Imagine a shopping season where you are able to buy distinctly one of a kind items for your loved ones. An item made by human hands. An item that is the actualization of hours of thought and planning, passion and style. An item that contains a bit of mystery and perhaps some magic. Imagine giving the gift of original art to your loved ones this Christmas. Initially, that idea might sound more expensive, scary, or time consuming. However, there are many easy options for buying affordable, original art these days.
First, shop locally. Avoid the malls and chain stores and go by your local galleries. Many galleries at this time of year are having holiday sales where they have asked their stable of artists to produce smaller, more affordable pieces of work to be on display at this time. Many galleries are more than willing to help you find something within your budget. It is important for you to feel good in the gallery; if you feel any unwelcoming or uppity vibes from a gallery owner or staff, you don't need to shop there. If you have ever felt that somewhere, I apologize for them and I hope it didn't turn you off from the experience of buying art. Please try again. Many galleries will spend considerable time with you and help you really find a great piece of art that meets all of your needs. They should treat you with the same respect whether you are buying a twenty dollar object or a two thousand dollar painting. As in other retail stores, galleries accept credit cards and may even allow you to make payments over time to make the purchase more comfortable.
After you have enjoyed your local or regional galleries, look for a holiday studio sale or a design fair in your area. These are usually warm and friendly events, with a group of artists getting together to have a sale for a weekend. You can find many affordable one of kind items at these sales, and usually meet the artists, all the while having some hot cider and a fresh baked cookie.
Design fairs are popular in larger cities, and the chic craft movement is in full swing around the country; you are guaranteed to find cool stencil art, jewelry, and other modern crafts that are sure to please someone on your Christmas list.
If you are a die hard Internet shopper, then a great site to buy all things handmade is Etsy. If you have not been to this site then you are in for a real treat. Paintings, prints, letterpress items, cards, toys, jewelry... if it is an art or a craft that is hand made, then it is on Etsy. The design sense of the folks that sell their work on Etsy is top notch. The prices are hard to beat as well.
Buying art can be a fun and exhilarating experience, and it is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give. Sweaters may fall out of fashion, housewares fade or break over time, but art keeps giving. Every time, I walk into a room in my home that has original art, I immediately think of the artist. I think of the time they spent creating the piece. I think of their vision and talent. As time passes, I find more and more that I like about the piece. The work keeps revealing more secrets to the story behind it. When you buy art, you directly impact the artist's life as well. You are encouraging that artist. You are saying, "well done." You are saying, "keep going." You are saying "I see and value what you do."
To the person on your list, you are saying "you are so special and unique that only art would do." This holiday season, try buying original art and feel the difference.
Mixed Media on Canvas