Hi friends! I’m here today to talk to you about ART. I am an artist myself, but I love love love collecting from other artists that I admire. Having other artists’ art hanging in my home inspires me to stay creative and gives me something to stare at other than my phone 🙂 I have a very specific taste in art, which I know might not be everyone else’s cup of tea, but that is why art is so amazing. Different pieces speak to different people! Although I have been collecting art for a few years now, it has definitely been a slow process because I am very selective with what I spend my money on. There are still so many artists that I want to buy from, but have not had the chance to yet. I’ll save those artists for another day, because today is all about what I already own and love and why you should own art too.
So why am I telling you that YOU should buy art? There are a few reasons.
The first reason is that art is good for your mental health. It makes you HAPPY! Science shows that viewing art increases dopamine levels and activates the brain’s frontal cortex which results in experiencing pleasure similar to being in love! Even if you don’t think you like art, you do. Fine art is not the only type of art out there. Movies are art. Music is art. Video games are art. Photography is art. There is a piece of art out there for everyone, including you! And when you surround yourself with art that you love, I truly believe it brings a certain joy. To be able to look at a piece and feel an emotion is powerful and something that I think everyone should try to find.
The second reason you should buy art is to support independent artists. Artists, especially smaller artists like me, appreciate each and every sale of their art. Sure, you can buy that generic piece of art from Target that millions of other people already have hanging in their homes, OR you can find a few artists you like online and buy one of their pieces or prints. Target won’t do a little happy dance when you buy art from it, but an artist sure will.
Reason number three is because bare walls are not cute. If you consider yourself an ~ independent ~ adult, please have something on your sad bare walls!!! Art on your wall is inviting, will evoke conversation with guests, and make you really seem like you have your crap together even if you don’t. Can you tell this is a pet peeve of mine? Because it is.
Art is timeless and a good investment! As long as you love it, it will never go out of style.
“But Amanda, how do I go about choosing which art to buy?” That’s easy – it’s all about what strikes some kind of emotional chord in you. It should make you feel something. We have a beautiful thing called Google. Do your research and when you see something you absolutely love, find out where to purchase it directly from the artist and buy it. Etsy is an easy and wonderful resource full of unique pieces. Searching hashtags on Facebook and Instagram (think #ChicagoArtist, #MinimalismArt, #AbstractPainting, etc.) or simply Googling the type of art you think you like can lead you to artists you find interesting. I follow a TON of artists on Instagram. Start by following and engaging with artists whose work evokes some type of emotion in you. In my experience, art is one of those “when you know, you know” things. So truly, just go with your gut and the art you should buy will find you!
And now for the main event! I have been creating art since I was 3 years old, but I started collecting it in 2015. I think it’ll be pretty obvious once you get through the list what type of art I find most intriguing. Most of these pieces were ones that I saw and immediately HAD TO HAVE, and they are all extremely special to me. Behold, some artists and pieces I have in my home that I absolutely adore (in no particular order):
Charmaine Olivia – Evelyn & Echo
Charmaine Olivia’s painting “Evelyn” was the very first print I ever purchased back in 2015. I had found Charmaine on Instagram and her entire feed was full of rainbows and bright colors – right up my alley! The minute I saw the piece, I knew I had to have it. To this day, it is one of the most beautiful paintings I’ve ever seen. From the colors around her face to the subtle bunnies and small organic details, every time I look at this piece I find something new in it that makes me fall in love with it all over again. This print hasn’t been available for years, but she just added it back! Get it here.
A couple years later I laid my eyes on “Echo” and definitely had to add it to my collection. The brush strokes in this piece are dreamy. It is so flowy and magical to look at. The colors are vibrant and attractive, and although I’m not sure what the meaning of the rose in her mouth is, it intrigues me! Click here to buy a print, and this also comes in a set of four goddesses here as well.
Lindsay Rapp – Stairway to Heaven & Sea Queen
The second artist that I started collecting from is one whose work mostly has to do with the ocean, mythology, and feminine energy. “Stairway to Heaven” is so ethereal and beautiful – I loved it right away. I love angels and clouds and imagery of Heaven, and this just brings a sense of calm and peace to me when I see it. The detailing on the dress and in the wings are some of my favorite parts and as it sits in my entryway, I love being able to see it every day. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a link to this print anymore, which reminds me to tell you that if you like a piece and it is purchasable, BUY IT because it may not be able to be purchased the next time you get around to it. Many artists do limited editions of prints and only create a certain number of duplicates.
The brush strokes and incredible detailing on the crown is what made me love “Sea Queen”! I also love the fact that her hair looks like water/waves. It’s just so beautiful!!! I have this print proudly displayed in my guest bath, where I can gaze at it during bubble baths and wish that I could be on a beach somewhere. Here is a link to print.
Ink Hippie – Ink Art & Cutting Board
Ink Hippie is a very special artist to me, particularly because she (Natalie) is a friend in real life! Well, a friend in virtual life. She is an artist from Florida. We connected on Instagram about a year ago and have traded work ever since! I will buy some of her pieces and she will return the favor. I have a handful of pieces from her, but THIS piece (below) is literally one that I would grab if my house was on fire – I’m not kidding. This is one of my favorite things I own, and it is the original! It is made with alcohol inks on translucent yupo paper, which allows the light to flow through it making it look different in every light! It reminds me of roses and I will forever treasure this piece!!! Shop all of her unique products here.
Art doesn’t only have to be for your walls – it can come in many forms! Natalie (Ink Hippie) also makes resin art on cutting boards. I bought the cutting board on the left from her!!! It’s absolutely stunning and I use it for homemade charcuterie boards 🙂 Resin is one of my favorite mediums, and one I am planning on using more in the future. It is sooooo shiny, rock hard, and very durable. Mix that with the fluid waves on these one-of-a-kind wood pieces, and you’ve got yourself some incredible functional art. You can get a custom cutting board here! They make incredible gifts too.
Anna Maiko – Blossom Rain & Winged
Another artist I collect from makes gorgeous feminine pieces with the most incredible floral details! This piece is called “Blossom Rain” and what attracted to me to this piece, besides the obvious beauty of it, was the idea behind the painting. The falling flower petals are meant to symbolize the small happy moments in life. They happen so frequently around us every day, and this serves as a reminder that we need to open our eyes to the beauty within the little things and small victories of every day life. So beautiful!!! As a cherry on top, Anna created limited edition glitter embellished prints which are SO shiny and SO sparkly and I HAD TO HAVE IT. So I bought it. Anna only made a certain number of paper prints of this piece, which have since sold out, but she does have prints on canvas here as well as the glitter embellished prints here, which is the exact one I have and I’m pretty sure is almost sold out!
This is the most recent piece I have added to my collection! “Winged” was one that I audibly gasped at the sight of on Instagram and knew it was the next piece I needed. The soft details and quick brush strokes along with the warmth of her skin and perfect profile drew me in. Again with the angels…I just can’t help myself! I love any symbolism of angels and Heaven! I also adore her pink hair as it reminds me of my sister, who has had pink hair a few more times that I even have 🙂 These are limited edition prints, so if you want one you need to get your hands on it ASAP. I have print #2 out of only 100! Find prints here.
Brenda Burke – The Letter
This piece is one of the most precious things I own. The artist, Brenda Burke, is a British classic realist painter who started painting at 3 years of age. My grandparents have had a print of this painting entitled “The Letter” hanging in their living room since before I was born. Ever since I was little, it struck a chord with me. Brenda is incredibly talented when it comes to detail. The detail in the lace, the bedding, the fan, and just throughout the entire piece is second to none. It’s incredibly difficult to find her art online, and it took me YEARS and SO MUCH RESEARCH to get my hands on my own print. I legit cried when I finally found it. This is also the only piece I own that I got a gorgeous (and expensive) custom gold ornate frame for (P.S., 5 stars to Hobby Lobby framing). I envision hanging this piece in my future daughter’s bedroom and passing it down through my family as an heirloom. It is very special to me and there are only 650 prints of this in the world. I feel so lucky to own one! Although I have no idea where someone else can find a print, I do know that this piece is available on a jewelry box, which you can buy here.
Richard Phillips – Spectrum
I purchased a canvas print of this piece to fulfill my Serena Van Der Woodsen dreams! This piece was featured in the Van Der Woodsen penthouse and I of course needed it for myself! I love the pop art style and bright colors. And have you noticed a trend in the artwork I like yet? Women/girl power/feminine figures! You too can fulfill your New York City loft daydreams by owning this canvas print, here!
Robert Cornman – ink art
Robert Cornman is a artist that my mom has turned me on to! She buys art from him almost every year at a craft show she attends, and I have a few of his pieces. His ink works are incredible and colorful and bring me so much joy when I look at them! He, like Ink Hippie, uses a lot of ink and a lot of resin, which produces a beautiful combo. He travels around to shows a lot, so take a look at his schedule here or contact him and be sure to grab a beautiful original piece for yourself!
I also own this teeny tiny 2×2” painting from Robert as well! It is one of the cutest things I own, and definitely the smallest piece of art I have! It came with it’s own little easel too 🙂
Barry Butler – Chicago Photographer
Barry Butler is my FAVORITE Chicago photographer. If you love Chicago, theres’s no doubt about it, you NEED to follow him. It was incredibly difficult to choose my first print of his to buy because honestly, I want to buy them all. With this piece, the minute I saw it I knew I wanted it (this happens to me a lot lol). I am just obsessed with the rainbow sky and the full view of the city that I love so much! I still need to buy a custom frame for this one, but I can’t wait to hang this up. You can buy this wonderful panorama here.
Thomas Kinkade – Pinocchino Wishes Upon a Star
The late Thomas Kinkade was called the “painter of light” and is known for his paintings looking like they are glowing. His use of light is impeccable and it is my dream to own an original someday. I had known about Kinkade for awhile, but really immersed myself in his art when I visited a gallery of his in Savannah, Georgia. I swear, I could have spent hours in that gallery. I ended up bringing home a small print titled “Pinocchino Wishes Upon a Star”, which you can purchase here. He has an amazing Disney collection, for you Disney fans, and also adds hidden elements to his paintings, such as an N for his wife, Nanette, which I think is really cool.
Trilli – Rihanna
I’ll be honest – I won this piece in an Instagram giveaway by the incredible glitter artist, Trilli, right when I was about to purchase a piece! Did you even KNOW glitter art was a thing?! I did not, until I found Trilli, and she is the queen of glitter. This portrait of Rihanna glitters like there’s no tomorrow, and I LOVE it! She also creates glitter portraits of regular people and of pets, if you ever wanted to get a commission done in glitter! She is truly talented. Shop available work here.
I’d love to see some of the art that you love/own! Let me know in the comments!