Holidays. Gifts. Shopping…
This is it: we are entering the last 2 weeks before one of the main gifts giving period of the year! Some of us are really good at this and plan ahead, buying, crafting, finding the right item for every loved one and wrapping it lovingly, adding a handmade card and a pouch of home made cookies for good measure… Ah…that is wonderful of course and don’t we all wish we would do this too? But in fact, most of us look at their planner with incredulous eyes and realize that Christmas, Hanukkah, New year’s eve, …fill the blank… is around the corner and that we have to go for a gift shopping spree in the next few days!
So… where to go? what to get? For whom? Some of our loved ones are so clear in their desires that it’s an easy task : one just has to listen up and follow the clues… a new fishing gear item, a better computer, a necklace, some books on a favorite subject… treats… music, clothing. The choice is vast.
But we all have people we love that are drawing a blank at first in our mind: they have everything already, we want to surprise them or they have been relocating lately… Something new and meaningful has to be found…
That is when Art comes handy. Yes, you read me: offer the gift of Art!
Well you might say, I would, but Art is really a personal thing, you know. How can I make sure it will be the right thing? How do I choose in the first place? And what if they do not like it?
There is a number of things to check out and determine if a piece of Artwork is just the right thing for a loved one (or a business partner, or a client…):
~first: they love beautiful things, they care a lot about their home, their surroundings, the look of things around them matters, they are the ones who adjust the angle of a frame on your wall when they visit, or who mention an Art exhibition, who like designer items, and always have an eye for the rare object in thrift shops, Antiques dealers or outings.
~Second: they have a few favorite artists and they talked about them in the past. Either well known or of lesser fame, these favorites tell you what kind of Art, what genre, would please them.
~Third: You went with them in the past to open studios, art galleries, or artisan boutiques and they showed great liking for some of the work there.
~Forth: they are officially art lovers and always looking for the next piece to bring in their collection.
~Fifth: they have a small budget and frame postcards and brochures from artists they love.
~Sixth: they are wealthy and money is of no concern, but you know that a piece of Art work is exactly what would really show them how much care and meaning you have put in your present to them.
I could go on like this for a while… the truth is, offering Art to people we like is often a good idea because it will show our appreciation of them, of their homes, of their taste and of the mindfulness we put in our choice.
Think about an aging relative far away… Or a loved one who moved to a new house, had another baby, or divorced and had to recreate their own world after parting… So many situations in life could use a visual little helper, reminding your loved ones that you think of them and bringing them solace every time they look at the item!
It doesn’t need to be an out of this world extravaganza, though if you can… why not? Actually a very small painting, an original miniature, can be all it will take to make Aunt Suzie happy every day when she passes by it on her way to the door! A large print, for a drab cubicle or a student room, could make a tremendous difference for the recipient every time they step in!
It is a wonderful idea to send a serene piece of Art to someone who has been ailing for a while, and whose world has shrunk because of that. A cheerful piece will offer them an uplifting support to boost their spirits and create a mental oasis, a refuge, an escape where they can refresh and recuperate. As we know, when the mind relaxes, the body does follow suit… Hence increasing Wellness can be elicited.
As a painter, I often see people pondering on what to offer a loved one, and if Art is appropriate, and I say yes !
If you know the person’s tastes very well, do not hesitate, offer Art, by all means! You will definitely delight your recipients, and surprise them, and your gift will keep giving, over and over… making them feel good for two reasons: it came from you, and it is beautiful.
And if you still have a doubt on the particular piece they’d want, but you know which artist they appreciate, offer them a gift certificate! That way, the person will go and choose exactly what they like, and maybe put your gift forward a purchase they would not have afforded otherwise, adding on their own for a larger item.
Offering the gift of genuine Art is meaningful, loving, and increases the quality of life of all involved: you won’t be squeezing in the aisle of a large retail store, anxiously hunting for the one item that fits, while being infused with syrupy holiday muzak, knowing that no matter what you get it has been produced in mass; you will enjoy your shopping time instead, looking at original and unique things while meeting with a relaxed artist or their sale person, and learning the stories behind the work… you will support directly an Artist and their creative life and last but not least you will bring joy to the person you give it to… Can you see anything wrong with that?
There is such an array of possibilities as much in price as in style, that I can see no good reasons to forgo buying Art for everyone you want to treat this winter. At the contrary, going and purchasing Art pieces, from very small to impressively large, will be the most amazing choice you can make even if you never dared doing so before!
That being said… if you are a loved one who would love to receive Art for yourself… it might be time to drop a clue or two…
Happy Holidays to You, and happy gift shopping !