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Kayak8's avatar

What kind of artwork would you purchase (for yourself or as a gift)?

Asked by Kayak8 (16447points) October 17th, 2011

I am thinking about trying to make some extra money and am a decent-enough artist, but I have no idea what kind of stuff other folks like or would buy (for themselves or to give as a gift).

While I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beheld, do you prefer black and white (i.e., pen and ink), abstract or realistic, large or small? I am very curious to know what kind of artwork you might pick up and at what (ballpark) price.

What would go into your personal decision as to whether the price was reasonable or not? My sense is that most non-artists have no real idea of the amount of time invested in creating artwork, so I am curious as to your thoughts on that as well . . .

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12 Answers

Judi's avatar

Art is very personal. If I bought it for someone else, it would have to be very small.
I have spent thousands on art. (Not to brag, just to explain that I am a patron.)
I like to buy from artists whose work moves me on an emotional level. I want it to make me happy. Although I can appreciate darker works, I wouldn’t want them in my home.
I like to know and meet the artist and get a feel for what inspired them.
Lately, I have been drawn to lots of color, bright and vibrant works.
Of course, skill and talent, along with the ability to convey a message that I feel is relevant are important too.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Anything painted by ANef_is_Enuf. She’s amazing.

Kayak8's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Er, perhaps I should go into artist management . . .

Jeruba's avatar

I can’t speak for others, but most of the art work I have been moved to purchase for myself has been paintings. I can admire beautiful pen-and-ink work, but for display I want color.

I also want strong imagery, whether down-to-earth realistic or not (do you consider Impressionist work realistic in that it is representational, or not, in that it is by no means photographic)?

And I want an idea of some sort, something that is being presented as a concept or visual sensation and not just something illustrative. Give me Andrew Wyeth over N.C. Wyeth.

I’m not a big collector and don’t have a collector’s budget, but I do have several framed art prints and a number of originals:
•  a very realistic still life in oils
•  a small Paris scene in oils
•  a watercolor landscape
•  several art photographs, one a beautiful piece of work done by my son, who is a fine amateur photographer
•  an Asian-style ink brush painting of Bodhidharma

I wouldn’t buy art work as a gift and I wouldn’t want it given to me. Taste is too individual for that.

As to the price, what I can afford would be an absolute limit, regardless of what I thought it was worth. I would measure the price against the pleasure I would feel in seeing it all the time. I don’t consider myself a patron or investor when it comes to art, just a fairly discerning and appreciative audience.

It still kills me that I had the opportunity to buy this painting for $900 in a gallery in Montreal in 1970 and I didn’t do it because I would have had to borrow the money. I stood in front of it for a long while and felt it and loved it and ached with wanting it, and then I gathered myself together and walked away. The next time I saw the image, poster prints of it were in the Harvard Coop and going for about $12. Now a print would cost me $40.

Blackberry's avatar

I’m not really into art. I like a lot of it, but I can never “feel” it. I’m the guy that’s just like “Oh, that’s really cool!” But…..I do like those black and white pictures of people in an embrace. I can kind of feel those. It’s all about humanity and stuff lol.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Frederic Remington’s Western and northern series.

Haleth's avatar

I’m ridiculously broke, but I’ve bought inexpensive paintings from other art students, wheel pottery, handmade jewelery, and prints/ posters of creative digital art. Pretty much anything eye-catching, bold, and colorful- my taste is all over the map otherwise. Original artwork by established artists is well out of my price range, but I have bought from student-run shows, craft fairs and at anime conventions; the artist alley has some crazy talented people.

For gifts, I buy things that are more crafts than art- I’d rather give something that’s functional.

wundayatta's avatar

It is a piece that would have special meaning for me. More than just the aesthetics of the piece. I generally need to know the artist, even if it is only having met them at a show. I can’t justify the cost otherwise. And I know how little artists make given the time they put into it. Generally is is far less than minimum wage. But still, it’s hard to justify purchasing pretty things when you don’t know if you can get your kids through college. Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to afford things other than made by my relatives. Unfortunately, my wife inherited a quarter of her mother’s output. A few of her painting on our walls are fine, but covering every surface with at least one of her paintings gets a bit cloying.

downtide's avatar

I probably wouldn’t buy any; as an artist myself (and a broke one) I can’t afford any, and I would be far more likely to gift or keep something I’ve done myself. I wouldn’t expect to find any original art for sale, even very small pieces, for under £50 and that’s more than my budget will handle. If ever I have £50 to spare I’d buy paper or canvas.

Speaking from back when I made art for sale myself, my most popular subjects were animals, birds and landscapes. Abstracts didn’t sell.

Scooby's avatar

I like some abstract art, landscapes & animal portraits, in pastels ,watercolour & plain carbon, prints I have, originals only one…….. I do like my cats so often browse this site if I feel a need for something new to fill a spot….

augustlan's avatar

I like to buy art from people I know, and it’s usually something quirky. For my personal (nearly non-existent) budget, it has to be under $50.00.

If I were thinking of trying to sell stuff right now, I’d go low-price/high volume and do posters/prints of graphic forms. Pop-art for today seems to focus on typeface/fonts. Browse etsy “letters” to get an idea of what I mean. I love that stuff, but it’s more like digital art, I guess.

smilingheart1's avatar

Folks really lap up those quick pencil sketches of themselves that are sometimes offered at the various venues. An artist’s impression can feel really good to hang in your special space.

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