Sunday, August 28, 2016

5 Mistakes you could be making when you buy art.

5 Mistakes you could be making when you buy art.

And how you can avoid them.

During my 30 years in Key West, I have had the good fortune to be part of some wonderful co-operative* art galleries. And now I have an amazing studio/gallery space of my own. #supercool
Repeatedly helping people choose art for their island home, or choosing a piece as a memory to take home, has been tons of fun and given me some very clear insights on the art buying process.

It can be great fun for the buyer and the seller.  It's really wonderful to know you're helping people add something of meaning to their lives.
However, (yes, there's often an "however")sometimes there's stress that could be avoided.

And, sadly, this stress is being created because the art lovers thought they were doing the right thing. 
For example, they wanted to be kind or polite or un-pushy.
Did I recognize these mistakes as they were being made? Not at first! It took time, and me seeing them over and over again.  But now when I see one, I do my very best to step in and politely make suggestions.

Here are the mistakes and the very easy ways to avoid them. Please note, I think these apply to buying art in a gallery, or directly from the artist. 

1. Not buying a piece because you don't like the frame. That's like not buying a house because you don't like the wall color. Not every frame is going to fit your style.
Solution: Ask to see the piece without the frame. That way, what you don't like about the piece won't interfere with how you envision the piece in your home.
But Maggie, you say, can I ask to buy the piece without the frame? Of course, but don't expect much of/or any price reduction. Most artists buy their frames in bulk and wholesale and don't add the cost of framing into the price.

2. You are afraid to tell the artist or sales person that you REALLY dislike the piece they are showing you. 
Solution: Understand that communication is key to getting exactly what you want. Knowing what you like as well as what you don't like helps the artist or salesperson assist you in the selection process.    And couples, you can ask for a moment to confer privately.

3. This next mistake is one that couples, who are choosing together, often make. You aren't honest with the other person about what you like or don't like. 
Solution: Don't be afraid to say "I like this one better than that one." This will save one of you the time it takes to bring the piece back and explain to the sales person, "I didn't know he/she didn't like it until we got it home!" 

4. The wife/partner/whatever (but it's usually the wife) doesn't want to make a purchase without the husband/partner/whatever.  So she spends time looking and then has to start the process over again when she returns with the husband. Who most of the time, says, "I don't care. If you like it, get it."
Solution: Realize, that if you have just said, "Honey, I'm going out to look for a new painting for the dinning room", and your husband/partner/whatever isn't getting up and reaching for the car keys to come with you, then that person is glad someone else is making that decision.
Note to husband/partner/whatever: Saying, "I don't care, just prolongs the ordeal".  It's better to say, "Honey, you know I trust your judgment".

5. Not asking the artist if you can "test drive" the art. Take piece(s) home to see how they work in your home.
Solution: If you know you are going to purchase something, but not sure what, ask if you can take the pieces on trial.  Obviously, this works better if you are buying from a local artist.
I tell customers I will bring as many pieces as they want to their home and help them choose or leave them for a few days. Or, I let them take the pieces and decide on their own.

Buying art should be joyful and rewarding. I hopes this helps and thank you so much for adding art to your home and your life.
*A co-op gallery has multiple artist/owners and in most cases the artists take turns "minding the store" and being involved in the sales process. 

Words to Live By

I've got a special series of classes going on now.  My students are creating artwork with inspirational themes or messages.  And the fun part is, that when the class is over we are going to have a group show of the work.  Let's put those good vibrations out into the world ASAP.
Listen to your heart
acrylic on canvas, 16" x 20"
©Maggie Ruley 2016


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Maggie Ruley is a studio artist living in Key West, Florida. 
Her colorful paintings and tropical pottery are collected world wide and can be found in many island homes. She has been featured in the Key West Citizen,
the New York Daily News , and other publications.
Her handmade ceramic flip flops have been sold in gift shops all along the east coast and in California and Hawaii.
 Her studio-gallery is located in the Historic Seaport area of Old Town Key West.
Maggie Ruley~Island Inspirations
933b Fleming St.
Key West Florida 33042
Find more things to love on my website:
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