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Affordable Art

Art is powerful. It evokes emotions, is open to interpretation and injects massive doses of personality into the space it inhabits. I believe we all believe in the value of art in one’s lives and environment, but not everyone can afford the investment.

Or at least that’s what many think.

The truth is, it’s not hard to find affordable art – especially now that the world has opened itself to global purchasing via the internet.

Don’t second-guess yourself, either. In my own life, I wholeheartedly enforce the theory that if an art piece speaks to you, that’s the only criteria you need. It doesn’t need to be from someone well-known, or using the most sophisticated materials to be considered ‘good’. Care for it, frame it, and hang it. Just like you would a Warhol – you never know, it could become your biggest investment.

Here are some of my favourite sources for finding inspiring pieces on a budget:


 ETSY

Wren Print on Wood by Bridget Farmer (Australia)

Wren Print on Birch Wood by Bridget Farmer (Australia), 5.8″ x 8.3″, $ 19.92 CAD

Not every artist has been discovered yet. Take advantage and scour this favoured website to find the next Picasso.


 GALLERY 1988

Yes, I own this. And yes, it is Weird Al themed. And pink.... it really couldn't be more perfect for me.

DKNG “White And Nerdy (Pink)” Print Screenprint 24 x 18 inches Numbered edition of 40 Signed, $ 35.00 USD

For art that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this is a personal favourite source of mine. My husband and I each have our own pop-culture favourites and this LA gallery offers up consistently cool ways to incorporate things that we love without being tacky or childish (unlike my dad who still has band and car posters plastering his living room walls – this is a no-no for me!). Each exhibition has a unique theme whether it’s a cult-classic movie, a musical reference, or even a comedian.

Yes, I own this sample image. And yes, it is Weird Al Yankovich themed. And pink…. it really couldn’t be more perfect for me.


DIY

Echo Eaton Thorne Instagram

“You Make Me Live” from Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend”, watercolour

There is nothing wrong with getting creative yourself! It can be really simple – typographical art is really popular right now. This piece for example, is a lyric from my husband and my wedding song; I just wrote the quote over a mottled watercolour background. If you aren’t confident in your penmanship or brush skills, buy an art paper and stencil your phrase – or even create it digitally.


 ROGUE GALLERY

Ivan Meade fabric line

Promo shot for the ivan Meade Fabric line – the rogue gallery is a collection of thrift store finds, Etsy pieces, local artists and photography all framed in double-glass with chrome frames

If you already have some pieces you are attached to, but they feel either out-of-scale, or mis-matched; group collections of inexpensive art/objects together and the overall effect will be even more impressive. The key is maintaining equal spacing and/or similar frames to create a cohesive and more intentional looking display.


 PHOTOGRAPHY

Meade Design Instagram

A quick office transformation by Meade Design Group, nostalgic black and white photography of the inhabitants neighbourhood adds personality in a classic way

You can never go wrong with photography. An interesting crop or scale and proper framing can make all the difference. Bring our your inner shutterbug, or peruse what local photographers have to offer.


 LOCAL ART GALLERY (RENTALS)

Art Gallery Greater Victoria

Current exhibition at the AGGV: Marimekko With Love

Even our local art gallery offers this service, it’s a great option for those who want real art but don’t have a big budget, OR, for those who like to change it up frequently! If you decide you love it, you can always put your rental fees towards the purchase.


 SOCIETY 6

Feathers

‘Feathers’ by Amy Hamilton. $ 17.00-58.00 (various sizes), Giclée print on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper

Much like Etsy or Gallery 1988, Society 6 has a ton of affordable art available in a huge range of styles and subject matter. You’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy here at a great price-point.


 PRINTS

Painted Floral

Fashionista Kate Spade actually has a fun collaboration with West Elm right now – a great opportunity to add a personality-filled pop of colour to your home $ 325.79

You can go smaller-scale and implement art in a rogue gallery, or frame in a larger size to fill a space – what I’m trying to say here, is that if you can’t buy the large original, there is nothing wrong with purchasing a print to fit your budget – many sources have prints (or even cards, calendars or post-cards – Hudson’s Bay also has a great selection right now) available of their original pieces and they are always a considerably more affordable option.


 VINTAGE SIGNAGE/PRINT MEDIA

lit restoration hardware

For $ 199.00 you get lights AND art!

Marquee letters are super popular right now, like these beauties from Restoration Hardware. But it doesn’t have to be new – check local antique ships for other old signs or print media – it’s a surefire way to bring a little character into your space.


 GET NOSTALGIC

Shadowboxes

When I was packing for our move, I decided these things needed to be displayed to be appreciated, or they weren’t needed at all. Shadowboxes are an easy and affordable way to personalize your walls.

Better yet, go 3-D. I love getting shadow boxes to display important knick-knacks (my hubby’s medals, our dog’s pawprint, my old ballet slippers, concert tickets etc.). It’s much less cluttered both physically and visually. You will thank me next time you dust, too.


 

Honestly, the biggest thing I want to stress here is that art should have a connection to you, go with your gut. If you love it, it’s perfect. No matter the price-tag.