There are so many opportunities to purchase art directly from the artist: art fairs, art walks, open studios or openings at art galleries where the artist is available. It's a great chance to talk to the artist and gain valuable insight into the piece of art you are purchasing.
Here are some tips to remember when purchasing directly from the artist:
(Later I'll give you a list of "don'ts")
- Do research online prior to visiting artists' studios. Most art fairs, art walks, etc. will post information about the artists that are participating on the websites for the events. Read artist statements, bios and other information to get an idea about the artist's career and accomplishments and what their art is about.
- When looking around, take your time and keep an open mind. There will probably be a variety of art available. Also, don't approach the buying situation with any preconceived ideas of what you want your art to look like or you may miss out on a lot of pieces that you would love!
- Walk around to get an idea of the different options before you start purchasing. Take quick notes so you remember which artists you prefer. Then return to those artists.
- If you have questions about a piece of art: ask. Most of the time artists are very happy to explain their art. It will increase your appreciation for the art if you know more about it.
- Make sure to check out the actual piece of art all over, not just the front. Check the back, sides, bottom and edges, too. Make sure that the artist paid attention to detail and that it is put together to last. Again, if you have any questions: ask.
- When you are speaking with the artist, point out the pieces of art that you like most and why. The artist may have similar pieces you would like even more.
- Artists appreciate your enthusiasm about their work, so let them know if you like it! Don't downplay your excitement thinking you may get a deal. Frankly, if they know you love their work, you may be in a better position to get a better price.
- If you love a piece of work and you know you want to own it then buy it!
- If you can't pay quite what the artist is asking, and have a good reason why, let the artist know that you love it, but it is out of your budget. They may have a solution like a payment plan or they may have similar pieces that cost less. However, do not insult the artist by asking for a much lower price.
- Keep in touch with the artist: sign up for their mailing list and make sure you get their information.