We’ve all heard that art has a language and that it should speak to us, but before you start rolling your eyes and thinking that I am about to get all philosophical and artsy on you; I actually want to simplify your art language for you!  Truthfully, you do not have to know all the fancy art terms, styles, or spend a lot of money to start selecting art that speaks to you.

Sometimes it’s the very “stories” behind these “conversation” pieces that fill our spaces that make them unique and intriguing.  Do you see it and it makes you smile? Maybe it was the way you obtained it, or it is a reminder of a certain person or favorite place, or something about it calms you or gives you motivation? This personal and at times emotional experience is often missed out by us if we do not know where or even how to start looking for these pieces.  

Instead of “overthinking” the next time you want to or need to go out and buy some art. Start “rethinking” of how you can buy art that speaks to you. Here are 7 tips to help you do just that! 

Callas Barefoot Beach Renovation Hallway

“Naples Beach #5 – 2012 (Storm Debby)” by Marc Damon (Naples, Florida Photographer & our personal cycling friend)! His work is hung at one of our clients homes in Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs, Florida. 

Tip # 1: It takes Time!Sometimes selecting the right piece takes time, so mentally prepare yourself that it will not happen overnight! This experience should not be stressful or rushed. It should be fun, like finding it when you least expect it!!!

Tip # 2: What Style Speaks to You?

Interview yourself! Make a list of different questions. Think of things that interests you, what are your favorite hobbies, places you love or would love to travel, where you were born, what makes your heart race, colors that draw your attention, perhaps a favorite childhood memory. 

Next, get brave and venture outside your comfort zone, you might just surprise yourself! Take your list and explore those subjects in art form using tip #3! 

Tip # 3: Art is more than a Canvas!

Art comes in many forms. It does not have to be done by a brush and paint. Although paintings are my favorite, having a little variety makes the individual pieces more special as they are not competing. 

Forms of Art, just to name a few: 

– Canvas or framed art

– Photography (love the local ones)

– Clocks

– Mirrors (remember the oversized floor ones)

– Sculptures 

– Wall Panels or Decorative Wood Trip

– Words and Text Art

– Graffiti 

– Traveling Souvenirs, framed or applied on a wall.

– Hobbies: parts of bikes, cars, guitars, these options are endless!

Branch Wall Sconce by Ed Koehler (Naples, Florida – Sculpture Artist) His work is hung at one of our beloved projects, Pelican Bay South Beach – Sandbar & Restaurant 

Tip # 4: Hobbies, Hobbies, Hobbies! 

I cannot say it enough, if you don’t have any….please go and find some!    

Personally, in the beginning stages of my career, all I did was work. I joked saying that Interior Design was my hobby. Although, I enjoy my career it started to hurt me as an interior designer to not do anything else. Hobbies enrich our life and make us better when we do work because our brains are healthier from taking that mental break. Finding a few hobbies benefited my career, especially when I started selecting art for my clients and myself!  

Let your interests and hobbies fill your spaces in art form. At times it may be the motivation you need to keep going, other times bring you joy, maybe it calms you, or it is simply the friendly reminder of the importance behind it. 

Tip # 5: Rethink where and how you buy! 

This one is SO much fun! Get creative. Everything in life should be an “experience” and truthfully art can be found in the most unexpected ways and places! 

Get creative with your next date night, ladies night, or even if it is just you alone that needs to get out. Add these fun activities to your calendar as you shop for art: 

– Art Shows: 

Indoors or outdoors, local or incorporated into your next vacation. Art shows are great to meet the artist, hear their stories, enjoy some great music, and even get a bit to eat! These events are a great starting place to get to know your personal style!

– Local Art Galleries: 

 Often times they feature artists that you can mingle with and get to know. You may even see them in action as you enjoy a little wine and cheese!

– Find a Student Artist: 

Do you live in a college town or a larger city? Start looking up as you sit in a coffee shop or bookstore. The art on the walls is sometimes for sale! Do some research, maybe find some great information about the artist and their story on their social media pages! By purchasing their pieces, you would be helping the next generation, morally and financially! What can be better than that? 

– Explore Online with sites like Etsy & Houzz:

 This has changed the way artists do business “all over the world”! You can find some incredible handmade pieces here. Reach out and start a conversation with some of the artist selling their work? You can even get those pieces customized or have them design something “just for you”! And you would be supporting a small business!  

– Support a Friend!

You don’t have to go too far to look for talent! Do you have a friend, family member, even colleague that is an artist? What better way to show them your support then to commission a custom piece made especially for you! 

– Create it yourself!

You will never know if you are or are not talented if you don’t try it yourself! You might want to buy that blank canvas or use items in your garage to create your own pieces. Take a beginner’s art class, maybe even something a little less serious like Painting with a Twist or stay in with a little Bob Ross on TV!!! 

“Plague Painting 3” by Pat Forbes (Naples, Florida Artist & proud to say former client. Her work floods our clients homes and our foyer at our home!)

Tip # 6: What’s the story?! 

The story’s behind the art sometimes adds to how interesting the pieces are! How you came about owning the pieces, where you found it, what lengths you took to retrieve it! What about the artist themselves and their story behind the art!

It is these very details that will make you laugh or even cry as you share them with your guests or replay them in your head as you casually walk past them throughout the day!

Tip # 7: Price Point!  

Just because its art does not mean it has to come with the price tag! Don’t get me wrong, I am a believer in investing in Art! So, purchase those “must have” pieces! But if you read all the other tips, you can see now why it does not have to cost an arm and a leg as art comes in many forms!

Bonus Tip: Lighting!

If you think your art is beautiful now, you have not seen anything yet! Take the extra step and invest into lighting your art properly! There is a reason why art museums do it!

Your art will come to life, highlighting depth, maybe even creating shadows. You can create ambiance with different art levels by putting it on a dimmer! (Remember to research the correct lighting for your beautiful pieces so you do not harm them).