An ‘ARTREPRENEURs’ Advice on Art Collecting

If you’ve ever moved into a brand-new home–and then left your walls bare for months because you just weren’t sure where to begin, you’re not alone. Buying (and displaying) art can be an intimidating experience. Thankfully for Related residents, a new program from ARTREPRENEUR, allows residents to shop for a diverse range of art in an online setting. Readymade offers a curated collection of ready-to-hang art that has been handpicked for a range of settings, allowing you to find the perfect pieces for any space.

We spoke with Grace Cho to learn more about the new Related offering–and get her tips for buying and displaying art.

ARTREPRENEUR/Readymade works with up-and-coming artists. How are you sourcing artists?

We recruit artists from over 50 countries across all continents, age groups, styles, and backgrounds. Our sophisticated algorithms online are able to find and target talented artists from around the world to join our platform.  With over 150,000 artists, we have been named as the most diverse artist platform in the world, and earned B Corporation Certification. Artists can upload works and then are encouraged to become "commercial ready" through a number of different open calls.  All of the works go through a series of intense reviews by our curators, which involve close examinations of the artwork, artist profile, and other specifications to ensure quality.  When artists are accepted into the commercial ready program, they have many opportunities to present their work and sell.

The Readymade portion of the business is brand new - why did you decide to branch out into residential?

There are a number of important reasons why we launched Readymade. First, quality of artwork. The works not only have been closely analyzed on multiple fronts to ensure a beautiful print, but also proven to be very popular with our commercial clients. We wanted to offer Related residents the same service. Second, convenience.  We provide a selection of medium to large sizes with several framing options. When you buy a piece, they are produced and arrive at your door in two weeks, ready to hang.  Third, price point. Without sacrificing quality, we offer a range of affordable prices from $150 to $1,600.

Why is art on your walls such an important part of the home decor process?

Artwork is essential in the interior design process because it adds personality, ambiance, focal points, balance, color coordination, texture, and cultural context to a space, making it more inviting, meaningful, and visually engaging. It can be a wonderful conversation starter, or a reflection of a favorite memory of how you came to collect it.

When selecting art for your home, what questions should you be asking yourself? Where should you start on the Readymade site since there are so many options.

I believe it's crucial to start by considering the location and size of the artwork. Readymade options offer a wide range of sizes, making it easier to find the perfect fit for your space. A helpful approach is to first decide on the design direction you want to pursue. Are you aiming for a salon-style wall arrangement, a triptych, or perhaps one large statement piece? Once you've determined this, focus on curating a collection of harmonious colors that complement your furnishings and the overall ambiance of the room. Don't hesitate to mix and match frame styles to add visual interest and personality to your display.

Let's talk about size. How do you know what's best for your space?

I prefer to use furniture as a solid foundation when arranging artwork. For instance, if you're styling above a couch, a helpful guideline is to ensure there's at least a foot or more of space on either side of your artwork relative to the sofa. Alternatively, if you're aiming for a gallery-style wall above a table, opt for an odd number of artworks with varied sizes, leaving a few inches of space between each piece. Before hanging, experiment with arranging the artworks on the floor, treating it like an enjoyable puzzle. Aim to hang the artwork at eye level to ensure it catches the attention of guests naturally. Maintain several inches of space between the artwork and furniture to prevent distractions and allow both elements to shine independently.

What are some tips for selecting the best frame and matte for your artwork?

Note the dimensions and aspect ratios of the artwork itself. Take into account whether it's in landscape, portrait, or square orientation, and opt for a frame and mat size that harmonizes with these proportions. Strive for a frame and mat size that achieves equilibrium and synergy with the artwork. The frame should accentuate the artwork without overshadowing it, while the mat should offer a breathing space around the artwork - make sure you're not cutting into the composition! The width of the mat (if utilized) can be adjusted based on personal preference and the artistic style. Generally, a broader mat generates a more striking effect and directs attention to the artwork, whereas a narrower mat imparts a minimalist and modern aesthetic. Our Readymade store provides the opportunity to experiment with various frame styles through mock-ups, ensuring your confidence in how your artwork will be presented upon arrival.

When hanging artwork, are there any general guidelines you can share?

Above Furniture: Ensure that the artwork or group of artworks occupies at least 1/2 to 2/3 of the width of the furniture piece.

Utilize Wall Space: It's essential to maximize the wall space by filling it up as much as possible when arranging your pieces.

Opt for Larger Pieces: When uncertain, consider choosing an oversized piece of artwork. It tends to have a more impactful presence compared to smaller pieces.

Take a Photograph: Before finalizing the hanging position, I recommend having someone hold the artwork and taking a photo. Review the picture with a fresh perspective to determine if the placement suits the space. Make necessary adjustments until you achieve the desired look. Alternatively, you can use painter's tape to simulate the placement before making any holes in the walls.

Group Artwork Closely: If you're arranging a group of 2-4 symmetrical frames or creating a gallery wall, ensure that the pieces are hung closely together. Maintaining a couple of inches between frames will help create a cohesive grouping.

What are some trends you're seeing in art right now? What's been popular on the Readymade site?

Abstract Landscapes seem to be all the rage right now! They're a fun way to tie in a sense of place with a splash of color. On the flipside, we've seen a lot of fun collections made by mixing mediums, such as printmaking, painting and photos, and tying it all together with the same framing selection.

Any other general advice you'd share with those new to the art world?

Don't overthink it! It is okay to like what feels like you, and when in doubt please reach out to one of our curators, they would be happy to assist you with curating your dream collection.

The Related Life is written and produced by the Related Life Editorial Team. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest events, news, and announcements in your area, and tag us for a chance to be featured @therelatedlife and #therelatedlife.