1. Do your research
Before contacting an artist, do a
little research. If they have a
website, review their exhibition
record and see how long they have
been an artist. Read the artist’s
statement about his/her work.
Search online for other listings or
reviews of the artist’s work.
If the artist has a show up in your
area, try to take the time to go see
the artist’s work in person.
VISITING AN ARTIST IN HIS STUDIO CAN BE A GREAT EXPERIENCE! Gaylen Hansen in his studio
2. Send the artist an email
I usually start my emails by saying something
flattering about the artist’s work. We are all
prone to a little vanity and a compliment can go
a long way in getting you a good price on the
artwork you want.
Indicate which piece of artwork you might be
interested in and inquire about the price.
Also, if the artist lives in your vicinity it is well
worth it to ask for a studio visit in order to make
your selection. Most artists are very open
showing you their studio and meeting in person.
Tip: A quick phone call can also speed things up
and help to develop a working relationship.
3. Inquire about the
It is important to purchase artwork
that is made with archival materials.
Yes, there are a number of
contemporary artists who have
forgone the notion of creating
works that will last through the
ages, but for the collector, those
issues should still be a concern.
Artist’s should use archival paper,
and materials that will not yellow or
fall apart over time.
Avoid purchasing works of art done
on unsealed wood, or other organic
4 Inquire about the
artist’s return policy.
Make sure that the artist
agrees, in writing, to accept
back any artwork you
purchase, if you are
unsatisfied in any way.
The artist should stand
behind his or her work and be
willing to give you a full
refund and take back the
artwork with no questions
“Agavanatomy” Bruce Black
5. Negotiate a price
You can often negotiate a somewhat lower price when dealing
directly with artists. This is where some flattery and developing a
good relationship with the artist can help. But don’t expect more
than 10% to 15% off. Artists need to make a profit as well.
• Purchase more than one painting and ask for a discount for
• Ask if the artist is willing to pick up the shipping fees
• Ask if the artist is willing to frame the work for you at a lower
cost than from a frame shop.
• Ask if the artist has any drawings or sketches that were
preliminary to the finished work and if he/she is willing to send
them along with the painting. This is a great way to get a free
drawing and it adds to the Provenance of the work.
satisfied, and a
6. Pay with a credit card
Try to see if the artist will
accept a credit card or
has a PayPal account.
This way your purchase is
protected through your
credit card company.
A thank you note is a nice way
to let the artist know that the
artwork has arrived safely and
you are pleased with it.
Once you have established a
good relationship with an
artist, you can often get
better prices down the road.
The old man reading a letter - Fyodor Bronnikov
Want to buy a great piece of art from a