how to buy art as a gift.
Gifting art can be a wonderful experience: it is original, it is helps a local craftsman and it is not something the individual will receive a lot of. But selecting the right piece can be a challenge. Let me stimulate some ideas:
1- go for smaller pieces. 8 x 10 is an easy size to hang in most any environment and does not require a reshuffle of the decor of one's home. It is the perfect office or small room size and can be moved around with ease. Not only is 8 x 10 and smaller an easy piece for the recipient to use, it is also usually more affordable than a large piece.
2- if you go for a larger size (or invest some significant bucks) see if the artist will honor a return for exchange if the recipient wants to trade it out. Sometimes it is impossible to do this but very often an artist will let a receiver made a trade. Note: this does not mean the recipient can trade for a commissioned piece.
3- easily given themes include landmarks of visited cities/countries; specific breeds of pets; generics of locales such as "mountains," "oceans," and "rivers;" clever depictions of items the recipient collects or a predominate use of a favorite color.
4- Make it fun to receive. Don't make the recipient feel obligated to place the piece front and center. Tell them that the piece made you think of them (and why) and that you hoped they could find a place for it that would give them as much joy as it did you. Gosh, all of a sudden you have infused that piece of art with additional love and memories and it takes on even more special meanings. Giving them permission to put it somewhere personal frees them. (Side note here: I actually hung some art in my closet that is easily seen and enjoyed by me more often than many other pieces I have around the house...it makes me smile a lot!)
5- Get info on the artist to share with the recipient. Again, it makes the gift more fun to know something about the person who painted or crafted the piece. Get a card, website info or bio so they can refer to the data and share the knowledge with others.
6- Tape a note or write on the back of the piece. Signing and dating it turns art into an heirloom if not a memento for years to come. Even if it is stored in a box for a few years it will be inscribed with some thoughts of the kind person who was sweet enough to gift an original piece to a special person. Not many sweaters or ties boast that kind of memory.
7- Take a chance. We all know folks who would rather have a tee-shirt from anywhere than anything handmade. Give it to them. We also know people who value hand crafted items for the simple reason that an item touched by a human carries so much more thought and love in it. Try. Plunge in and see how they receive your gift.
See you this weekend at our annual holiday sale on Saturday, Dec 7. We'll be happy to help you choose the perfect item to gift to a special person in your world.