Jolie Altman shares her tips for giving art as a gift.
For those of you getting a jump start on the holiday shopping season, you’ve probably been spending way too much time scouring the internet in search for those perfect, thoughtful gifts. Perhaps you’re shopping for the person who has everything? Why not consider giving a piece of artwork as a gift. Even better, purchase it directly from an artist.
The thought of giving artwork as a gift may seem challenging at first, but how many times have you seen a piece of art and thought, “That would be perfect for you know who...” Few gifts are more memorable. Giving art shows you took the time to choose something truly unique. Lucky for you there’s plenty of time to do your research. The extra time and effort will also show them how much they mean to you. Artist Jolie Altman (featured last month in this article) shares three essential questions she asks herself when selecting a piece of art for someone special:
"What is their personal style?" You might have known this person for years or they may be new to your life; in any case you will have to make some observations. Get your note pad out and start jotting down what you’ve noticed. Is their home modern, minimal, traditional, or is it eclectic and full of vibrant colors? How do they dress? Do they prefer sleek and cool, or earthly and casual. Maybe they are more versatile and change with the seasons or their location. Think about how they spend their free time. Do they enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life, or do they prefer tranquil natural surroundings. Note their favorite colors, even the types of bric-a-brac they display in their home. All of these clues will help you choose art they will fall in love with.
"What type of art is right for them?" Don’t limit yourself to choosing only wall art. Expand your choices, there are so many forms of creative expression. Some might find a beautifully crafted piece of custom jewelry to be the ideal art piece for them. Through my jewelry line Jolie Altman Jewelry I’ve crafted one-of-a-kind wearable art for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Ramy Brook. Customized jewelry is something the recipient will enjoy every time they wear it. (Take a look at my Instagram for more glittery inspiration.) Perhaps, they are more utilitarian and might be more fond of a sculptural piece that doubles as usable furniture. This year I debuted my new line W.Purple where I create livable art pieces. Accent tables, benches, serving trays and more adorned with my signature multi-colored glittering finish. These custom furnishings make lively conversation pieces that ignite any room.
“Do they have a favorite artist or genre?" If the person you are buying for is a fan of art like me, they probably have a bunch of art books laying around their home. As an artist I draw inspiration from so many different places. With W.Purple I was inspired by the natural world and folk art by recontextualizing natural objects. Look around when you visit during your next family gathering. If it isn’t already obvious from the pieces they have in their home, subtly ask some questions or ask their partner or children if they have ever talked about an artist that inspired them. Use these observations to inform your decision on what to buy. No matter what you ultimately select, giving art expresses a profound level of consideration and effort that went into your gesture of giving this season.
Photography by: Alyona Kuzmina for W. Purple