How to Buy Art on a Budget

(Cover image sources: Ayelet Iontef, Lona De Anna, Jordan Carlyle)

Whether you are decorating your home, your apartment, or even your dorm room, you’re probably looking for something to go on the walls.

There is a big misconception about art that you have to spend lots of money to get good art. Just because you don’t have a huge budget, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for unoriginal, boring art. Actually, quite the opposite and I would encourage you to support artists directly whenever you can.

Here’s How to Buy Art on a Budget: 

1. Buy a print, instead of a painting (Parima Studio, Brim Papery, Jill Bliss)

How to Buy Art on a Budget

Parima Studio

2. Shop the Art Fair at art colleges – oftentimes, student art is cheaper than professional artists and it’s still great quality. In Columbus, you can find the CCAD Art Fair each spring. Rhode Island School of Design has an online store called RISD Works that features alumni and faculty work. Savannah College of Art & Design has an online store called Shop SCAD featuring student work.

3. Find Other By-products (Yao Cheng Design has adorable tea towels!)

How to Buy Art on a Budget

Yao Cheng Design

4. Shop OnlineEtsy is full of artwork and crafts, which makes it a bit of a challenge to navigate and find quality work. However, if you use the right search terms, you can find some quality pieces. is a recent venture combining the influence of bloggers with artists and artisans. There are lots of carefully curated lists, which make it a more pleasant shopping experience than Etsy. Society6 offers a bunch of made-to-order products from artists around the world. One King’s Lane offers limited edition pieces from quality artists at a discount. The only drawback – it’s final sale.

5. Local Events – Farmer’s Markets, Flea Markets, Etc. – Super excited for the Columbus Flea (You’ll find some of my featured artists there: Aaron Troyer, Brim Papery)

6. Vintage/Antique Stores – You can find old maps and drawings, oftentimes at a cheap price.

7. Thrift Shops – If you’re willing to do some digging, sometimes you can find a real treasure.

8. Get Creative – (hint: you can frame almost anything!) – here’s a post about 3D Art I shared a couple weeks ago

9. Trade/Barter – If you’re an artist yourself, ask to trade one of your pieces with a fellow artist. Even if you’re not an artist, maybe you have a skill that might be useful to one. Do you know about woodworking or photography? Offer to help frame a piece or offer your photography skills in exchange for a piece.


What’s your favorite way to find inexpensive art?

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