Art makes a wonderful gift to mark any occasion. It’s an incredibly personal present and a unique and thoughtful way to connect with loved ones and to show them how much they mean to you. Art gifts come in all shapes and sizes and can suit any budget. Art is a memorable, heartfelt gift and is perfect for those ‘hard to shop for’ people or the friend who has (nearly) everything… Read on for my gift guide for the art lover in your life.
Decide on your budget
Gifting artwork is not always as expensive as you might think. Unless you are wanting a Banksy or a Warhol, lots of independent galleries and artists sell work for under £500. Many artists are happy to discuss what they have available to suit the budget that you are working with, so don’t be afraid to ask. Prints are also a great option if you have a tight budget.
For those with smaller amount of cash at their disposal, a print offers a low cost option. You still have a beautiful and unique piece of artwork, but at a fraction of the cost of an original painting. In addition, many online shops offer worldwide shipping and so prints can be shipped across the globe easily and affordably. Several sites, including mine offer gift options and can ship items directly to the recipient.
What is their style?
A good question to answer when deciding on a print or original painting is to think about your loved one’s home décor and personal interests. What style is their home? Is their space minimal and modern? In that case, maybe a striking abstract piece would look amazing. Or are they more traditional and elegant? Are they a vintage lover with treasured eclectic pieces filling their mantles or is their bookcase styled with bohemian finds collected on past travels? Do they love colour or do they prefer sleek neutrals? These are all good questions to ask yourself in order to identify whether a piece you have in mind will be right for them.
In addition, what are their passions or hobbies? Do they enjoy spending time by the ocean or hiking the local hills? In this case maybe a painting of a gorgeous ocean scene or rugged mountains will be just the ticket. Is there a place that evokes special meaning for them or somewhere they are desperate to visit? Several of my prints are based on the vibrant Irish landscapes, and as a result, they find new homes with those who have visited Ireland and want to be transported back to a memorable trip. Keep it personal to the recipient and you can’t go far wrong.
To frame or not to frame?
If buying an art print, choose a print in a standard size such as A4 or A3, as there are a wide selection of frames available to accommodate these sizes. There is no doubt that the right frame can elevate a piece of artwork. If you are able, why not choose the perfect frame for the print and gift the print already framed? Additionally original art looks spectacular when framed properly. There are several framers that can offer bespoke framing to complement your artwork. Good framing can be pricy, but, most framers can tailor a project to suit a budget. However, when done well, it can make your painting look elegant, finished and truly incredible. In addition, the work is literally ready to be placed on the wall – job done! Stand back and admire! If you are in the Belfast/Northern Ireland area, please do check out Framewerk. They do such an amazing job!
Where will the artwork be hung?
It is so important to choose a painting to suit the décor, but it is also incredibly important to think of where the artwork will end up. Should you buy an artwork that is portrait style (vertical) or landscape (horizontal)? A landscape style can look amazing above a fireplace for example, but each room is unique and has a specific layout, so it is important to take that into consideration.
And of course art doesn’t have to be hung on a wall at all. Many people adorn their shelves, bookcases and mantles with artwork leaning against the walls – no need for nails! Alternatively a simply framed painting can look stunning on a bedside table or windowsill.
When in doubt, buy small. Smaller artworks can be hung pretty much anywhere. They look great alone, hung in a striking frame, or as part of a stylish, modern gallery wall. A few small prints that are framed simply and placed together, can make a stunning statement.
As much as we love the homeware sections in big superstores (I love them too!), we all know exactly where that print came from the minute we walk in your living room. We’ve seen it everywhere! Pick something unique, individual, original – something that not everyone has. In fact, why not support your local independent shops and creatives when looking for a gift. I can guarantee there is a local gallery not too far away from you selling work by local artists and artisans. Or there are many artists that sell their own original work and prints online, either through their own website or on platforms such as Etsy.
Make it personal
It is a wonderful touch to include a note explaining why you purchased the painting, detailing why you are giving them the gift and what prompted you to choose this specific piece. In addition, include a biography of the artist and some detail of the artwork itself. Gifting artwork is incredibly personal and appeals to our deep emotions. Creating a connection with a special piece of artwork will ensure that the recipient genuinely loves the gift and will cherish it forever.
A commissioned artwork is also a fantastic way to mark a special occasion. Buying art is a big decision – so it has to be perfect, right?? Perhaps you can’t choose between a few you really like? Or you love one in particular, but wish it was just a different colour or a bit bigger?? There is nothing quite like owning a piece of art made just for you or a loved one. Many artists are more that happy to discuss a special, one of a kind painting to suit your needs and budget.
Still not sure? There are other ways to buy art
Are you still on the fence about whether your loved one will adore the painting or print you have picked out for them. But do you still want to gift something unique, beautiful and design led? Well there are other ways to purchase art. Online stores such as Society 6 have it all. If you are looking for art for your walls, bedding, bath, furniture and home décor, cases and stickers for your tech, clothing or outdoor and lifestyle goods – they have it. Society6 provides an open platform for artists to share their art and sell their original designs on an array of different products. Every product is designed by an artist and they earn royalties when something is purchased. It is a great way to buy something unique and stylish for a friend and support independent artists at the same time! Please stop by my Society 6 artist’s page – I’m sure you’ll see something you like!