Matthew Williamson's perfect expert tips for sourcing art online
The fashion turned interior designer Matthew Williamson knows just how to scour for and source the best pieces of art online
Art is one of the most personal and intimate elements of a home. Finding your taste and style can be tricky, especially if you’re just starting your collection or only beginning to think about gallery wall ideas. Collecting art should be a really intuitive process, so casting the net wide and being open to different materials and forms will help you on the way to creating a unique curation.
I believe sourcing art online is a great way to see a vast array of works by both emerging and established artists efficiently from all over the world, helping you to define your taste. The online art world is also a great way to connect with artists and other art lovers. I adore initiating conversations with creatives working in different media to learn more about the work they create. Seeking out and approaching the artists and artworks I admire is an ongoing journey towards an eclectic, diverse collection of my own. And here's how you can get started.
I could spend hours scrolling through sites like eBay, Etsy, and Vinteror looking for original works, prints, and sculpture, as well as listing works on my own online gallery. Instagram is also a valuable tool for sourcing artwork, and many of the artists I work with for commissions or client projects, I have found on the app. Instagram Grids provide a great platform to exhibit artistic work, whether you’re a painter, a sculptor, or even a videographer. I find that the most engaging artists share their ‘behind-the-scenes’ processes on Stories or IGTV, giving their followers an insight into the skill and time it takes to create such exquisite work.
IMPRESS YOURSELF, NOT OTHERS
On your online art sourcing journey, it’s important to bear in mind that the only person it needs to impress and inspire is you. You should never feel compelled to buy art to cater to anyone else’s tastes or styles. It is also important to try to remain unfettered by current interior trends. Just because you think something would ‘look the part’ in a space or on social media doesn’t mean you truly love it, which should really be the only criteria. Your collection should resemble you, your life and your loves. Perhaps you’re drawn to work that reminds you of something fundamental about the way you wish to live your life, or maybe it simply makes you smile.
THINK OUTSIDE THE FRAME
Art is a broad, sweeping word that can encapsulate anything you find visually appealing, from the arrangement of some pretty vases to an Old Masters painting. Bringing a creative eye to the everyday objects around your home can help you to consider the objects and trinkets you have lying around as items of desire to be celebrated. All manner of everyday items like postcards, clippings from magazines, and pieces of fabric can enjoy a new lease of life in a frame. Thinking outside the confines of what is considered ‘true art’ will help you forge a collection that is as unique as you are.
...AND ABOUT THE FRAME ITSELF
A great way to begin to think about framing some of the wall-worthy postcards, fabrics, or photographs you have to hand would be to look towards framing for inspiration. Consider sourcing some frames on vintage sites or in charity shops that might inspire you. My love of interior design and home accessories certainly plays into the inspirations for each piece of art I make. I make a habit of picking up gorgeous antique and vintage frames online, so these often catalyse new ideas. Old frames with newer prints or paintings make good pairings in my books.
HANG IT LIKE IT’S HOT
Hanging art is an art form in itself. Ultimately, your walls should resemble a mosaic of your life; a patchwork of images that describe your essence. The trick is to ensure your prints and paintings are evenly spaced. If you’re going for a regimented look, stick to it, and if you want a wild, mish-mash of sizes and styles, don’t hold back. I like to create gallery walls or little curations in the same way that I might dress myself: gathering and layering, matching and contrasting, and telling a story that allows the artworks to enter into a discourse on the wall. It’s important that you’re never too harsh on yourself when it comes to hanging art. Using command strips, you can be flexible and switch up the placement of the works after a few weeks.
Matthew Williamson’s online wall art gallery has launched today. To browse original works by the interior designer and a curation of pieces by emerging artists he’s hosting, visit matthewwilliamson.com
Fashion turned interior designer Matthew Williamson is internationally famous, having dressed Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Alex Wek and Jade Jagger, and now brought his flair for colour to the home. He runs his own design business, and online vintage and art shop.
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