After nearly a decade and a half of selling my art in-person and talking to hundreds of collectors and thousands of potential customers (and with my background in marketing strategy), I’ve learned a lot about why people buy – or don’t buy – art.
Many people (most?) don’t own original art. Even for people with disposable income, purchasing original art can feel financially or mentally out of reach – like it’s only for a certain type of sophisticated person. I passionately believe that art is for everyone and that it brings so much value to our lives.
If you like art, I want to help you understand the value art can bring to your life so you can start envisioning and planning for a home with art you love.
But, instead of telling you all the reasons I love having art in my home, I decided to ask some of my collectors – experienced collectors who have purchased many paintings from me and new collectors, who just recently purchased their first piece ever, and chose my work.
Their answers to my questions varied, but I was able to pull out some pretty strong themes and it's clear that they derive tremendous value from the art in their homes.
I am so thankful to them for sharing with me openly and I am honored that my art plays such an important role in their lives. This post features some of the paintings in their collections.
Look good, feel good, play good
Our environment is hugely important to our mental health and overall well-being. Having a home that feels safe, uplifting, and reflective of your aesthetic makes a big difference.
“During the pandemic, I was so grateful to have beautiful elements in my home. I'm a big believer that our physical space impacts our emotional well-being.”
“Art is an investment in yourself and the space in which you live. I think about what I put into my body when I choose my food, and I have started taking more thought into intentionally choosing what I surround myself with. For me, it matters.”
“Your painting is a focal point in our living room and it's the first thing I notice every day. It just makes our room - I can see it from the kitchen, our dining room table and it just makes me so happy!”
Your art tells your story
I think of art like a scrapbook you get to look at every day. Like me, the collectors I interviewed purchase art that they have a connection to. In this way, their homes becomes reflection of their lives.
“The art in my home brings me immense joy. It tells my “story” for me when guests are over. You can see scenes that speak to me and experience colors and a vibe that is unique to me. I’ve come to really appreciate abstracts as I get to decide what they mean. When I divorced and purchased my first home on my own, I started a gallery wall with your piece, “Hiking in Viñales”, that represented a blank slate for me. As I’ve found my bearings in this new chapter, I have slowly added work from several other artists that tell the story of where I am and where I see myself going.”
“I like the aesthetic that it brings to a home or any space really. It’s very personal and creative and makes a home feel like home. You can tell a lot about a person by the spaces that they create. Original art brings warmth and personality to a space. I still remember when I purchased each piece I have and the story behind them.”
“I never imagined that I would have a collection of art, but over the last 25 years, piece by piece, we have built just that. Our home feels more like ours because of the paintings, sculptures, and pots we have added through spontaneous purchases and also the “let’s save up for one of hers” purchases.”
“The landscape reminded me of a drive I had made many times and the peaceful feeling I associated with that drive.”
“I see art as an experience much like a special dinner out or concert or trip. You always remember the experience of seeing it for the first time, what it meant to you, how/when/where you acquired it.”
Like fine wine, it gets better with time
Art doesn’t get worn out (assuming you take care of it). Of course, the monetary value of a piece of art can grow as the artist’s career progresses, but the value the art brings to you can also grow as you enjoy it, reinterpret it, and redecorate with it throughout different phases of your life.
“Art brings me so much more joy than many other kinds of purchases. Art has a long life and even if you buy it for a particular spot in your home, you can always move it around and enjoy it different ways. I didn’t have a spot for one of my favorites when I moved offices, so it’s now on loan to a friend, who I know loves the piece.”
“Two thoughts here – I love that the art stays with me through the changing seasons of my life and the different homes I have and will own. Each new space offers an opportunity to present and experience the work in new and exciting ways. Secondly, I love knowing it was created from the artist’s perspective and their vibe at that moment in time. I (and others) experience it from my/our perspective and with my/our vibe at any given moment. Yet, the piece never changes.”
You’re also getting the connection to the artist
When you buy art from an artist you know – in person, or even an artist you just follow online – you’re getting everything you know about them and their work: their inspiration, their creation process, maybe what their studio looks like and what they look like. You may know what their life is like and what things are important to them.
Every time you see their art in your home, you’ll think of all that – you’ll have a connection to the art, which makes it more special and valuable to you.
“I like to know about the artist and a piece of art becomes more meaningful to me if I meet the artist or get to see where they created it, what inspires them, is there a story behind the piece of art, etc.”
“Almost all the art in my home is made by artists that I know or have met or even been in their studios. I think the pieces mean so much more when you know who created them.”
“I am curious by nature and enjoy knowing something about the artist or even just experiencing them on Insta as they are creating. I love the human connection that original art provides.”
“You're our first artist and getting to know you, meeting you and your husband in your studio, having you meet my family, really helped me feel connected to you and your artwork. That also helped me in making the purchase as well.”
You can share your collection with others
Getting to tell your friends and family about the art in your home is a whole additional level of enjoyment. If you bought a piece on a memorable trip or have a special connection to the artist, getting to share that when you talk about the piece allows you to re-live the experience.
“As I shifted my professional life to Zoom, I was able to have one of your pieces on the wall behind my computer so my Zoom colleagues got to enjoy it as well!”
“The value-add of having beautiful, original art in one's home is priceless. I love sharing the stories behind these paintings when I invite friends to my home. I enjoy talking about my collection when Zoom meeting attendees see the paintings in the background. In short, I love it!”
“Friends and family notice [our painting] and love it too.”
“Our hallways and rooms are filled with meaningful memories and when someone visits and compliments the art, we have a story to share beyond the art itself.”
“I love when the art in my home sparks conversation.”
You get warm fuzzies
Art is special and knowing that your purchase helps make it possible for the artist to keep creating is a benefit in and of itself.
“Original art benefits me and warms my heart because I like to support others’ creative and entrepreneurial endeavors. Art inspires me to see the best in the day ahead and to see the best in the people around me. Your works are happy, peaceful and calm. Having one in my office has always reminded me that I should “enjoy my ride” and that we are all on our own roads, although we can travel together.”
“There is something magical in knowing only you and the artist truly share a relationship with the work.”
“Giving original art as gifts has also been very special for me. I gave a smaller piece of yours to my sis-in-law for her 50th birthday and another original work to my mom for her 70th. Both were perfect for them and let me support artists I like so much even when I am not currently buying for my home.”