When buying a house, filling every room, every corner, and every space can be daunting, especially when you’re a first time homeowner or are making a big jump in square footage. After all, this is where you’re going to come home to after a long day at work, it's where you’re going to raise your family, and it's where you’re going to share stories with your friends. Just as your home is a long term investment, the way in which you decorate it should reflect lasting quality. As soon as the walls are painted and the furniture is mapped out, forget the mass produced print everybody can find at a Homegoods and look for something that will give character to your new home. Whether that means going to an art festival or hunting at local galleries, establish a comfortable budget and look to buy true art pieces for your walls or tabletops. If you buy something that you like but mainly pull the trigger because of the price, you are going to end up spending more money by continuing to replace it until you find something you absolutely love, so make your move the first time around and invest in quality. Before you know it, you will have a hand picked, individual collection that holds value and makes your home absolutely one of a kind.
And before you jump to the argument that all art is overpriced, take a few minutes to understand the art behind pricing paintings.
Supplies: The cost of goods to produce a painting- the canvas, paint, and brushes- is not a cheap expense. A 36x36 primed canvas of decent quality, for example, can cost around $100, but the prices of brushes and paint vary, depending on their quality and treatment by the artist. Well developed artists will often use better quality paint, knowing they are fade resistant and less is needed.
Time: In addition to purchasing all of the necessary supplies, the time required for producing a piece can play heavily into the price of the painting. Some artists give themselves an hourly rate, especially those just starting out and in the commission market. Other artists don’t have a standard rule and determine the price of their art by what they feel the specific piece is worth.
Market: Many artists are rep’d, which means they are required to give a percentage of their sales to the gallery showing their work. Other artists sell their work to a company that will mass produce the pieces and then resell them to stores and boutiques, where they are sold at a suggested retail price. In this case, the company, not the artist, determines the price, and the artist receives a royalty percentage of the wholesale unit price. As the demand for an artisan grows, so does the price of their work.
All artisans take great pride in their work and generally never market something they are not proud of, so you can have confidence knowing that you are not only buying quality but also something deeply valued to the one who made it. Although great art is subjective, buy what you love in your own budget and you won’t have to look at your wall and constantly wonder if you bought the “right” piece. Once you fall in love with a painting, photo, or sculpture, look into other collections by the same artist or create your own collection of similar themed pieces. After all, beauty is found in the eye of the beholder, just as long as you aren’t buying art to match the sofa.