There comes a moment in most 20 or 30 somethings lives when you realize that you need art, you need art real bad. You need actual frames on the walls, and heck you might even be up for that “gallery wall” everyone is talking about. When I moved in with my boyfriend (now husband) six years ago, he actually tried to convince me that his precious, The Price Is Right T-Shirt, complete with name tag was sufficient wall art for our apartment. I strongly disagreed and proceeded to bury the t-shirt in a moving box he would never find.
Fast-forward to today, and I know a lot more about where to buy prints and affordable art. We love to collect original artwork when we can, but right now those are still splurge moments. Artwork (prints or originals) can really complete the look of a space, and even become a central inspiration or focal point for a room. I find that many of my clients have trouble trusting their instincts when it comes to choosing artwork, and they are always interested in my suggestions and resources.
Luckily there are many awesome art marketplaces popping up online, which make it easy to order framed works and support artists. One such marketplace is MINTED. Minted started out with stationary and still does great printable invitations and such, but what I love most is their art marketplace. They use a crowd-sourcing model to decide which artwork will sell, and they offer multiple framing options for each print. They have good search functions if you want to narrow your medium to illustration, photography, etc. Here are some of my current favorites on the site.
1. Life on Mars – Matthew Sampson 2. Point of View – R Studio 3. Mineral 03 – Lily Hanna 4. Do It Anyway 2 – Kristi Kohut 5. California Dreams – Alexandra Nazari 6. Distant Island Pier – Julia Contacessi
Another site that I think curates their selections well is One Kings Lane. I especially like the Gray Malin prints they carry, and I also enjoy their partnerships with lesser known artists. I was thrilled to see they were carrying work by Emily Proud, a California-based watercolor artist, I had discovered through Instagram. I was so happy to be able to purchase one of her prints in a large scale and at an affordable price!
Natural Curiosities is a great resource for designers, and they do sell to the public as well (although it can be on the pricey side). They are based in LA and their founder, Christopher Wilcox, has been collecting art work for more than 20 years. I am obsessed with the Paule Marrot (1902 – 1987) art prints they carry. Marrot was French-born and was known for her innovative use of color and textiles.
Butterfly Blue, Fete, Clouds, Pink Birds. All works pictured by Paule Marrot sold through Natural Curiosities.
Etsy and Ebay are my other go-to places to find artwork. I’ll often use these sites when I’m trying to find something vintage. Etsy also has pretty good search functions when you are trying to find something very specific like “mermaid artwork” for a little girl’s room.
Mermaid print by Sascalia on Etsy
A few last sites to check out include the following. If you are based in Chicago, it’s worth a trip to Ravenswood to visit Neighborly. It’s a great little gift, home accessories, and poster shop that curates and frames a nice selection of local art prints. I especially love the Flatmade print pictured below, which Neighborly did carry (and hopefully still does!).
- DOMINO – http://domino.com
- SOCIETY6 – http://society6.com
- NEIGHBORLY CHICAGO – http://shop.neighborlyshop.com
TONS of places to get some killer art. Go put something on your walls!
XO – CLAIRE