Buyer’s Guide: Got It on the ’Gram

NOT JUST AN ONLINE PLATFORM FOR SASSY CAT GIF’S AND #FITSPO POSTS, INSTAGRAM CAN BE A GREAT PLACE TO PURCHASE ORIGINAL ART. BRIONY DOWNES SHARES TIPS ON HOW TO KNOW WHO IS LEGIT.

It can be hard to know where to look or who to trust when purchasing art through social media. Follow these handy tips and you’ll be buying beautiful works through Instagram in no time!

1. Look for provenance

When swiping through images on Instagram, look for work in progress posts in an artist’s feed. These give visual proof of provenance and allow you to buy with confidence. Tasmanian artist Eloise Lark (@eloiselark) has an established Instagram profile with 19K followers and she says, “when artists show images of works in progress and time-lapse videos of pieces being created, it offers something buyers in a traditional gallery setting don’t always have access to. Depending on how an artist shares and promotes their work, Instagram can add another element of legitimacy.”

2. Work the hashtags

Searching hashtags will bring up a wide variety of artists creating work with similar themes and materials. They can also direct you to opportunities to purchase original work. Artist and author Meredith Gaston (@meredithgaston) successfully uses #watercolourwednesday to promote an original piece for sale to her 11K followers each week. “I advertise the dimensions and price including postage and handling fees. The buyer need only be the first to comment SOLD to make it their own,” she explains. “I keep the process as simple as possible. Once the piece has sold, I immediately acknowledge the buyer and edit my post to notify others it has been spoken for.”

3. Follow Aboriginal Art Centres

When buying Australian Aboriginal Art on Instagram, it is advisable to go through an Art Centre. Most Art Centres like Mowanjum Arts (@mowanjum_arts) and Warakurna Artists (@warakurna_artists) have richly documented profiles with images of their artists on Country and in the studio, giving valuable insight into the collection of traditional materials and how they are used in their artwork. Warakurna Artists regularly posts original art for sale on their Instagram feed and can ensure the funds from each purchase go directly to the artist, while also guaranteeing authenticity.

4. Follow the mags

Established art magazines or blogs can take the hard work out of trawling for new art by presenting a pre-curated selection of fresh finds. The Art Edit (@arteditmagazine) feed, for example, is brimming with new art and interiors inspo the team comes across every day, so you can keep up to date with the art and style you love between issues.

5. Find a kindred spirit

Deep diving through an artist’s profile can reveal a lot about their personal vibe and creative influences – from colours and patterns to movies and living things. Some artists share aspects of their daily life and travels to give context to their art through inspiration and process.”

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