Whether it is dipping a toe in to test the waters or just diving straight in, when it comes to the world of art, no matter what your style is, there is always enough room to play. The art world with its wine and cheese openings, jaw-dropping prices and baffling art-speak might seem like an obviously difficult world to enter. But that’s far from the truth.
Art is about welcoming pleasure into your everyday.
Art is about the senses. Art is about saying yes to joy. Chandini Harlalka, art expert and creative art therapist rejects the widely held notion about art being elite. She says, “Art falsely appears unapproachable. However, once you strip art of these commonly held notions, art truly becomes for one and all.”
I. Test the Grounds – Where do you begin when you know nothing about art? Krittika Narula, Delhi-based art curator and expert advises those who are new to art to visit as many galleries and museums as they can. She says, “The aim of this exercise is mainly to see as much art as possible and become visually ‘comfortable’ with the experience. This definitely helps you figure out your personal taste. Also pay attention to the medium – are you looking at a watercolor on paper, oil on canvas or an etching?. Cultivating an enthusiasm and curiosity about art is what makes it exciting.”
II. Find What You Love – When it comes to browsing for art that you like and want to buy there are so many questions that need answers. Where do you go to buy art? What exactly is the difference between a limited edition print, an original artwork and a poster?
If you are intimidated by the idea of walking into galleries, online galleries give you the freedom to browse art right from your home. Visiting galleries, art exhibitions and shows are great ways of finding artworks that you love too.
Art galleries can also guide customers who need help. Namu Kini, the founder of KynKyny Art Gallery says, “Many of our clients are first-time buyers. We provide them the information and guidance that they need to explore the fascinating world of art.” Not just that, student art shows and folk art are great ways to find out more about the piece of art you love from the artist.
As for limited edition prints, what it means is that the artist or gallery has set a limit on the number of prints that are going to be made for a particular artwork and that increases its exclusivity. Unlike the highly priced original artworks, limited edition prints and sensorial prints are more accessible to a first-time buyer and a great way to begin experiencing the joy that art brings to life.
III. Make A Connection – Now that you have found a piece of art you like, you might wonder if your choice is the ‘right’ one or whether it truly is art. Relax! Ask yourself what you like about the piece of art? Is it the colours, the mood, the size or the emotion it evokes in you? Does it remind you of a fond memory or make you want to dream?
Chandini talks about about making choices when buying art, “Once you ease into finding your preferences in art, ask yourself why you like it. Art like clothing is personal, there is nothing wrong or right about an artwork. If it tells you a story, listen to it and somewhere along the way it becomes your story.” Namu’s advice to picking your first piece of art is simple. She says “Sleep over it! If it haunts you in the morning – buy it.”
IV. Take the Dive – Buying that first piece of art is what gets you hooked. Buying an art print, especially a sensorial print that is delicately hand textured by expert craftsmen is a great way to begin your art journey. Krittika says, “Buying a print is a good sign! Looking at the work of artists means you have taken the first step towards engaging with art in a more involved manner.”
The writer Blake Morrison has said, ‘Art can do many things: entertain, instruct, console, inspire, enrage, transform. It teaches us things we can’t be taught in any other way and makes us see things we wouldn’t otherwise see. It allows us the illusion of escaping our daily lives while simultaneously taking us deeper inside ourselves.’
Isn’t it time you started experiencing this yourself?