Last week, UGallery’s Gallery Director and Co-Founder, Alex Farkas shared his predictions for 2015’s biggest art trends. (Turquoise, anyone?!) Now that we’re all on the same page with what to look for over the coming months, it’s time to talk shopping. Buying art can be an intimidating process! With UGallery, it’s never been easier. They’ve got pieces from over 500 emerging artists from around the globe, and there are about 7,000 unique pieces available. And if that doesn’t quite yield what you need, there are over 100 pieces added each week. Today, Alex is guiding us through the buying process – from finding your aesthetic to what to do when you think you’ve found the perfect piece:

If you’ve never purchased (or even been interested in!) art before, how do you hone in on your aesthetic/taste?
Start your search for original art by browsing online and physical galleries and visiting art fairs to get an idea of the style of art you like and to develop your taste. When something catches your eye, take note of the elements you are drawn to to better understand your taste, such as the subject matter, color palette, style (for example, abstraction vs. realism), and the media used. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you begin to develop patterns in your preferences.

What is the first thing you need to decide before you make an art purchase?
Set a budget. You can find unique and well-made artwork for as little as a few hundred dollars. Once you have a budget, you can focus your attention on the galleries and types of art that cater to your range. And don’t worry about the future value of the work. Some art becomes worth a lot more, but purchasing for investment takes years of knowledge and expertise.

Which is more important: buying a piece you love OR buying a piece that will fit into your home decor?
I believe in buying what you love. Art purchased for love will make you proud of where you live, encourage conversation, and keep you thinking. I also believe that as you develop both your art taste and home décor style, cohesion will emerge between the two.

Could you explain the different types of art — original art, prints, limited edition prints, and posters?
Original art is one-of-a-kind. Artists often produce originals in series with similar looking pieces, but no two are exactly alike. We find that our clients appreciate the human connection to the artist in an original work. Limited edition prints are reproductions of original pieces and are created in a set limited number. Open edition prints are reproductions produced indefinitely without a set number. Limited editions sometimes hold more value than open editions, but it’s my opinion that you do not need to pay too much attention to edition size unless it drastically affects the price or you are buying investment-grade art. Posters are typically lower quality reproductions and tend to be the least expensive option.

Are there any other terms to be aware of?
There are countless types of original art and reproductions. If you encounter something you are unfamiliar with, do your research online and ask questions! The gallery or artist should be happy to explain the specific process.

Finally, do you have any other suggestions before making a purchase?
Once you think you’ve found the “perfect” piece, wait a few days to see if it’s something you can’t live without it. Never feel pressured to buy before you are ready. Also, find out if the gallery offers a return policy. Many online and physical galleries will give you the option to try out a piece in your home. Art can look very different in your home than on a gallery wall or a website. Finally, ask for a discount. Art is a relationship-based purchase.

To see Alex’s 2015 Art Trend Predictions, click here. For more information on UGallery, or to get a start on your own art collection, click here!