When your first starting out on your own after college, "art" is a word that most likely was associated with what you'd check out in your local museum or when studying abroad...certainly not something that seems accessible or a priority for a tight budget.
If you're like me, your first wall art might have started with framed posters from the aforementioned museums or perhaps some mass manufactured pieces from Ikea (although I did make the move to paint four canvases in two shades of green and arranged behind my bed early on). However, as I've matured and especially as I bought my first home, I saw the value in adding unique pieces to my walls - buying a large-scale original painting a year and a half ago and later investing in a beautiful panoramic print (both acquired during travels for work) a few months later.
I decided I was going to start investing in art well before I found the right pieces and, since it may be intimidating for some, I thought I'd share a few tips if you would like to do the same:
- Identify wall space (blank or that has something you'd like to replace) for your forthcoming investment.
- Consider the scale of the space and surrounding items, the color palette of the room and they type of art you are most interested in (abstract, pop art, realism, etc.).
- Set a budget range that is comfortable but treats this purchase as it will be - an investment.
- Search for local galleries online (or post on a local message board to inquire about local artists, which I did) and set aside time on the weekends to browse and find out what you like and what you don't.
- Do the same browsing when in different cities and even online. As noted above, my two recent acquisitions came from a trip to Austin, Texas and during an overseas stint in London.
- When you find "the one" that speaks to you - if it fits with your space, design and budget - go for it! Don't forget to take into account any framing costs (if it's a print or canvas that needs it) and transportation (local delivery or cross-country shipping); both can be pricey but well worth it (my print required a custom mat and frame and my Texas painting had to be shipped via a specialized art freight company).
- Hang that piece and pour a generous glass of wine as you stand back and admire! (Note: This step can be repeated.)