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Buying original art as a gift

No matter how good your intentions are, buying original art as a gift for someone else can be an extremely tricky business. There are many issues to consider that will enable you to choose a piece of hanging art or sculpture that the recipient will like. Here are some questions that you need to answer:

• How well do you know the person?

• What space do they have for the work of art?

• Do they have any favourite artists or sculptors?

• How much are you willing to spend?

How well do you know the person?

This may sound like a very obvious question to ask, but it is essential that you know something about the person you are buying for. It is probably not advisable to buy a piece of original art for the person who you are replacing at work as you won’t have had much chance to get to know their tastes. The office collection or whip round would be better spent on another gift.

If you think that you know the recipient fairly well then you still need to narrow down the type of original art that they would most appreciate. The personal style of the person may be very different to that of their home. At the end of the day, the original art is going to need to fit in with their interior design, and not their wardrobe. Many people have homes that are styled very differently from their own personal style because of the other members of the household. This is often the case with men, but also women.

What space do they have for the work of art?

Once you have decided on the style of the piece of original art that you are considering buying, you need to be sure that the recipient has the space to accommodate it. There are far too many oil paintings and sculptures that end up being stored in an attic and never see the light of day because they simply do not fit in anywhere else.

The physical space for the modern art or impressionism, whatever you have decided, is not the only consideration. Is the space available in a room that the piece would suit? Many people prefer to have original art that compliments the décor of the room, others want it to contrast and act as a focal point. You need to be sure which the recipient would want and if the space exists in the appropriate room.

Do they have any favourite artists or sculptors?

This is extremely obvious, and requires little further explanation. However, it may surprise you that many people do have their ideal work of art, even if they do not own any as yet. You could be responsible for starting their art collection so it is important to choose the right artist.

How much are you willing to spend?

You have to set a budget for the original art that you want to buy. This may be the deciding factor in whether you purchase a sculpture, oil painting, piece of impressionism or other hanging art. Always be clear as to how much you are prepared to spend. A person is far more likely to appreciate a smaller piece of original art that meets all of the previous requirements, rather than a larger cheap piece that you felt made it appear that you had spent more money. Size does not always matter when it comes to original art.

At the end of the day, you always have the option of asking the intended recipient for their input. This can be done discreetly or directly, depending on how much of a surprise you want the gift of original art to be. Sometimes, it is better to check that it is what they want, rather than buy the wrong gift.


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New to buying original art and sculpture? Useful tips to get you started:
Choosing original art for your home | Art for the office | Why more people are buying original art today | Benefits of owning original art | A brief guide to sculpture | Buying contemporary photography | Buying original art as a gift | Impressionism | Abstract art | Oil painting styles | Art buying trends | Art online | Original art | Buy art | Art to buy | Sell your art