These days, it feels like there are a million and one art galleries online, all filled to the brim with (in many cases) rather affordable artwork. This can be great. . . but it can also be a lot to wade through, to find art that you REALLY like.
So if you’re like me, and you love finding new art, but you’re tired of the “same old internet galleries,” here are some of the non-traditional methods I’ve started using:
1. Make Pinterest your own personal art curator
I’m assuming you already have a Pinterest account, but if not, head over and sign up. Right now (I’ll wait).
Log in and click on the search bar at the top of Pinterest. Type a keyword like “art” or “painting” and then pair it with another word that defines the type of art you like. Whatever comes to mind (florals, horses, landscapes, etc) press enter, and start scrolling.
Pinterest will suggest more options to refine your search even further, but maybe your original search is already dead-on.When you see something you like, click through the pin to the website and find out who the artist is. (In a perfect world, the pin will lead right to the artist’s website, but if it doesn’t, you might have to click a few more times).
Once you find their site, ask yourself—is all their work just as captivating as the piece that first caught your eye? If so, score! You just found another favorite artist.
If not, head back to Pinterest and check out the person who pinned that particular artwork. Scroll through some of their other pins. Do they have a similar eye for artwork as you do? Nice! Maybe you didn’t find a new artist, but you’ve found someone who’ll do the hard work for you—just “follow” them on Pinterest, and let the good art roll in.
Repeat as needed. . . once you’ve started following several “Pinterest art curators” I bet you’ll never lack for good art again (and your endless searching through online art galleries will be a thing of the past!)
2. Sign up for artist newsletters
Often the BEST way to find new art that you’ll love is to keep up-to-date with the artists you already like. Many artists send out updates by email whenever they start work on a new series, or have a show, or have a special opportunity for their collectors.
Even if you haven’t purchased from a specific artist before, signing up for their email list is a great way to ensure that you don’t miss out the perfect opportunity to become a collector.
If you’re not sure where to start, our own art newsletter, Artwork Reveal, showcases new artwork from multiple artists each month, which may be a good way to get your feet wet.
3. Peruse local art fairs and art walks
If you’re lucky enough to live in a decent-sized city (or one that is especially supportive of the arts) keep an eye out for any local art fairs, first Friday art walks, and other community art exhibits. Typically, spring and summer months are especially good for art fairs, so as the weather warms up, be especially on the lookout for flyers, posters, and mailings announcing upcoming events.
Not all artwork at art fairs is expensive, either. Most artists know that having a variety of prices is a great way to attract all levels of collectors, from first-time buyers to established patrons of the arts.
Case in point, some of the first art I ever bought on my own was at an art fair—it was three small prints of an artist’s work. I couldn’t afford her originals (probably still can’t!) but her prints were priced just right.
4. Browse through DIY and home decorating blogs
You know who ALWAYS seem to find the best artwork for their walls? Home bloggers, DIY decorators, vintage & second-hand bloggers, and stay-at-home style mavens. Seriously!
The home decorating blogging community is full of great art curators, and while a lot of their blog posts are (understandably) on other topics, if you find a blogger whose home decorating style you love, it’s a good bet that you’ll love their taste in art too.
Not only can you get great ideas for vintage artists to keep an eye out for, or specific eras and styles that you might like, but you’ll also learn a lot about how to enhance a space with your art, too.
If you’re thinking that sounds like a lot of work (and yes, hunting down old blog posts does seem a bit much) then here’s how to let technology do the work for you:
Find a home/design blogger whose style you love, and then do a quick search in Google using their blog as the source. For example, if EmptyEasel.com were the website you wanted to search through, you’d just type “artwork site:emptyeasel.com” (without any quotes).
You can get even more specific, with Google searches like “cheap artwork site:emptyeasel.com” or “photo prints site:emptyeasel.com” etc.
Your results will vary depending on the blogger, but I guarantee that after few searches this technique will point you towards new artists who are both affordable and awesome!
5. Visit a local, independent coffee house
When’s the last time you dropped by the local coffee house and really looked at the artwork? If you haven’t lately, you’re probably missing out!
In my city, I’ve got a favorite coffee shop that rotates artwork about every month. I love checking out the new work every time I’m in, and usually it’s priced very affordably. Not only can I support artists in my town, but what’s better than coffee and art?
6. Drop in at nearby college art shows
Many colleges and universities host art shows (often in dedicated gallery spaces) featuring both student artwork and the work of visiting artists. You never know what you’ll find—but it’s a great, and often overlooked, place to find new and exciting artists.
Again, your mileage may vary, depending on where you’re located and the types of colleges in your area, but I’ve found that it’s always worth a try!
Have fun with these unusual ways of searching out artwork—hopefully you’ll stumble across a great find in the near future!
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