However times have changed and the Internet has opened up a world where artists can reach people and people can reach artists. The best thing about that is, without galleries – the price of art is much more affordable.
You can buy directly from artist and purchase art at studio prices; add unique and dynamic visuals to your home and at the same time support an artist with their career.
Artwork sold directly by the artist is typically less expensive than art gallery pieces. This doesn’t make the art less valuable, but with gallery pieces we have to pay a commission to the dealer or gallery owner. Personally I don’t like the idea of undercutting the galleries who are making an effort to market my work for me. But I do have a ‘make an offer’ functionality on my website which allows the buyer to make an offer for my piece of work. Chances are, if it’s not too cheeky – I’d be happy to accept.
More personal service
Buyers can get a more personal service from artists. I know that I take every sale very seriously and do my best to make my buyers happy. You can contact the artist directly with any queries you might have, which adds a more personable touch to the purchasing process. Most artists will be happy to answer questions and assist with any additional issues.
Find out about them
Have a look around the artist’s website, find out a bit more about them; their artist statement, bio, why they paint, what they enjoy about the process and what makes them tick. You can learn quite a lot about the artist, without being pressured into buying.
Find out about the art
If you like a piece of work and want to find out more about it, just drop the artist a line. A great deal of time and effort goes into a piece of art, aspects that aren’t always obvious just by looking at a digital image.
For many artists this is a difficult thing to get our head around. When we look at an artwork we’ve painted, every single brushstroke, every high and low, every mistake, every upset, every win; all comes flooding back to us. The enormity of the achievement weighs on us but also makes us feel immensely satisfied. In short, you can’t tell all that from a digital image and we aren’t always very good at putting that sort of emotion in a painting description. Feel free to ask the artist more about the artwork.
Make an offer
If you like a piece of art, but it’s beyond your budget, by all means get in touch with the artist and explain how much you like the piece and put in an offer. As mentioned earlier – I have an offer facility on my website for that purpose.
However don’t just try to get a better price because you can, it’s not fair on the artist. If you tell the artist their work is over priced (even if it is) that doesn’t generate a great relationship between buyer and seller, and the outcome will not be a win-win situation. Honestly, just move onto another painting or another artist.
But be fair
Similarly don’t approach buying directly from the artist as if it’s a huge favour to them, again – that’s not a win-win mindset and won’t lead to a healthy transaction. Yes we want to make a sale, but it’s important that we also have respect for ourselves and our work. As mentioned above, a lot of time goes into creating art – I certainly pay great attention to my work and hold it to high standards. Therefore, while it’s on me to remember that this is a business transaction it’s not a nice experience (and I’m talking from experience) to deal with someone who makes you feel like they are doing you a favour.
Generate a relationship with the artist
If you can afford the piece then go ahead and purchase, artists appreciate that you respect the artist and their work enough to make that purchase. A good artist will pay you back in more ways than just a beautiful art; but with special discounts on future art, invites to exhibitions or private viewings, offering you the chance to purchase their newest artwork first. Over time you can develop a great relationship with the artist.
Alternatively, perhaps you’d like to commission something for your home or current art collection. Again, you can contact the artist directly to find out more about what they can do, timescales and price. This process can get a bit overwhelming, but a good artist will guide you through it and try to get enough information out of you without bombarding you with hundreds of options.
Prints or gifts?
If you can’t afford the original art don’t forget that most artists offer their artwork as prints, canvases or even printed gifts, which may be a much more affordable way to own the art. I even offer greeting cards which is a cheap and cheerful way of getting a small slice of art.
Currently I sell via Fine Art America, which does make the shipping expensive for my UK buyers, however I am looking into an alternative UK-based supplier as well.
Just say hi!
If you aren’t ready to buy yet, no worries that’s fine, many artists have social media accounts and blogs that you can follow in order to learn more and even start connecting with the artist. Don’t be a stranger, you shouldn’t feel like you need to purchase something, just drop the artist a line to say hi, talk about the art and let them know who you are.
If you have any further questions please drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org