Some thoughts and tips around buying Irish art online.
The pandemic of 2020 (and now into 2021) meant a lot of changes for our small, family run business. Although our physical gallery stands humbly (but proudly) here on the Loop Head Peninsula, Co Clare, on the West coast of Ireland, we have – over the past 9 months or so – been running our business now completely online (on kilbahagallery.com). Our strong focus, being on bringing the same feeling, that same sense of excitement and wonder and the same great customer service to our clients, across the globe, this time, virtually.
The lure of a small gallery, of stumbling upon somewhere special and discovering a beautiful piece of art – is incredibly attractive and appealing. That ‘experience’ is also what helps create and affirm the story behind your purchase. But in the absence of travel, of that all-important ‘movement of people’ and that chance encounter by car or on foot, we now must somehow, transfer that ‘feeling’ – that excitement and that fortunate ‘stumbling upon encounter’ to the online global marketplace.
No mean feat eh?
But despite the challenges, we have really enjoyed this process. This past year has proven to us that people who love and appreciate fine art, will quite readily and happily buy their art online, with the right help and from the right website.
There are a few routes to art buying online – it might be an impulsive buy, in that you have stumbled upon a piece that you love and must have. In which case, you may not be overly worried or asking yourself too many leading questions – in fairness, most of us don’t really overthink impulse buys (I guess that’s what makes them impulsive, right?) In this case, just try to ensure that it is a reputable gallery or website and that their shipping options are good and as reliable as they can be.
If, however, this is your first-time buying original art online and you haven’t even decided what you would even like to buy yet, then we can certainly help you consider your options.
The best place to start is, what is motivating this purchase?
Is it a gift? (this is normally driven initially by budget but easily fulfilled with a little help and guidance perhaps from the gallery)
Is it for yourself? (the best kind of art buy!)
Will it live in your home or office?
Is the motivation coming from a lifetime love of art?
Or maybe a newfound interest in art?
Or an interest in interior design? (NOTE: Art plays such a crucial role in truly great interior design and helps tell a wonderful story about the home owner)
Is it to suit a particular space?
What kind of art are you thinking of?
Is it a sculpture? Or a painting? Ceramic art? Mixed Media?
IMPORTANT: If you are worried about different styles of art – and what to go for, DON’T be, because the fact is, you will probably end up being drawn in many different directions at different times in your life; from classic to abstract; from landscapes to figurative works; from Renaissance style sculptures to stylized funky pieces; from original sketches to limited edition prints – and ALL styles and mediums will deserve and indeed will OWN their place in your collection.
Love: If it is a love of art that you are eager to pursue but with no other major agenda, then just keep going through websites like ours from time to time until something jumps out and almost speaks to you. Its helpful to follow interior / home pages on Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration.
A specific space: If you have a specific space to fill and a budget to think of, you will need to be a bit more selective – check the measurements online for any pieces that you like the look of and go and measure your space to see if it would be too big – or worse, too small. Keeping your budget in mind is also important but most galleries will be open to discussing deposits and payment plans – so its not the be all and end all.
Support: If you feel you just need a little help and guidance, just email the gallery and ask them anything. Don’t be put off by your own perceived lack of knowledge of the ‘art world’. Galleries are only happy to help. As long as you are starting from a place of loving something and appreciating its uniqueness and the time and work that has gone into it, you really wont go wrong.
Imagery: Great art requires great photography. We are lucky in KilbahaGallery.com to have an incredible in- house photographer, in our own Rosie Prendiville Flynn. Rosie’s ability to capture the finest details in a piece of art down to the ridges of the oil on the canvas, never fails to impress. Great pictures will also help give you a sense of scale, to see a piece from different angles and maybe even help you imagine it in your own home. This is a big help when buying something that you aren’t physically standing in front of.
Shipping: Speak to the website (gallery) about shipping options – if you are confident in your gallery, you may not need to do this but if not, an email prior to shipping regarding the care and professionalism in packing that will be taken, the insurance cover and the type of carrier that would be used will always be worth taking the time to do. If you are buying from a country other than that of your gallery, then be aware that you may have customs and tax obligations on your side.
Invest: Remember that art is primarily about loving something; feeling the energy from it, getting a fuzzy feeling when you look at it or simply just adoring how it looks in your space is what really matters. Art is also known to often be an appreciating asset – to learn a bit more about Investing in Art click HERE
But building a relationship with your gallery will also help in building your trust in this area and the type of pieces to buy.
Kilbaha Gallery – is a small but beautiful art gallery on the Loop Head Peninsula in Co. Clare, that plays home to the work of many professional contemporary Irish artists. Since the onset of lockdowns as a result of Covid 19, the gallery sells most of their art online to a broad domestic and international customer base.
Browse their shop here – Kilbahagallery.com/shop