When traveling, I think there are some very valuable reasons to buy from local artists. Sure, it won’t be a Monet but chances are you could find a breathtaking picture at one of the street vendors. My house is full of photos from the locals. Here are my reasons to buy from local artists no matter where you are.
1. They Know the City
If you are looking for a beautiful picture of the Eiffel Tower, I’m sure you can find it somewhere at a tourist shop by Sacred-Coeur. But if you want to find a real gem, then stay local. One reason to buy from local artists is that they know the city, its attractions, nuances and spirit. I got a watercolor picture from a street vendor of a woman walking by the Eiffel Tower. The emphasis isn’t on the tower but on the woman as she so splendidly blends into the scene; however, a city is more than its sights. The artist I bought from talked to me about his way of observing the Parisians and painting them as authentically as he could. Therefore, I have a watercolor of a woman smoking on a balcony, elegant and beautiful.
2. It Supports the Locals
Everyone needs money to help pay for bills and food. Buying from local artists rather than chains can help put money into their pockets. In recent years, the nation has picked up with the motto of “support the locals” from local restaurants to local stores. So why not local artists? Give it a shot and see what you think!
3. It Gives You a Story
Meeting with the artists themselves and talking to them about their work gives you a story, and I guarantee it’s much more interesting than “I picked this up in a gift shop.” Recently, there was an artist from Baltimore I was talking with. He shared what was running through his mind as he painted the picture and how that changed by the time he was finished. Now I think that’s an interesting conversation starter, don’t you?
4. It’s an Original
If you want to make your walls look unique, buy from locals. It beats having overused photos on the walls that could easily be picked up at any store. Rather, it gives your home some spunk. Plus, it’s a nice reminder of trips you’ve taken, people you’ve met, and things you’ve experienced. To me, it’s like having a personalized scrapbook of your life on the walls.
5. It Expands Your Horizons
Buying a different type of art than you normally would can expand your horizons. If you’re used to buying photography, then consider getting a watercolor or sketch instead. In my house, we have a mix of all of them hanging on the walls. Local artists provide a different look on some of the same sights you’ll be seeing while you’re there. By viewing them in a different way, you are changing your perspective and opening up your world.
Everyone reads art differently. I bought this one piece in Vermont that has a cup of coffee and reads “Now we can talk.” When first reading this, I believed that there was only one context that someone would be saying that. Coffee is my way to get together with friends, actually talk, and spend time with each other. To the artist, however, it was the understanding that before your first coffee of the day you are basically unapproachable, but afterwards you can talk. This artwork is just one example of how art can create conversation.
7. Why Not?
If you have the opportunity to buy from local artists, why wouldn’t you? I believe when looking for art, if you like it, you should buy it. I have to laugh because my college roommate and I happened to buy the same print because we both loved it so much. Oh well! Now we each have one for our homes.
There are many reasons to buy from local artists but it’s important to stay open to different forms of art. You may be content with that picture from the gift store by Sacred-Coeur, but you may be dying to head to your local farmers mart to see if they have any art that you can buy. What are some other reasons to buy from local artists? Have you bought any gems that you want to share?