Tips On Buying Art Directly From The Artist
Buying art from an artist can be much more casual (and, often, complicated) than buying artwork from a gallery or at an auction. Each artist may handle the transaction differently, and may include different things in the sale. To make the process simpler and ensure that you aren’t missing out on anything important, you should enter the situation with a few key things in mind:
1. You don’t need to buy the art right away. Typically when purchasing art, you have the luxury of time. Take a photo, bring it home, take measurements of the space where the work would go. It is rare that you would have to buy the artwork right then and there. There are some exceptions to this rule. If you are at a temporary event, like an art fair or an auction, or if you know that there is somebody else also considering purchasing this piece, you may need to expedite your decision making process. That’s why it’s a great idea to get the contact information from the artist and find out how long this work will be available.
2. Always get the facts. Whether you’re purchasing the artwork on the spot, or taking time to think about it, there is vital information you should get from the artist.
Obviously, the course of the conversation will naturally allow you to discover certain other important elements like their motivation, the stories behind their artwork, and their artistic history. All of these will help you form a deeper emotional connection to the piece in question. However, if you do not receive the artist’s personal information, it may all be for nothing, as you may miss out on the opportunity to buy their work.
3. Artists are often willing to negotiate. If you see a work that is above your budget, be sure to inquire about the possibility of a discount. Tell the artist what about the work speaks to you, why you want it, and where you’ll hang it. For artists, knowing that their work is going to be appreciated can make all the difference.
4. Obtain a signature and documentation. Even if you are not planning on selling the work later on, it is important that you make sure the artwork is signed and that you have the appropriate documentation. You should have a proof of purchase and a certificate of authenticity. Make sure that these have the artist’s signature, date, and the amount of money that you purchased the work for. This will be valuable in the future, whether you end up reselling the work or if you want to buy insurance for it.
5. Inquire about materials and care tips. Some works, especially sculpture and mixed media, need special care instructions. Even for common media like paintings or photography, the artist may have some special instructions for the works. By taking the extra measure and asking early, you may end up extending the life of the artwork.
6. Stay connected. There are many advantages to staying connected with an artist after the purchase. For one, they may come out with more works in the future that will be of interest to you. Having multiple pieces by the same artist can unify a space and give it a great voice.
Additionally, when you stay in contact, you’ll be the first to know if this artist begins to receive international success. There are several ways to stay connected with an artist these days. Follow them on social media. Set up a Google Alert for their name. Some artists will have a newsletter that you can subscribe to-just ask, or you’ll never know!
Once you buy your artwork…
Enjoy it! Store the sales documentation somewhere safe, hang the work somewhere it will be appreciated, and relax.