This is the time of the year when everyone is looking for unique gift ideas and I feel obliged to talk about art as a gift.
I have been running my online art gallery for three years now, but until last summer, I did not gift any art.
Perhaps art was too common for me, as I grew up in artists’ family, art was something so usual to me, just as water and air. I may say it was not special, it was and it is an everyday necessity.
But last summer, instead of bringing chocolates and cheese from Switzerland, I decided to give a few small abstract miniatures as gifts to my friends and family members while visiting my homeland - Lithuania.
I did not think too much whether people who are close to me will like those small abstractions I’ve chosen for them or not.
I did not try to find out what colours they like, in fact, most of them, I was sure, did not know much about contemporary or abstract art.
I am writing about this, because I was astonished with their reactions — everyone was so happy to receive a mini painting, although they were not sophisticated collectors and did not overthink whether it would fit with their home interior or not.
And it was not a one time reaction. I keep getting feedback half a year later, I received photos from happy friends, showing where they have placed the artworks.
Every time my mother in law calls, she says how happy she is to have the art I gave her. Whenever she’s in a bad mood, she just sits in the arm chair and looks at the abstract painting for a while. The artwork calms her and lifts up her spirits.
This made me think about art as a gift and why people are so exited to receive it. Here are the answers I came up with.
Unique art makes people feel unique and important
When you are gifting a unique piece of art to your mum, dad, a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, a wife or a husband — you make your loved ones feel very special, because you are giving them something no one else has in the whole wide world!
Art is always a surprise, as is not common to gift art
Name a few special occasions and a few stereotype gift ideas will raise in your mind at once… I bet art will not be among them.
People are still not very confident when it comes to buying an artwork as a gift, not to mention the “what if he/she won’t like it?” moment.
But those who are brave enough, will definitely make their loved ones feel really really special.
Art is emotional
Art is always emotional, every artwork is deeply connected with the inner world of it’s creator. It broadcasts emotion, phantasy, message and vision of the artist.
Whether it is an expressive abstract painting or a super realistic sculpture — it is loaded with emotions expressed through shapes and colours.
As sculptor Gedminas Endriekus once said to me “Art is my language and shapes are my words”.
No one can remain indifferent while holding an artwork in his/her hands. It always speaks to us in a very special way.
About a year ago, I have created a video explaining a few more points on art gifting and shared a few tips as well. You may want to take a look at it too.
OK, so let’s say I have convinced you and you agree with me now that art is a perfect gift, but you are still hesitating, because, I bet you are thinking:
- Art gift is is too expensive, I can not afford it…
- How can I gift art to someone? I don’t know his/her taste!
- What if the person I am buying art for, won’t have any place for it?
- I know what art I like, but what if my friend does not like it?
Let me break a few myths and stereotypes and give you a few tips on finding a nice artsy present.
Art is not as expensive as you think
You think art is expensive, because media only writes and broadcasts news about art that was sold for millions. The audience is not interested in lovely and affordable artworks, everybody gets excited about auction records.
So here we are, trapped in false beliefs that art is something we can not afford...
Although I bet you will agree that beautiful and unique things are not and should not be cheap, there are loads of good and affordable art to choose from.
For those who have a limited budget, I alway suggest to take a look at works on paper, miniature paintings and limited edition prints.
For example, prices of abstract drawings on paper at my online gallery are surprisingly affordable, they start at 55 Eur / 60 USD (including free worldwide shipping). I am sure other art platforms and artists themselves offer beautiful art most of us can afford.
Gift art that you would love to have yourself
During three years of art marketing activities, I realised that people tend to like similar things.
There are always artworks that get more views and likes than others. So you should not be so worried whether the art gift you are choosing will fit the taste of your friend or a family member.
The most important criteria — you should look for an artwork that you will really like to have yourself.
Remember, you are buying it for a person who comes from similar background as you. You like each other so most probably, you like similar things as well :)
Good art always finds it’s place
First of all, most people are not passionate collectors and do have a lot of empty walls begging for some colour and texture.
And secondly, good art always finds a place (unless it is gifted to an obsessed collector). Once a you bring an artwork home, you discover so many places you can put it that you have to think carefully which one is the best!
But if you are still worried if your artsy gift will have enough room to flourish at somebody's home — go for miniatures.
Small paintings do not need a lot of space, they do not need a special placement, they can be hanged on the wall or simply placed on a shelf.
The “don’t like” risk is the lowest for art
Think about all the presents you have ever received and did not like. Probably in 99% of the cases it was something you do not need, and the 1% of those gifts were the ones that you did not like.
I think the risk that a person you are gifting the art to won’t like it is really low. First of all, because so many people need art and love art, but are just not confident to buy it themselves.
What can happen in the worst case — they will give it to somebody else who likes it or sell it at the charity auction and that is not bad at all.
I am sure art is a perfect choice as gift for any occasion and if you still need more ideas and would like to consider choosing an artwork for a person who is really important to you — you are welcome to take a look at the Art Gifts collection that I have compiled recently.
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- - -Artworks in the photos:
Bronze sculpture "In The Swings" by A.Šimkutė (Lithuania)
Abstract paintings "Follow the Line 4", "Black and White Abstract", "Blue Abstract No 2" and "Small Sign No 25" by Gina Vor (Switzerland).