We rabbit on about art a fair bit. Why? Well, it’s a great way to change up a space without having to completely redecorate. It also showcases your personality and gives guests a little insight into you. So, with that said, here’s yet another post about art and bringing it into the home!

You may have even seen our Home Takeover with Bleur Art. Well, this sparked questions, both in person and over DM, about where we source original art from. We’ve even had some people get in touch expressing their nervousness with first-time art purchases. And we get it, the art world can seem scary. But trust us, it doesn’t have to be and there are so many ways you can bring original art into the home.

We’ve spoken before about how to bring affordable art into the home with ideas such as prints and postcards but what about an original? Here’s our guide to buying original art for first time art buyers…

(Disclaimer: we’re certainly not art-buying professionals, but this is just our experience and advice)

Buy online

Let’s start where most of us spend our time, the internet. There are some really great art websites out there stacked with inspirational and affordable artists with original pieces. Why not begin your journey with websites like Bleur Art, Rise Art and Murus Art, which offer a whole host of up-and-coming and mid-career artists and photographers. A great way to kick off your art buying journey!

Top left; photograph from the All Items of Value Have Been Removed collection by Daniel Keys from Bleur Art (ad | previous collaboration). Top right; mini paintings by Sophie Rawlingson from Bleur Art (ad | previous collaboration). Bottom; Du Cane Court by Paul McBride

High-street retailers can also be a good source of art. British brand Loaf, for example, offer limited runs of artist Ben Lowe, and Habitat is where we nabbed a limited run of a Luke Edward Hall piece from their collaboration together.

Visit galleries and fairs

Ah, the real world, with all its sights and smells. Although there are great online platforms to buy art, there honestly isn’t anything like seeing art in person and experiencing it up close. Attending art shows, fairs and exhibitions is a great place to find original art. Yes, some of it may be priced in the hundreds and thousands but you can also bag yourself some more affordable pieces too. The Affordable Art Fair, for instance, has a huge array of art, from classical and abstract to sculpture and photography. We nabbed ourselves a colourful Charlotte Farmer illustration from Smithson Gallery, who were exhibiting, and fell in love with a few more bits along the way.

Top left; Very Superior Safety Matches by Charlotte Farmer from Smithson Gallery. Top right; Bubblegum by Mark Denton from Jealous Gallery. Bottom; Smoke IV by Delphine Lebourgeois from Rise Art

Even somewhere like the RA Summer Exhibition could be a great place to start. You may not think you’d purchase a piece of art that’s been hanging in the RA but there are pieces at the Summer Exhibition that could be better for your budget. We spotted our much loved Mark Denton ‘Bubblegum’ piece there which we went to buy until we found out it was all sold out! Luckily, Jealous Gallery in East London showcased his art, so we purchased from there instead.

More recently, we picked up two Act Now climate change-inspired art pieces from the Summer Exhibition. ‘Grayson’ by Anna Bortsova and ‘The Activist’ by Ceal Warnants. Both of which were under £200 each.

The Activist by Ceal Warnants from The RA Summer Exhibition 2022

Buy vintage

We’ve found some real treasures through scouring vintage websites and markets. And although we don’t know where all the pieces originate from, we do know that there is an original vibe to them all. Why not head to Instagram to places like Medium Room and The Old Potato Store. Instagram actually led us to Jumble London, an Etsy seller, which had a gorgeous Nordic piece that goes perfectly in our hallway.

Above; vintage painting from Jumble London. Bottom left; vintage painting from Peckham Salvage Yard. Bottom right; paintings from Oil Archive at Peckham Salvage Yard

We’ve also picked a couple of pieces up at Peckham Salvage Yard (shout out to Oil Archive who sell there). Vintage stores, charity shops and car boot sales are also great go-tos.

Art Loan

We understand that although these options are slightly more “affordable” than big, pricey art buys, it’s still an investment, especially when we consider the finanical climate we’re currently in. Own Art is a 0% finance art loan scheme that helps you bring original art into the home, whilst supporting today’s artists by encouraging sales of their work. Not every gallery will work with the scheme but many do and it’s how we’ve purhcased pieces in the past. Monthly payments just make it that little bit more manageable to invest.

Top tips

Back when lockdown was easing, we worked with the wonderful team at Bleur Art and created our top tips when it comes to buying art. Check out our advice in this handy video and please excuse our wild, untamed hair – barbers weren’t open yet.

And there you have it. A few tips and tricks for sourcing and buying original art.

Want to know more or have a question? Feel free to drop us a comment or slide into our DMs on Insta!

Go forth and art,
David & Mark x

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