So, you’re looking to buy some art..as most of us find ourselves doing from time to time. The internet is a good place for that these days, right? Yes. Of course it is. But how is anyone supposed to tell the difference between all of these art sites? There are so many! Not to mention kind of intimidating, right? In this post I’m going to do my best to help show you how to buy art online, and how to choose the site that will work best for you.
Step 1 to buying art online is finding a site that is going to...
- suit your personal style
- be helpful and easy to navigate
- provide an enjoyable search experience
- work within your budget
Having spent..eh hem..more time than I care to admit browsing various websites to feed my insatiable art obsession, I’ve definitely developed my own opinions on which ones are both high quality AND user friendly and which ones are not. I’ve compiled a list of my 7 favorites to hopefully make your search a little bit easier.
This is a personal favorite of mine. Saatchi Online is an offshoot of the Saatchi Gallery in London. I think the quality of art offered here is absolutely amazing. Their website is super clean, straightforward and easy to navigate. Once you start clicking on images you find appealing, the site does a great job of showing you recommendations that you might also be interested in. Saatchi is a perfect online venue to buy original art. They sell pieces directly from the artists so you can really feel good about your purchase. In general, Saatchi is aimed towards the slightly higher budget, but there is still quite a range of price points available.
20 by 200 was one of the very first websites to feature affordable, limited edition prints by emerging artists. Their site has improved over the years and is now not only budget friendly but quite easy to use. If you’re interested in unique, contemporary artwork at a lower price point, I recommend checking them out.
This site sells work from both well established artists and newcomers alike. The art is VERY high quality – you could buy an Eric Fishcl or a Chuck Close piece here. BUT, the prices are much more affordable than they would be in a gallery because, well, welcome to the future. The internet is eliminating the need for a middle man when it comes to art sales. Am I fine with that? Yes. Yes, I am.
Etsy is an online art-selling platform that is very near and dear to my heart. I’ve been selling my own work on it for years, and have also purchased several pieces on Etsy myself. This website is huge, but extremely well organized. When you buy on Etsy, you are buying DIRECTLY from the artist. It has the most diverse mix of styles and mediums because anyone that wants to can list handmade items. It can take a bit of combing because there are just SO many items and sellers, but the search function is stellar and you can really find some gems that are not available anywhere else.
Note** – This website may cause ABB. (Addictive Browsing Behavior)
5. Society 6
Society 6 is simply a fun site. In addition to art prints, they sell all kinds of products from tee shirts to tote bags, and every purchase pays an artist. The goal of Society 6 really is to promote new artists and to get their styles out there in as many ways as possible. In fact, the other day, I noticed a print from Society 6 come through the frame shop where I work!
The Highland Cow, after framing:
Art.com is a really useful site because they have a HUGE selection, you can shop by price, and there are lots of printing options. They feature inexpensive poster prints, but you could also order images as canvas prints or a variety of other product types. Art.com also offers framing so your entire experience has the potential to be a painless one stop shop. They are probably the most economical choice, and if you have a well known image in mind (such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night) they most likely have it.
If you are specifically interested in real, ORIGINAL art such as paintings, drawings, photographs, or hand pulled fine prints, Zatista is the way to go. They have a gorgeous selection of original works and they make it super easy to shop by price, medium, or style. I highly recommend their Art 101 section. It’s a series of short, well written articles that covers everything from getting started in the art selection process, to the benefits of framing and finally how to hang artwork.
So those are my top 7 website choices for purchasing art online. They are all quite different from one another, but I think they represent the best of what the internet has to offer in terms of –
- ease of use
- quality selection
- excellent customer service
When it comes down to it, I think those are the most important factors when searching for art online. Which one will work best for you just depends on your needs and personal style. So have fun exploring those sites and please leave me any questions or comments below! Thanks, guys!