Today's blog post was written by, Magda Johnson, an Artist living on Vancouver Island, BC. Keep reading to find out more about how to select art that is authentic to your space.
I wholeheartedly believe that an authentic piece of art will turn your house into a home. You may be thinking that this is out of our budget, you’re not sure where to look, or questioning if an original or print is the way to go. If this speaks to you, then read onwards as I give you a few tips on finding an authentic piece that will fill your home with more meaning than a fancy framed shell from Home Sense.
Dilemma #1. You don’t know what you want until you see it OR you want something personal, but you aren’t sure which artist/ style to go with.
Tip: Regardless of where you are on the decisive spectrum, reflect on the places, spaces, and colours that make you feel most at ease and go from there! Use social media as a tool and follow artists whose work you enjoy. It’s 100% commitment free and you will quickly learn what you like and don’t like.
Dilemma # 2. You’re not sure where to look.
Tip: Art galleries are a great place to find your favourite style. If the Vancouver Art Gallery feels daunting, then grab a beverage and go for a stroll through Granville Island. You’ll find tons of local artists. If you’re a hermit and prefer not to be seen out in public, then just grab a glass of wine and scroll through the gram to find pieces that stick out to you. There are HUNDREDS of local artists who rely on social media. Realism, expressionism, or abstract art… don’t overthink it. If you are drawn to a painting and can’t get it out of your mind, then you’ve hit your gold!
A note about Instagram: did you know that artists follow artists? This may seem obvious, but it’s something buyers often overlook. I challenge you to follow one west coast artist and see who they follow. You’ll quickly discover a treasure trove of makers who paint similar subjects, but with different styles.
Dilemma # 3. You don’t know if you should go for a print or an original.
Prints are great when you are looking to create a gallery wall or put something smaller on a shelf. They are far more affordable than originals and it won’t be the end of the world if you decide to switch them out down the road. Artists will often sign their prints and sometimes number them on the back, still giving you that authentic touch.
Originals/ commissions are timeless and should last you a lifetime. Whether it’s for yourself, or for someone special, there is no better feeling than giving yourself the permission to run your fingers over your very own canvas and feel its texture. Pricey? Can be. Worth it? You bet!
Dilemma #4. We hold off on making big purchases because we are in our own heads about whether or not the piece we like will be liked by others.
Tip: If you know you want a special piece to grace your walls, then buy for yourself without the expectation that someone else may or may not enjoy it. Art is subjective and personal. When we display something in our homes, it’s a reflection of who we are and that can leave us feeling vulnerable. Remember that we’re all meant to respond to artwork in different ways!
Magda is an artist, wife and mom of 2 toddlers (plus a fur-baby!), living on Vancouver Island.
"I've always known I wanted to do something creative and different then my regular day-to-day teaching job. After having two kids and leaving my position as a high school teacher to be a stay-at-home-mom, I'd felt I'd lost a sense of my identity. I think anyone who has gone through this can relate! When the pandemic hit, my desire to create and find myself again was amplified, so I picked up a paint brush and began painting familiar places that brought me joy."