How to: Buy Art on A Budget

Updated: Jan 31

TL;DR: If budget is a constraint, be upfront about that dollar figure, we’ll find a creative approach and not let money come between you and a great piece of art!

All forms of art have constraints. Constraints can be beautiful! Pininfarina’s exotic car designs are constrained by engineering and safety. A poem is limited to words and phrases that match the stanza scheme. A mural’s tall height or modest budget might favor one technique over others. I look at these obstacles like banks of a river, they give direction, speed, and character to the artist and their method. The artists of Color Cartel come from the graffiti world where canvases were rusty, time was tight, and light was sparse.

Each method takes a different amount of materials, prep, and planning. Artists typically keep prices private; just one reason (among many) being that they can take various creative approaches. A deliberately minimal and unrefined may be fast to make. Some pieces are fast because the artist has invested in time-saving tools or created mental processes over the years. Highly detailed take longer, as do pieces requiring extensive canvas prep. So, if the budget for a piece comes in “low” a faster method may be perfect! Other times, shrinking the dimensions while maintaining a high level of detail is a stronger move. We treat price the same as colors or shapes. Our goal is to make the biggest impact given the constraints.

What if there are several big constraints? To take the river bank analogy a step further, it is possible to box a river in and stop the flow, or turn it into a swamp. Big + Detailed is awesome, Big + Detailed + Fast may have a higher price. Big + Detailed + Fast + Cheap is a dead end. If there is a problematic request, we will communicate that and see if we can wiggle one obstacle or another to create a better flow toward a strong piece of art.

What do you need to do to get the most art for the money? If there is a particular dollar figure you cannot exceed, just tell us. That is the biggest thing! Giving us a number to work with will drastically improve the possibility of a successfully commissioned piece. If a budget falls below the price for our typical techniques and details, we’ll adapt the creative approach. We would be much happier with that than leaving you thinking we cannot make art with your budget, because we can. We are first and foremost creators. That means we will do all that we can to not let money come between you getting art, and us creating great works!