Purchasing art for your home or work environment can be overwhelming. It can also take up plenty of time, something many consumers don’t have much of any more.
Today, there are several other options available to help buyers find the pieces that speak to them. Online galleries, art websites, daily auctions and listings of regional art shows are a few of the choices consumers have now to find and buy art.
Minted.com: Carefully curated art
A favorite among young and rising designers and stylists, it’s hard not to find references to Minted.com pieces in decorating magazines such as HGTV and Domino. Known for offering affordable, innovative and contemporary art, Minted offers pages of stylish inspiration. You can also see examples of its art in popular retailers the website partners with, such as West Elm or Pottery Barn.
In addition to art for adults, Minted has a section dedicated to a younger audience. Pieces designed for and appreciated by wee ones are often overlooked or mass produced and often regarded as an afterthought. Not here.
Viewers and customers can do more than purchase — they can have a say on what pieces should be for sale. “All Minted designs arrive in our competitions from independent artists around the world. This is a live feed of all those designs, arriving now! Click on a design to rate it and help tell us what to sell.”
In addition to voting on art, website visitors can tag and identify their favorite pieces and/or artists. For those in love with an artist’s style, there’s a section that allows you to commission an artist directly. The website takes a portion of the fee, but the final price is agreed upon by the artist and purchaser.
Should customers wonder how to hang their art or are looking for ideas on how to style their pieces around a room or furnishings, the website also offers style consulting. Beginning with a style quiz, visitors can upload any art they want to include as well as images of the room and/or space. After receiving recommendations, purchasers get a discount for buying art from the website.
Etsy.com: Artist shops from across the globe
Artists who want to control their own pricing, display, marketing and delivery often choose to show their work on their own mini-website via Etsy.com. It allows artists to become business owners and connects “thoughtful consumers” with artists, allowing them to forge their own relationships.
The company takes pride in being a certified B Corporation. This independent designation “measures companies on the treatment of their workers, the benefit they provide to the community and the environment, and their overall governance and transparency.” How a company treats both its employees and customers is important to many, and can be a deciding factor whether they chose to purchase items or not.
Organized through a myriad of filters, Etsy pieces can be found by what is trending, category, style, artist, shop and season as well as pieces curated by the website based on items the user has liked, viewed and purchased. Visually, the site is easy to navigate, with many images displayed for consumers to view and scroll.
Forming relationships with artists is one of the bonuses of using Etsy to purchase art, and conversations with artists are very common. Consumers can make special requests, give more detail to the artist of what they’re looking for or even commission pieces. Artists can communicate if there is going to be a delay with production or shipping or if changes are expected or made to the order. The direct communication is a part of the process many consumers appreciate and why they return to Etsy repeatedly.
Z Gallerie.com: What is your style?
Buying art is so much easier if you’re aware of what you like and can articulate your likes and dislikes. For some, that is much more difficult than it sounds.
Finding out if you’re more attracted to modern abstracts than impressionist paintings is important when purchasing art that reflects the buyer. Z Gallerie takes guessing out of the equation and helps buyers narrow choices through a series of questions and a style personality test.
Not only will this website tell you what kind of aesthetic you like, it will list those with complementary styles adjacent to your design aesthetic. For example, if you are an “Urban Modernist,” you may also want to check out the findings under “Glamorous Regency.”
The Z Gallerie website lets consumers take the lead in what they want to search for and how. Pieces are arranged by featured, color, type, theme or price. There are pieces to appeal to many styles and budgets. The site even goes so far as to suggest how a piece should be set or hung (horizontal versus vertical).
ArtFairCalendar.com: Treasures found every month
Wherever you live in the United States, there is likely to be an art festival in or nearby your city. Art fairs are one of the most popular ways people seek out new art to purchase and admire. Pick a month, a city or a state, and discover when art festivals and shows are being held at ArtFairCalendar.com.
Voted on by consumers, the list of fairs and craft shows are consumer driven, not sponsored by media outlets or corporations, providing a more transparent and balanced list of “favorites.” In addition to the list of fairs and shows with links to subsequent websites, ArtFairCalendar.com also offers loads of other information on participating artists, an art insider blog, reviews and a discussion forum where art lovers and artists can share ideas, preferences and suggestions on how to make sharing art even better.
ArtBombDaily.com: Something new to bid on every day
For those who don’t have the time to surf the web, there’s a service that emails subcribers a new piece of art from emerging Canadian artists every day. Artbomb curators pick submissions from artists across the country.
Artbomb started in Toronto as an art project and quickly took off. Following its initial success, expansions started in Montreal, Vancouver and Atlantic Canada. New York followed, and an Asian version is also available. There are many services that sell art online, however, Artbomb is the only one that brings a piece of the art world to your inbox every day.
Online bidding begins at 6 a.m. EST and closes at 11 p.m. The person with the highest bid at the end of the day wins, and the piece is shipped ready to hang, directly to the buyer. The site also houses a bank of available pieces by various artists, as well as a list of currently sold pieces. Links to artists’ websites along with brief bios let consumers know more about the artist and their body of work.
Though there is something to be said for seeing art firsthand in a gallery, consumers today have many more choices for purchasing art that fits their busy lives. From online auctions to craft websites to curated organizations, purchasing art has never been easier.