Buying Art As A Gift Turned Into An Artform

Photo by Kasiam/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Kasiam/iStock / Getty Images

We strongly believe that you should only buy art you love. So how do you go about buying art for somebody else?  Regardless of how well you know the person you are buying art for, do you truly understand and identify with their taste and always know what they love? Tricky questions. A work of art is a matter of idiosyncratic taste. Buying art as a gift is personal and subjective will they like what you think they will like?  Over the years I had the pleasure of helping many friends and families choose the perfect art gift through SiOTT and along the way I have learned a few tips I would like to share.
Often the idea of giving art happens when someone sees something they like online or in a gallery and immediately know that would be perfect for so-and-so. This is the ideal scenario of buying gifts for anybody.

But where to start if you don’t know what to buy?

Not everyone wants a semi-abstract figure in provocative positions hanging above their bed, so how well do you know the person you are buying for?  Who is their favourite artists or art movement? Do you know the home of the person you are buying art for? The personal style of the person may be very different to that of their home. Do they tend to go for more vintage furniture or contemporary? It's not always the case, but sometimes this will help understand their taste in art.
You could also start sharing art websites with them and asking if they like such and such to gauge interest, or even better, invite the friend you are buying for to visit a gallery or museum with you.

Once you have decided on a style of art that you are considering buying, you need to be sure that the recipient has space for it. There are far too many artworks that end up in storage and never see the light of day because there is simply no space anywhere else. If you are not sure, buy small!  It's easier for somebody to find that perfect spot for a small sized piece of art.

Paintings
For gift-givers looking for affordable artworks, original paintings and drawings by emerging artists can be a good bet. Paintings are perhaps the riskiest art gift, but the one with the highest potential return on investment. In general, unique works by any artist are more expensive than prints.

Photographs
If your gift is a photograph, print or other work on paper allow time to frame the piece so that the person can enjoy the gift from the moment they receive it. Some online art galleries offer framing options and almost all galleries and art websites can recommend you a good framer.

Return Policy
Always buy from a gallery or a website where it can be returned. Be brave and go with your instinct. Nine times out of ten you'll always come back to that option which was your first choice. 

Can’t make your mind up?
If you simply can’t decide up when buying a gift, why not purchase a gift voucher and let the lucky person choose themselves?

Purchasing original art as a gift isn't easy, however it is unimaginably satisfying and shows to the beneficiary that you have put thought and care into picking something that they will like. Keep in mind that for all the trouble that goes into finding the perfect piece, however, a work of art that resonates with a recipient can have a lasting impact. Art can be a wonderful gift for any occasion whether it is a baby shower, wedding gift, Christmas, anniversary or a birthday.

With prices starting from as low as £75, original art could be your best gift idea yet.

Fancy finding art in your stocking this year? 

Claudia ElliottComment