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Why buying art makes a wonderful gift

Written by: 1 For Art

We’ve all been there, struggling with what to buy that special person for Christmas. Especially if you are buying something for someone that always says “I’m not sure, buy me anything”. 

Should it be clothes, beauty items like perfume or aftershave, a generic gift voucher or something you grab at the last minute again this year?

Not very inspiring or thoughtful really. 

This year why not think outside of the box and get them something totally unique, personal and a gift they will be overjoyed in receiving!

It’s not an easy task I grant you, but a great idea could be buying art as a gift. 

Artwork can make the perfect present for a person that ‘has everything’, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. 

There is artwork out there to suit all tastes, styles and budgets and if you get it right it’s the ‘gift that will keep on giving’. That may sound a little clichéd, but it’s true, it’s something they will hang on their walls for years to come. 

Buying Art as a Gift

Buying art is a special way of showing that you know a person and giving them something that they will cherish. 

It’s not that difficult really, with a little thought and some knowledge under your belt you can easily pick that perfect piece with minimal effort for maximum effect.

We’ve created this quick guide to help with buying artwork as a gift. 

Things to consider:

  1. Style of the artwork. 
  2. Consider how their space is decorated
  3. Make it personal
  4. Involve the kids when buying artwork
  5. Stick to your budget
  6. Get family and friends to help

1. Style of the artwork

When buying a piece of art for somebody else, it seems obvious that you must consider their style which might not be your own.

Remember that art is like any other present, you’re not buying it for yourself, think about the person that you’re buying it for. 

It may sound simple, but try and not let YOUR personal taste cloud your judgement on this. 

Art is no different, try to choose something that really appeals to them, choose the style, subject, colours and size that they would like. 

Consider the style of their home. After all, it will be hung in their room.

If they go for an ultra-modern décor feel then perhaps an abstract piece of art would wow them or even a modern handmade print may be perfect. 

For a more traditional home something like an impressionist piece would fit the bill better. 

Think about the practicalities of their home, for instance buying a delicate sculpture for a family home full of small kids isn’t the best idea; nor is buying a large work for a small home. 

By carefully considering a few things, in no time at all you’ll be on the right track to buying the perfect piece of art for them.

By Simon’s Gallery

2. Consider how their space is decorated

Possibly another obvious one here, but it’s well worth spending a little time thinking about this. 

Use their personal style or favourite colours as clues to choose art they will love. 

If for instance, you know that they have a sitting room with space for a large painting and their style is neutral and very ‘zen-like’,  a brightly coloured Pollock style artwork may not be what they are looking for.  

Do they prefer neutral or minimalistic surroundings or are they more bold?

Are they into a rustic look or more eclectic with a varied palette? 

Do they have lots of open spaces and blank walls, or is their home a charmingly cluttered collection?  

These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself, the key thing is to trust your instincts!

by ShawAboutArt

3. Make it personal

The best presents are often the most personal ones, so try to think about any particular subjects or places that are special to the recipient. 

Are they interested in landscapes, dancing, classical styles or contemporary? Don’t be afraid to buy something small if you feel it will suit a certain space in their house.

A small seaside painting for instance could be a great addition  as long as it fits with their tastes and decor. 

Likewise if you know that you’re buying for someone that likes traditional outdoor pursuits such as fishing, horse riding or hiking then perhaps you could find something to match their tastes.

Think about the person you are buying for, what are their likes and dislikes. This will help you choose artwork that is really thought about and personal. 

It will show that you have taken the time and effort into finding them something special and they will love you for it.

Painting of seaside by Roma Mountjoy
By Roma Mountjoy

4. Involve the kids when buying artwork

Buying a piece for a child is a really special gift. 

It may not seem like an obvious choice for a child, the normal go to would be toys and games, however buying art can be something exceptional. 

We probably all have great memories from our childhoods, especially when it comes to images. Whether it be books like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan or even the Hungry Caterpillar. Even seeing them now evoke emotions long after the event, the memories stay with us forever.

Buying a small piece of art for a child’s bedroom wall, can also create these types of memories too.

Again, choosing the right subject  is essential, however you can’t go wrong with images of small furry animals, butterflies or majestic landscapes , depending on the child’s age and interests. 

Once they have it on their walls, think how magical it would be to create a story around the subject.

Who knows depending on the work, it might also grow in value. A piece with bright colours, lots of people, or their favourite animal would make a lovely gift — we love Peter Walters book characters. My granddaughter was the recipient of one of his prints and although she’s mainly into fairies and unicorns it is special to her because it is her first piece of ‘grown-up’ art.

Print showing a child reading a book
Image by Peter Walters

5. Stick to your budget

Set yourself a budget and stick to it to avoid getting carried away and overspending. Also try not to get lured in by excessive sales or discounts as that can sometimes influence your decision. 

Remember, art is personal; try not to be swayed by something that is cheaper and looks ‘ok’  just because of the price. Find something you love that is within budget.

Don’t be afraid to give art unframed, this will allow the recipient to choose a frame to match their décor. 

Artworks as gifts need not be expensive

Art prints start at less than £100 and many original artworks are priced well under £500, there is something for all budgets. Perhaps, the most expensive pieces of art will probably be something you won’t be buying this year!!!

Any sort of artwork is the perfect gift for those hard-to-buy for people and those who have nearly everything.

A good point to remember is to ensure that your artwork comes with a certificate of authenticity to ensure the provenance and originality.

6. Get family and friends to help

If you’re looking to buy a piece of art and the budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, why not ask other members of the family or their friends to chip in.  Buying a group present is a really good idea, especially if you all get involved in choosing the right piece of artwork. 

They may also be struggling to come up with the ideal gift and would relish the thought of adding their cash to the pot. 

Like everything, the higher the budget you have to spend, the more choices you’ll have. Allowing you to get something that is perfect.

Giving art as a gift  is something that will leave lasting memories.

For example, imagine the faces on GrandParents, when they know that all the grandkids have and bought something they have all contributed to. I’m sure that will have pride of place in their home for many years to come.

Final thoughts

Remember, art is very personal and needs to be thought about when selecting the right piece, especially if you’re buying for someone else.

It’s also an amazing gift that won’t be left in the back of a cupboard, choose it right and you will not only help decorate someone’s home but will create a lasting display of love and affection. 

Main featured image by Laure Bury