Despite what you may have heard, buying art for the first time is surprisingly easy and affordable. For those about to take the plunge, here are a few pointers.
A few things to keep in mind when looking to buy art for the first time:
Artists have many costs beyond the making of their art. Juries charge a small fee whether they’re accepted to a show or not, then another one once in. Outdoor shows require tent and grid rentals in addition to an exhibition fee. Galleries often charge for space, or take a percentage (up to 50%) of the sale. An artist must pay for the opportunity to show you their work, and that factors into their prices.
Most artists produce work in a wide range of price points. This is done specifically for first time buyers. If a piece is less than $100, then chances are, they aren’t really making much off the sale. They’re doing it to be accessible.
Original, one-of-a-kind art can often be bought for the same price as an IKEA print, or dinner for two.
Being an artist is EXTREMELY tough. Even when buying their cheapest piece, you are making a HUGE difference in their lives.
If a price point is beyond your immediate means, an artist will almost always allow you pay in installments. All you have to do is ask.
While you can always ask about paying in installments, NEVER ask for a discount. Artists put a lot of thought into their prices, and (as discussed above) they have a ton of costs beyond labor and materials – which are also expensive.
Art is valuable even if there’s no financial return on your investment. Buy it because you love it. Buy it because you support small businesses.