Five Cheap Ways You Can Support Your Favorite Artists
Art shouldn't be intimidating, but when you walk into a gallery and note that even the low priced items are several hundreds of dollars, it can be.
Nichole O'Connor The Post-It Show at GR2 offers pieces from well-known artist for $20.
But fear not, art lovers. There are plenty of ways you can support the artists whose work you've reblogged on Tumblr or pinned to Pinterest even when your funds are limited. Check out the suggestions below.
1. Seek out artist merchandise.
Shannon Cottrell Camilla d'Ericco at her San Diego Comic-Con booth.
It's fairly common for artists to sell merchandise based on their original work. Postcards and t-shirts have long been a popular item, but many artists are also adding jewelry, as well as cell phone and laptop skins to their inventory.
Hana Kim, who helms the art blog Supahcute and curated Supahcute's Dream Team show (currently running at Leanna Lin's Wonderland in Eagle Rock), suggests searching for your favorite artists on Etsy or Big Cartel, where they might offer lower priced merchandise. Kim also recommends looking for art toys. A number of artists have been collaborating with toy makers to create everything from plush items to vinyl and resin figures. "Even if you can't afford original artwork, there are a lot of options for fans," she says.
One of the coolest pieces of merchandise I've seen are Camilla d'Errico's art blocks. The Vancouver-based painter and comic book artist offers hand-stained blocks, each one featuring a small, UV laminated recreation of one of her pieces. The 10" x 12" blocks sell for only $35.
Zines are another great, and really inexpensive, item to get, though not many artists make them. They're more personal than an art book . At last weekend's "TxB" opening at Toy Art Gallery, I bought a copy of Bwana Spoons latest zine, Sleep It Off for $7. It's 24 pages crammed with comics, drawings and other fun stuff and came wrapped in paper featuring a print he co-designed. The package also featured three trading cards, two postcards and one Bwana Spoons pencil.
2. Seek out prints.
Liz Ohanesian Adult Swim related art prints were big at Gallery 1988.
When I asked my pals about affordable art, people had mixed views on prints. A print will always be less expensive than the original, but oftentimes, those can be pricy as well. Keep tabs on your favorite artists' websites for announcements on new prints, though, because a well-priced, limited edition one can sell out fast.
If you're interested in art with a strong pop culture influence, check out Gallery 1988, which frequently includes limited edition prints as part of its shows. Prices will vary, though they're usually well under $100.
"The way our gallery has progressed we deal with a lot of clients who are just entering the art scene, or really just purchasing some pop art they love, no matter what the 'buzz' about the artist is," says Jensen Karp of Gallery 1988. "So, it's important for us to involve affordable price points in every show, to round out the higher priced original works."
Karp adds that prints have become the gallery's most popular items. At shows like "[gallery 1988 x adult swim]," which ran at the gallery's Melrose Ave. outpost earlier this year, there was a line down the block to purchase prints. "It's a different type of buyer," says Karp of the market for prints. "It's like the sneaker collector. They'll sleep outside our gallery to just get them."