Buying Art: Shopping Art Fairs

Many of you who know me know that I fancy myself something of an artist.  Much of the art in my home was my creation.  I dabble in many mediums but am master of none.  However, most of it comes off at least as "professionally" done.  Pair that with my incurable DIY disease and it becomes very difficult for me to pay for art. 

I love to go to outdoor art fairs for inspiration (and funnel cake), but I seldom go away with anything.  I have a sketch book filled with ideas for art pieces that I will create "someday".  My schedule allows very little time for "fluff" activities right now, and, unfortunately, artwork falls into that category.  However, last week I visited a local art fair prepared with a new attitude.  This time was going to be different.  I saw lots of work, liked about a quarter of it, and liked some enough to even consider a purchase.

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I ultimately gave in to this charming little painting by Jarrod Eastman called Citrus Moon.  Not only is it cute and colorful, but it tells an amusing story in my mind.  Jarrod is a talented, self-taught artist with some very interesting perspectives.  You will find more of his work on his website including some of his graphics turned into wearable art.

Shopping art fairs gives you access to many types of mediums in one spot.  It also gives you an opportunity to purchase artworks at greatly reduced prices.  There won't be any gallery commissions to pay.  Perhaps the most rewarding part for me is that in most cases you will get a chance to visit directly with the artist.  It is wonderful to learn about their inspiration and connect with them.  This will make the piece of art in your home even more meaningful.

savour... artful hunting

Get the rest after the jump...

Shopping Art Fairs

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Jay Long, one of my favorites from previous years returned this year with even more offerings.  His work is very interesting and really speaks to me and my love for words and graphics.  The two works shown here are shadow box versions of some of his popular work.  See more on his website.  It is a must see.

Tips for shopping an art show:

  • Take contact information from the artist.  Check out the website later if you are undecided.
  • Be sure to shop the entire show before making your decision. 
  • If you love it, buy it.  While you can check the website later, you may be able to get a deal on the piece if you buy it direct.
  • Ask for a certificate of authenticity.
  • Consider purchasing a print and framing yourself if feasible.  You will be able to choose a frame that you love and probably pay far less.
  • Buy smaller pieces.  You can make them more special by adding mats and frames and enlarge the overall space they fill.
  • Negotiate if you feel comfortable doing so, but do it cautiously.  You will be able to tell right away if the artist is willing to bargain.  Also, keep in mind that it is their work and not a yard sale item.
  • Keep your spaces in mind.  Smaller pieces can be moved around, but a large piece is a commitment that requires a suitable home.