How to Find High Quality Artwork on Pinterest
When most people think of how to find high quality artwork (or fine art) they tend to think physical galleries. After all, that's how people have been finding high quality artwork for hundreds of years. However, with the introduction of the internet and a young generation of collections that are open to buying art they haven't seen in person, shopping for fine art is going virtual!
A Little Background...
The art world has been incredibly slow to use the internet as a means to share work and most importantly sell work directly to collectors. Most older fine artists I know have dug their heels in and refuse to accept the new reality of consumer trends. They think that in order for a person to purchase a piece of art that they have to see it in person. In addition, many artists are hesitant to market their own work. You see historically artists have turned over their marketing to galleries (who take a 50% commission) or they have sold their work at art fairs. However, during the last recession many galleries closed and collectors in their 30s and 40s are not attending art fairs anymore (with the exception of very high profile affairs like Art Basel and SOFA). This has left emerging artists in a bind. The existing galleries generally only accept established artist and art fairs (which can cost up to $1,500 just for the booth fee) are seeing fewer and older audiences (who mainly buy jewelry and clothes).
As a result, emerging artists and business savvy galleries are flocking to the internet and...and bringing their older counterparts along for the ride...As a result Pinterest is becoming quit a destination for high quality artwork!
It is an exciting era for new and old art collectors! Let me show you how to navigate this new world...
How to Search for High Quality Artwork on Pinterest
If you're familiar with Pinterest, you'll know that it's a wonderland of visual ideas and products that you can collect ('pin') on boards like a little image hoarder. It's fabulous! I once read that Pinterest is where women go to dream about their futures. For some, it's almost like a vision board... a place where you can collect images of what you want your future to look like.
If you want your home full of fabulous high quality artwork, then Pinterest is a delightful place to start. When you begin your search I recommend using key words just like on google. What comes up on your feed will be determined by your history on pinterest and who you follow. Like most sites, it feeds you more of what you've looked for or pinned in the past so just be patient and keep going if what you want isn't showing up right away. It will. Just follow boards that have what you want and Pinterest will start suggesting pins that match these.
If you're interested in sculpture I definitely can get you started. Just visit my pinterest board and follow my Contemporary Sculpture and Sculpture boards (a group board with 8 other sculptors), click them and start pinning away! You can also click the sites where some of my pins came from and find other great pin resources.
Another great place to start is Saatchi Art's Pinterest site.
How to Shop for High Quality Artwork on Pinterest
Once you've pinned (and dreamed).....and you're at the point where you'd like to buy one of these lovely sculptures or fine art paintings, you may hit some snags....you'll find that some pins click to points of sale, but then again many don't....
Let me show you how to navigate through this....
Pin Types and How to Navigate Them
Your pins will fall into four categories:
1) The Holly Grail - the Artist with a Shoppable Website - I believe that this is the wave of the future for successful artists (and for successful art collectors!). When you click on these artists' pins you'll be taken to the artists' website and in some cases to the specific piece for sale. You can purchase directly from their websites and the pieces ship right away! The site will also have all kinds of information about who the artists is, what inspires them, and a gallery showcasing their work. When you find one of these kind of artists and you love their work, follow them. I have such a website! To check it out click here.
2) Pins from Internet Savvy Galleries - There are only a hand-full of internet savvy galleries out there so when you find them, follow them. They're generally easy to work with and understand how to safely ship nationally and internationally.
One important thing to note is that galleries generally only carry established artists. These are artists that are talented, well-known and in-demand. They established their careers in a time when you traveled the show circuit around the country and approached galleries to get your work seen.
So if you see a pin of something you like, be flexible. More than likely the piece has already been sold, but have no fear, they'll have more work by that artist. In most cases the pin will click to the gallery's website. I recommend giving them a call and inquiring about the piece you saw in the pin. You might need to email them a link to the pin so they will know exactly what you're talking about. Ask them to send you pictures of pieces by that artist that they currently have in the gallery. If you like one of them buy it. It might not be there for long.
However, if you don't see anything you like, I recommend googling the name of the artist (if nothing comes up under the artist's name type it in again and add artist, sculptor or painter to the end of the search). Contact the artist directly. Most artists are happy to make a custom piece for you (but not a reproduction of an old piece).
3) Pins from Social Media - I call these the heart-break pins because more often than not they lead you to the land of nowhere....most often they were pinned from a social media site that just had an image on hand. However, they generally have text at the bottom that will help you on your journey.
You'll have to do all the work on these ones, my friend... so only go down this rabbit hole if you just have to have some of this artist's work. First step is to google the artist. Hopefully their website comes up. If it does, contact them directly and see if the piece is still available and inquire if they can ship it to you (note: most artists have a no return policy). If their website or a gallery that carries them does not come up, I recommend letting it go and moving on.
4) Pins from Etsy and Other Third Party Sellers - These kinds of pins are hit or miss. I recommend justing clicking them and seeing. About half the time they will lead you to the piece of artwork for sale.
The other half of the time you'll be directed to the third party sellers' site (for example Houzz.com or Esty.com) and they will say that the item is not available. If this happens, I recommend first searching the third party's site with artist's name or go to google and type in the artist's name plus the third party site's name. If all goes well, the site will take you to some of the artist's other available works.