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on the hunt for good art

The Big Debate: Original Art vs. Prints

September 22nd, 2009 · 1 Comment

This is one of those questions that gets people all riled up but when all is said and done, has no “right” answer. In my humble opinion, original art is (mostly) worth the fuss and extra cost, especially given the abundance of affordable art in the marketplace. There is the long-term value of the art that some consider, but more importantly, there is something very special about owning an original piece of art.  As someone who owns both originals and prints, I can attest to the fact that I am much more attached to the originals, even after factoring out what I paid for them.

However, there are many reasons to consider prints, especially as most of us are adjusting to life on tighter budgets. Artists, like the rest of us, are feeling the effects of the downturn, and even if you can’t afford an original, purchasing prints not only brings art into your home but also supports the artist community.  Furthermore, there is a slew of e-shops that sell prints of top-quality emerging and established artists.  So just because you can’t afford originals doesn’t mean you have to settle for Starry Night.


– They often cost considerably less. A print of an original valued at $3000 might go for $50. That’s 1/60th of the cost of the original!

– If you don’t believe in art-as-investment.

– If your taste changes frequently.

– If the piece is whimsical and you’re unsure it makes sense in the long haul.

– If the original is sold, there may be prints available.



Keep Calm Gallery

Little Paper Planes

Sycamore Street Press

Tiny Showcase

The Bird Machine

The Shiny Squirrel

The Small Stakes

Thumbtack Press

Tugboat Printshop

How to find great art on Etsy

September 14th, 2009 · 2 Comments

etsy header screenshot

This post is for all of my friends who think Etsy is the best thing since sliced bread but have no idea how to use it effectively.

The main complaint I hear again and again is “Etsy seems so cool, but when I try to search for interesting art I get totally overwhelmed and give up!” I get so sad when I hear this because Etsy truly is one of the best places to find affordable art.

So here are my tips for everyone out there with the same frustrations:

1) Don’t get overwhelmed! Yes, there is a lot out there, but you do not have to go through a myriad of listings to find art you like. I promise!

2) Start small. Find a handful of items that appeal to you and make them your favorites.  You can start by browsing through the handpicked items on the homepage, the showcase (where you can select sub-categories such as painting, print, mixed-media, etc.), the editors’ picks, connections and so on.

3) Browse shops. From the favorite items you’ve selected, browse through the sellers’ other listings.  You may have found a painting you really like, but after browsing through the artists’ other items, discover a similar piece that you absolutely love!

4) Browse your favorites’ favorites. Chances are your favorite artists have links (via favorites) to other interesting artists.  You can’t usually ask people for their entire contact list, but through Etsy you can anonymously search through sellers’ contacts and start a chain of discovery.

5) Ask the experts. Many online art publications and blogs showcase their Etsy favorites.  Two of my favorites are etsy art and a thing of beauty. Taking this route means all of the heavy lifting has already been done for you!  (For Honestly Art’s favorites, see Favorites page)

6) Sleep on it. Before making a big purchase, come back in a day or two.  You may feel differently after some reflection.  Obviously if you still love it, buy it and hang it up!

There are many other great ways to search on Etsy, so please feel free to share your personal tips and tricks…