The obvious advantage to looking and buying art online is that you can look at a lot more work in a short space of time and potentially find what you are looking for more quickly. (See artwork by Shana James at her Online Art Gallery )
So you’re sitting at home in front of your computer what should you be looking for?
Firstly you are just looking at images to find something you really love. Once you’ve found it, the artwork will probably be listed with price medium and size but if you have any questions email the artist or gallery and ask. You aren’t obligated to buy just because you show an interest. Feel free to ask about the inspiration behind the work, the quality of the materials or any other question you have. Most artists or galleries will happily answer these questions and its a way of qualifying that you are actually dealing with the artist and that the artwork is well crafted.
If you are also buying as an investment, look at the artists CV. Have they exhibited widely in bricks and mortar galleries as well as showing their work online? Do they have work in recognised collections? This can be a good indication that others who are art specialists expect this artist’s work to appreciate. Have they won any prizes, had essays written about their work. While there are no guarantees and loving the work should always be the main reason why you buy art; all of these points make it more likely that the artwork will increase in value. This advice is equally as important whether you are buying from an online art gallery or a real world gallery.
If I am an international/interstate buyer, how do I know I will receive the art?
If the artist is established with experience it is unlikely they
will want to jeopardise their
reputation by not supplying the work. Of course other safe guards like paypal are always a good idea. So if you don’t receive the goods you can cancel the payment and paypal will refund your money.
One other word of caution, be wary of people selling digital images and implying they are original printmaking. Printmaking is completely hand-made and usually in small editions sometimes less than 20 or 50 handmade originals. Gi-clee prints are often paintings scanned into a computer and digitally mass-produced.
For more information about visual artist Shana James click here