Giving a piece of art as a gift to someone you care about deeply creates an inseparable bond between the two of you that will long outlast the moment of unwrapping.
After all, the best gifts, just like the best artworks, are unexpected. If you are looking for a unique gift for nature lovers, chances are, you’ll find it on these pages or in my Seattle photography gallery. I am a strong believer in the connections that art creates, which means when you give art, you and your gift will be a cherished part of their daily life for years and years. (Read on below for more on this.)
This holds particularly true when the artwork triggers a memory of a wonderful time you and the lucky gift receiver spent together — say, of a special vacation, or the place where you got married, got proposed to, where you made a life-altering decision, formed insurable bonds. The list goes on and on. Beautiful art carries a lot of meaning, and isn’t that what you are looking for, a meaningful gift for someone who means a lot to you?
As you consider giving art as a gift, make sure you take into account the following 11 tips, tricks, and rules (they are in no particular order). And please feel free to think of these “rules” more as guidelines. What I really wish for you is that you find the confidence to see just how special and meaningful of a gift a carefully chosen piece of art can really be for the right person.
DETERMINE WHAT IS A GOOD GIFT BUDGET FOR GIVING ART
Let’s get this one out of the way, first. You can’t put a price tag on love, they say. But you very much can put a price tag on art. It’s right there. I know. And so it’s important to have a budget in mind as you go gift shopping for art. Don’t think though that just because you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an heirloom piece of art that you can’t give art as a gift at all. Au contraire…
It may not be the six foot wall-filler, but they will just as much appreciate a heartfelt smaller, more economic choice that still speaks volumes to what deeply connects the two of you. Maybe it’s a piece of art that doesn’t break the bank and they don’t have to hang at all either? Take a look here. Win-win.
And if you are indeed looking at gifting a bigger piece of art, maybe my monthly financing option is something worth considering for you to break down the cost of the art into more manageable, low monthly payments?
IS ART A GOOD GIFT? IT DEPENDS ON WHAT KIND OF SPACE THEY HAVE
When you give art as a gift, you want to make sure it matches the energy and style of the space where it will be hung. Even if you don’t know yet what room the artwork might end up in, you still (hopefully) have an overall idea of how that space feels. Do they have a very contemporary home with clean lines, or do they live in more of an intricate craftsmen-style home? Does that person have a knack for the eclectic and/or loves bright colors? Or is their interior design more subdued with lots of soothing neutral colors? Are they really into Biophilic design, the art of nature-inspired interior design (even if they may not realize it)? Does their home feel like a calming oasis when you walk in (or, on the contrary, is it usually utter chaos and the place really could use some calm?)?
Knowing the answer to these questions will make it much easier for you to choose art that matches their space and help you avoid the most common mistakes when buying art. Also: Know that I am always here to help you find the right match for their space. Just ask.
Hi, it's me, Lars. I'm ready to help you find the perfect meaningful gift!
ART GIFT IDEAS: WHAT ARE GOOD OCCASIONS FOR GIVING ART?
There are many great occasions when the answer to the question, “Is Art A Good Gift?” is an emphatic YES! Here’s a list of a few:
- Christmas (or the Holiday your family celebrates) — During the Holidays we celebrate time spent together with the ones we love. A piece of art that triggers a joyful memory you and your loved ones share can extend that feeling of togetherness long past that moment when all the gifts are unwrapped, all the food is eaten and it’s been time to say goodbye again. Also, on a more practical level, at least in my family, Christmas has always been the time when gift budgets were created with a little more leeway, opening up the possibility of a bigger gift purchase.
- Art as a wedding gift — I often have parents and grandparents approach me here online, at art shows or in my Seattle photography gallery and ask me about giving my artworks as a wedding gift. It’s always special to help them find something beautiful and lasting. After all, the young newlyweds no doubt need the toaster on their registry. But chances are, they are also starting a life together in a new place — why don’t you help them make that place feel more like a home with a piece of art made to become a family heirloom?
- Art as a Father’s Day gift — While there’s plenty of awesome, outdoorsy ladies out there raising wonderful nature-loving children (thank you!), for many of us, certainly for me, it was Dad who introduced us to the joys of spending time in the great outdoors. Maybe it’s time to honor that inseparable bond with a piece of art reminding them of those special times and your gratitude?
- Art as a Mother’s Day gift — Celebrate mom with a piece of art that honors her AND Mother Earth — especially if you’re lucky enough and your mom is one of those many adventurous, outdoorsy women.
- Art as graduation gift idea — The beauty of fine art nature photography is that it so viscerally evokes memories of a specific place and a certain time in our lives — just like our time on campus does. Here the story of my collector Max comes to mind, who still meets up with his UW college buddies once a month — and wanted an artwork to show off his Husky pride in his Seattle townhome. A NEW BEGINNING delivered.
- Birthday — It’s their big day! Show them you know them and how much you love them with a piece of art that truly reflects their beautiful soul.
- Art as an anniversary gift — What better way to celebrate your love than with a piece of art that honors the places that shaped you into the wonderful couple you are today?
- Any other meaningful milestones…
FAMILY BONDS | Denver, CO | Highly Collectible Limited Edition of 50
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KEEP IN MIND HOW MUCH (OR HOW LITTLE) SPACE THEY HAVE FOR YOUR GIFT OF ART
You might be intimately familiar with the open wall space in your own home and the plans for what to do with it (which comes in handy when the artwork you are gifting is for, say, your significant other). But if you plan on gifting art to a friend, keep this in mind: Don’t just assume that because you know they have a big open wall that they’ll want to hang your gift there.
A good rule for giving fine art as a gift to a friend is to keep the size manageable (like a 16x24” or a 24x36” piece, or my acrylic blocks). Not only will it protect your budget, but it will also make it less likely that your gift causes stress instead of joy because they don’t know where to put it.
Of course, if the art you plan on giving is going to someone in your own home, you have much more license to disregard that rule — especially if you are certain your significant other is going to love the artwork because it connects the two of you on a deeper level, or it reminds the two of you of a loving memory you share. (read on below)
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WHAT IF THEY DON’T LIKE THE GIFT OF ART?
Ah yes, the perennial fear… What if they don’t like the art you chose as a gift? Well, speaking from experience, I’ve never had a mob of angry giftees kick in my gallery doors post Holiday, demanding for their artwork to be returned immediately. In fact, no one has ever returned a piece of art to me because they didn’t like it, period.
But the good news for your peace of mind is this: They could, if they so choose. All artwork purchases in my gallery (and online) are covered by my No-Worry-Guarantee and my 90-day, no-questions-asked return policy. (You can read my detailed return policy here.)
My collectors Kristenne and Ryan celebrated their Wedding in Key West, FL. This piece made the perfect Christmas gift for the couple.
EXPLAIN THE GIFT AND THE ARTWORK
Art can be an incredibly meaningful gift, one that you spent lots of thought on. Make sure you communicate that. It’s true, a picture says more than a thousands words. But good art tells a story. And in the rush of excitement of the unwrapping moment, that story may get lost. But if you write a handwritten note with the artwork, explaining in as much detail as you’d like why you chose this artwork for them, how it reminded you of them, what you love about it, etc., the gift of art becomes even more meaningful to them.
I am also happy to provide a handwritten note from the artist to the giftee that you can pass along with the gift. Just make sure you tell me when you buy art as a gift in my Seattle photography gallery, or contact me after placing an order here online.
THE BEST GIFTS FOR NATURE LOVERS: GIVE A PIECE OF ART YOU LOVE AS WELL
Giving the perfect gift is not just an art form. What makes a great gift is also a science — a science that Elizabeth Dunn has studied. Elizabeth is a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, oh Canada. Not only that, she’s also the co-author of the book: “Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending.”
Here’s the cliff notes: When you give someone a gift, make sure you like it, too. Science says It’ll increase the chances they love it. (Of course, that might make actually parting ways with the gift a little harder). So make sure that whatever piece of art you choose to give as a gift speaks to you, first, pulls on your heartstrings, and takes you to a happy place, too.
My collector Keith with his new artwork, GUARDIAN ANGEL, in his living room.
ART AVOIDS A COMMON GIFT-GIVING MISTAKE: NOT THINKING LONGER TERM
There is actually another trick for giving a great gift. And that’s to think beyond the short-lived moment when you actually hand it over. There’s a (somewhat surprising) amount of studies on gift giving out there, and thinking long term is a common theme in many of them.
What exactly does that mean? Jeff Galak, Julian Givi and Elanor Williams have written a paper on common mistakes in gift giving. “When givers give gifts, they’re trying to optimize the moment they give the gift and see the smile on the recipient’s face,” Galak says. “But what recipients care about is how much value they’re going to derive from that gift over a long period.”
Translation: Concert tickets, fancy bottles of alcohol or assorted chocolate boxes are popular gifts (and no doubt have their place and time). But they are also fleeting. An heirloom piece of fine art nature photography on the other hand will transform their space (and connect the two of you) for years and years. Every time they enter the room, a piece of you is right there with them.
"Moving and meaningful eye. Lars ability to bring nature into our homes is a gift!" — Paula Kennedy, interior designer, on Google.
GIVE ARTWORK AS A GIFT THAT’S READY TO HANG
A good rule of thumb when giving art as a gift is to make sure the artwork is ready to hang. You don’t want to give them a project. For many paintings and paper prints of photographs, that means getting the piece framed. Or you can take a look around my gallery and choose the acrylic float finish — these sleek pieces are preferred by close to 90 percent of my collectors because of their contemporary design that fits into a large variety of spaces. In that case, you don’t have to worry about choosing a frame that matches their interior design and they can easily hang the piece.
PULL | Crested Butte, Colorado | Open Edition
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GIFT A COMMISSIONED PIECE OF ART THAT PERFECTLY CAPTURES YOUR CONNECTION
Got exactly the kind of artwork in mind that you’d love to give them as a gift but can’t seem to find it? I gladly offer artwork commissions — which is another way to make your gift extra special. The artwork will be created just for them, and only for them, as I won’t sell the artwork again. Get in touch today so we can start talking about me creating a fine art photograph in that special place that connects the two of you.
CAN’T GO WRONG WITH A GIFT CARD WHEN GIVING ART AS A GIFT
Still nervous that they may not like the art you chose to give as a gift? If you want to take the safe route, you can always let them do the choosing. I offer a wide range of gift cards to reflect your budget. Pro tip: Those gift cards go together nicely with my greeting cards — you can even add a note in there that I am happy to help them choose the right piece. Better yet — join them here in my Seattle photography gallery as they choose (if you are local), and make it a fun date!
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