General tips and guidelines to help you manage the gifting process for family, friends as well as business relationships.
by A. Richard Langley
The famed surrealist painter and filmmaker Salvador Dalí once said, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.”
Though the quote revolves around an artist’s level of satisfaction with their work, it also applies to the challenging experience of gifting art. In establishing a creative bond with the recipient, you want to choose a suitable work—no matter the occasion—that reflects well on your artistic taste and your knowledge of theirs.
With myriad subjects (e.g., portraits, still life, and animals), mediums (e.g., digital art, paintings, photography, and sculpture), and movements (e.g., abstract, modern, and contemporary), you should be informed and confident before gifting art. Following are general tips and guidelines to help you manage the gifting process for family, friends, and business relationships.
Before gifting art, you should feel secure that the recipient will enjoy your choice. When you’re inside the recipient’s home, look and learn to collect invaluable information on their art-related likes and dislikes.
Whether you’ve been in their home and know if they’re an art collector, you need to understand the recipient’s personality and their attitude toward receiving a gift of art. The following tips will help you determine if they’re open to suggestions on collecting art and, most important, if you should risk gifting art for them.
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If you know that they have art in their home, show the recipient pictures of works by other artists, subjects, mediums, or movements. Evaluate verbal response, facial look, and body language for their receptivity.
Whether you know the artists, subjects, mediums, and movements that they prefer, you may learn if the recipient is open to suggestions on collecting artwork in other areas.
Even better, choose one with artists, subjects, mediums, and movements that the recipient doesn’t have in their home but that you have discussed with or shown to them.
While both choose a work based on the artist’s talent and renown, women appreciate and carefully evaluate the aesthetics, quality, and merits of the work. Conversely, men focus on the artist’s background, talent, and reputation.
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Now that you have done your due diligence to know the recipient’s taste in art, you’re ready to choose and gift art. Go with your instinct and be objective. Remember, you’re buying for them, not yourself.
A challenging consideration is gifting art for a business relationship (e.g., colleague, boss, or client). While you want to give the recipient a gift with more personal meaning than the typical office present (e.g., gift certificate or drink mug), you don’t want your choice to make the person—or others in the office—uncomfortable.
Follow the tips above for searching and buying for family and friends, as well as those below.
On the big gift-giving day, be sure to include a brief note with the work. The note should describe the work and your reasons for choosing it. For example, you studied the art in their home and wanted to give them a piece that complemented their collection, or that it complements the decor or furniture. When gifting art to a business relationship, choose an office-appropriate piece and tell them it’s for their workspace.
Viewing a piece of art is an ongoing, evolving experience. Even if they don’t initially embrace your gift, fear not. Some people need more time to warm up to a new piece of art, especially if they didn’t choose it. To help ease their apprehension, choose a work that, at first sight, the recipient will understand. As they spend more time and analyze the work, they will uncover and appreciate its many meanings.”
Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, need to impress a colleague, or want to give a friend something they will always remember you by, you will find the just the right piece on ARTmine. Need help? Contact us at [email protected]
There is no greater gift than giving a piece of art to an avid collector. Your choice will open eyes—theirs and yours—to visual and emotional pleasure.