These Misconceptions Are Holding You Back From Buying Art

Five Common Misconceptions About Buying Art | Kayla Lynn

If you read my New Years post a few weeks ago then you know that buying yourself a piece of original art is something I highly recommend that everyone resolves to do in 2017. Seriously. I bought my first piece of original artwork two summers ago (and I started collecting art prints before that) and I have been hooked ever since. My current little art collection consists of five paintings, three mixed media works on paper, and a four limited edition art prints- and I love each and every one of them.

But a lot of people are shy when it comes to buying art, and whether consciously or not many of our perceptions about the whole affair are influenced by some misplaced stereotypes about the artistic set that simply aren't true. Namely that art collecting is a pastime for the wealthy and the elite. But guess what? You don't need a ton of money or any art history know-how to pick up a beautiful piece of art that you absolutely love. Read on to see some of the most common misconceptions holding you back from making the leap busted once and for all.

Five Common Misconceptions About Buying Art | Kayla Lynn

1. Original art is really expensive

Not true. My first piece of original art was a 12x12" abstract painting that I bought from an artist online for only $55, and the most money I've ever paid for a piece was $250 which is cheaper than a music festival pass and lasts longer than a weekend. It's true that having a lot of extra cash to throw around will make it easier to purchase any and whatever art you want, but buying art on a budget is totally doable (and is nothing to feel inadequate about). All it takes is a little more patience and some thought into what kind of art you are looking for. Many galleries will even work with you on paying for a piece if you really love it; devising a payment plan is not at all uncommon.
Remember: more expensive does not equal better. Art must first and foremost be bought for your own enjoyment and consideration and the amount of money you are willing to invest in that will vary from the amount that someone else is willing to pay and is not an indicator of the inherent quality of the art.

Sally King Benedict solo art exhibit

2. You have to go to a formal gallery or art show to find good art

Don't get me wrong, I TOTALLY encourage you to wander through your local galleries or attend an art show if you get the opportunity. Visiting shows and galleries is a great way to expose yourself to stunning artwork and talented artists from around the world but actually going to such places can be a really inconvenient or intimidating experience for some people, especially if you don't really have time to make it to a gallery or if the idea of mingling with others makes you uncomfortable. But there is SO much beautiful artwork for sale online through various digital marketplaces and artists' websites as well as in more casual settings like local craft markets or at a combined cafe/gallery. You can even score some awesome finds at antique stores and flea markets if vintage art is more your style.
Another interesting place to look for art is Instagram. I've managed to discover some really great artists there, and many will do Instagram flash sales that allow you to score beautiful pieces at really great discounts so keep your eyes peeled!

3. You have to be knowledgeable about art to really appreciate it

Insecurity in your own tastes and the feeling that fine art can only be enjoyed by the educated elite is one of the top things that holds people back from making the leap. I read a great article online with art collector Marliana Keys that draws the line between "art literacy" and "art appreciation." You don't need a PhD in Art History or to know every detail about the artist's life in order to be drawn to a piece and enjoy looking at it. In the end your art collection should reflect who you are and what you love, whether you're drawn to the artist and their process or you simply enjoy being in the work's presence (and need it in your house or office right this instant).

"Floating Worlds" art collection by Stephen Baker and Sarah Kelk
Photo: Design Files

4. Art prints aren't as good as originals 

There is a big difference between buying a poster and buying an art print. A poster is basically just a photograph of an image that is reproduced in unlimited quantities by entities not associated with the actual artist and typically uses lower-quality materials. Original art prints, on the other hand, are high-quality, limited-edition clones of the original work and are produced by the artist themselves using a completely different process (and are often signed/numbered). I own both prints and originals, and while I am definitely more attached to the originals you can still support an artist you like by buying their prints; they'll still look great on your walls (Or your bookshelf. Or your dresser. Wherever!).
I've found that prints can also be a great substitute if you LOVE the work of a particular artist but can't really afford their original pieces right now, or if an artist is so popular that getting a hold of their original work is really difficult. I'm in both boats at once with Teil Duncan's art. I adore her paintings, and not only do they sell out before you can finish snapping your fingers, I also don't quite have $2,000 to spend on a barista budget. But I do have two of her prints and they're great.

Woman hangs home gallery wall

5. You can't buy (good) art online

As I've already mentioned, online is a really great hassle-free way of shopping for art (it's where I always buy my art pieces). While looking around into the reasons why people don't really get into art buying, however, I was surprised to discover that there is a very vocal body of people that swear up and down that you should never buy art online (and some even went as far as to insist that there just isn't any good-quality artwork for sale in the Internet). That the only way to buy art is to see it in person, touch it, scrutinize the details. Personally I don't think that buying art online is any more risky than buying clothes or makeup or the countless other items that people buy online all the time. Sometimes shoes don't fit quite right or that dress you bought isn't the color you thought it would be; it's simply the risk you take.
I will say, however, that modern technology has come a LONG way, and artists that are committed to maintaining an online storefront frequently upload VERY high quality digital scans of the art for sale. You can even go to their Instagram accounts and get different views of some of the art for sale. You can usually get a really good idea of what the artwork looks like based on the online images, and I've never had a problem with the quality being lower than I was expecting. If anything, the art usually looks even better once you get it in your hands.

Gallery art by Raven Roxanne

So what are you waiting for? Start looking around and researching today; buying original art is really special and serves as a constant reminder of the kinds of things that can be created by those daring and brave enough to share their work with the world-- with you!

Need some help getting started with your search? Stay tuned, because in the next couple weeks I plan to share with you guys some of my favorite marketplaces and artists! In the meantime, you can check out my art board on Pinterest to discover new artists and even find artwork for sale.


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