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Art shopping – A basic guide

Updated: Jul 10, 2021

Buying art. Why?

Art is something personal. Not just for the artist who creates it but also for the person appreciating it. Through the creative process, artists express themselves and their philosophies, but so do buyers by selecting distinct work that resonates with them. A piece of art in your home could be something that translates your individual personality and people will get to know more about you through the work you choose to display. I believe that buyers complete the lifecycle of an artwork, particularly by giving it their own meaning and significance.

A piece of art in your home could be something that translates your individual personality


The most obvious reason for buying art is to make your surroundings more beautiful. Selected pieces fill blank walls and give your nest a homier feeling. You could go for a statement piece that then inspires the rest of the décor and colour scheme of an area, or match existing design features. But does it stop there? Although there is nothing wrong with this approach, it could be taken a step further.


Subject matter could be another reason why you might consider purchasing a work of art. Going sentimental? Why not?! Let an artwork inspire you and reflect your personality. It should give you pleasure to look at, especially since you will be looking at it every day. Then again, it is not only about pretty things. Is there a message that it communicates? Does it encourage you to dream? Does it instil in you a sense of calm or peace? Does it inspire you in different ways? Buy what you love and what you feel connected to – this is buying with your heart.

A big fan!

Another way to approach an art purchase is to buy work from artists you follow. Do you have any favourite artists? Is there someone whose work really moves you? Do you relate to any artist in particular and the way he or she sees things?

Support and investment

Buying art supports artistic careers. Such a transaction is securing that these artists will continue to produce work, making the above possible for many other people. Buying a piece of art may also be an investment as its value may increase over time. Such pieces have the possibility to turn into family heirlooms.

Art pieces have the possibility to turn into family heirlooms

Where to start?

  1. Determine your budget, be it buying art for your home, office, or as a gift. With a lower-bracket budget, you could still get your hands on a limited-edition print, which is the next best thing. These are generally signed, numbered and offered with a certificate of authenticity.

  2. Familiarize yourself with different painting genres. The most common categories are figurative work, portraiture, landscape, and still life. What style appeals most to you? Is it impressionistic, abstract, realistic, or perhaps pop? Which artists work in the style and medium you love?

  3. Settle on the size and format. Would it be appropriate for the look you’re contemplating? Which layout would look best? Would that sculpture fit the furniture you have in mind?

  4. You could buy art directly from an artist’s studio, exhibitions, art fairs, and physical or online galleries. When shopping online always check for reputable and trustworthy platforms. When possible, building a rapport with artists, even through simple email exchanges, is encouraged to make the process smoother. If shipping is involved, factor in any delays that might occur, especially when the artwork is bought as a gift.

  5. Commissions take time to complete so plan ahead. An artist may not be able to start your work right away. Liaise with the artist to have the process explained and to have everything prepared in advance.

  6. Framing enriches your 2-dimensional pieces. It protects the work but also presents it in a complete way. Take time to select a frame that suits your vision.

  7. Finally, it is time to enjoy your new art! If your purchase was a gift, then you have just made someone very happy!

If your purchase was a gift, then you have just made someone very happy

I wish you a positive festive season, from the heart 🙂

Christine x

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