed frame and some nail art pens. Makes sense I guess, as the items included the word ART. This could prove a drawback and a distraction. However, it’s a small price to pay for accessing the vastness of this market.

It could be the place where you connect with an artist and find a space in your home for their art.

First Page Review: Art included other items which were not art.

Price Range: Variable. Prices available at a glance. Range on page one of search: £ 3.00 to £ 115.71.

Saatchi Art

www.saatchiart.com

Saatchi Art is an online platform for high end, fine art.

However, the site does also include a wide selection of art prints which are more affordable. The site is really worth a look as the content can certainly inspire and, if you were looking for something in a certain style, but don’t have the budget, you could find an artist who could produce the kind of thing you are were looking for at a lower price.

Artists often work ‘in the style of’ or are inspired by different works, so this is an option if you’d like a Van Gough but can’t quite gather the funds together!

First Page Review: Clicking on the art tab reveals Art together with prices at a glance.

Price Range: £ 319 – £ 6,772

Tiny Showcase

www.tinyshowcase.com

Tiny Showcase has been around since 2004. The aim of the site is to ‘…make collecting art affordable and accessible.’ A noble aim!

A feature of the site is that every Tuesday they release a limited-edition piece, and a portion of the proceeds are donated to a charity nominated by the artist.

The site is popular and has been featured in: The New York Times, WIRED, and Vanity Fair (to name just a few).

Although the site takes a little delving activity to get to the prices and available items, it is well worth a visit.

First Page review: Typing ART into the search bar yielded a variety of prints and even fabric patches on the first page, with no prices visible. Clicking on the images revealed some items which were out of stock

Price Range: $ 2.00 for a fabric patch to a limited-edition print for $ 25.00.

Artist & Illustrators – Art for Sale

https://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/art-for-sale

For those of you who don’t already know, the Artists & Illustrators Magazine also runs an online Art for Sale platform from within its website.

The gallery is packed full of original art from amateur and professional artists and offers an opportunity to browse.

I reviewed the ‘Featured Art for Sale’ page and saw prices ranging from £ 55 to £ 14,890. Well worth a look if you are low on inspiration and high on motivation.

First Page Review: First page shows available Art and prices.

Price Range:  £ 125 to £ 14,890

The above Top 5 is by no means exhaustive and I may return to this theme in the future to cover other online Art purveyors.

What I hope you take away from this article is a sense that art is accessible to everyone and that off-the-shelf art isn’t the only option to the discerning buyer. 

Reaching out to an artist might be part of an amazingly creative journey for you which could yield something truly special for your home.

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