Not All Art is the Same

There are so many artist out in the world today, more and more people are choosing to follow their dreams, their passion.  Some are creating art as a hobby and others working as full time artist.  With social media as their platform, artist are getting exposure more than ever.

With an array of visual artist and art online, in cafes, art studio spaces and galleries, how do you choose what artwork is worth buying?

Here are some tips on what to look for and questions to ask before making that purchase:

First of all, why are you buying the Artwork? Are you buying the art piece as an investment?  Do you just love the piece and have to have it?  Is the artwork being bought to decorate your home, office, place of business? Are you buying the artwork as a gift for someone special?  Deciding what style, colouring and size fits the space. This will help you to decide what type of art and who to purchase the artwork from.

Is the artist committed to their practice or just creating art as a hobby?  If the artist is a hobby artist there is probably much they’re not aware of regarding quality.  Has the artist studied art in a formal way?  A hobby artist is still experimenting, they may be someone who just paints now and then, but is not committed to their practice.  Buying artwork from a hobby artist will mean your purchase will be purely for the love of the piece, not as an investment.  It may also be created with inferior products and mediums.

Is the artwork being made using quality, premium, sustainable, and ethical materials?  This is a really important question.  ‘Not all Art is Made the Same’.  We want to ensure the artwork we purchase is Ethically made, not made in a sweat shop, under terrible conditions.  Is the timber sourced from a sustainable local supplier or is it imported using pristine forest timbers, ruining natural animal habitats?  A quality timber frame should be kiln dried, this will ensure that the frame does not warp over time.

Has the artist used inferior or imported canvas’s from China?  Some canvases may look the same from the onset but take a closer look and you can tell the difference between a quality canvas and cheap replica.  The materials used to creat artwork can be very different underneath the paint, in conceptual art this is not an issue, though for visual or fine art, it is a point to consider. Don’t be afraid to ask the artist about the quality of their canvas and frames being used, after all if you are paying a fair price, you want to ensure you are getting what you paid for.  Some cheap canvas materials are made of acrylic / plastic rather than quality cotton or linen fabrics.  Even the fabric canvases vary in grade, the weave of a cheap canvas will be loose, quality canvases will have a close weave and be made of premium cottons or linens and are often sourced from Europe.  Italy and Belgium are renown for their high quality, premium fabrics around the world, used in both the Fashion and Art industry.

Are the artist creating the art being paid fairly for their art, their creativity, are the work practices, ethical?  I’ve seen many sites offering cheap art online, I’m very sceptical of these sites, sure it may seem like you might be getting a great deal but at what cost?  Also you really don’t know what quality the paint or canvas is, going by the price I would suggest these artworks are being made in 3rd World countries using inferior materials and mediums.

Has the artist used house paint, rather then premium pigmented professional artist paint?  Many artist, to reduce costs are using cheap standard house paint that you can buy from your local hardware store to create their paintings.  These paints are made for painting houses, not to be used as artist paint to create visual or fine art on canvas. A tube of premium professional artist paint has a high colour pigmentation and the cost is considerably higher due to this factor.  As opposed to an acrylic house paint which is far inferior, and has a low pigmentation.  High pigmentation results in true colour paints that will be resistant to fading over time. So it’s a good question to ask, what paint was used, artist quality or other, oil or acrylic?

If buying from a gallery, the Gallerist has an invested interest in promoting the artist that they have on their books.  Therefore don’t accept all that you are told about the artist, do your own research.  Ensure the artist has a social media presence and have their own Web Page.  If they don’t, they may be just a fly by night artist, who has connections, friends, or family in the art world.

At Angela Sparks Gallery we aim to provide quality art at reasonable prices. We believe art helps make your home, office space or place of business more inviting, it’s a great way to express your individuality.  Many feel intimidated by art, with a lack of a perceived understanding. The Beauty of art is the interpretation is unique to each individual and there’s what the artist intended and what the viewer feels and sees. There is no right or wrong answer. Your opinion is just as valid as the next.

Art makes a wonderful unique gift.  Many people admire art and would love to own an original piece, so giving a gift of art, is a gift that keeps on giving.

We believe in supporting living artist, not dead artist.  Many artist struggle to make a living from their art, due to many auction houses promoting dead artist work.  By Support living artist, who live locally, you are supporting your local community, families and friends.  As a community we support artist and by buying locally, we as a community are ensuring a sound future, filled with creativity, colour, beauty, emotions, culture, intrigue, an important part of our modern society.

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