Daughter of a ceramist and painter, my childhood home was always filled with art. Paintings from my grandfather, sculptures of my grandmother, pieces that my mum had exchanged with other artists… They were all sizes, colors and styles, and it seemed natural to me, that if there was room on the wall, it would be filled with a painting.
Fast forward to my first years renting apartments and let me tell you: art is expensive. And apartments happen to have a lot of walls… all white and empty. Granted I do have the luck of owning a couple of pieces from my mum and my grandparents… but it’s not enough. And as of right now I don’t have the budget to go to beautiful Galleries in the city center and invest in actual art (as much as I would love to).
So I am working out ways to collect or make pieces that I like, without having to resort to online poster stores that sell the same posters to another 10000 millennial girls. Now, if you are not offended by my previous statement (and even if you are), you might find these useful too.
1. Flea markets
This might be a bit of an obvious one, but I love looking for art in flea markets. You can get drawings and paintings that are already framed anywhere from 5 to 20 euros. Granted, it takes a bit of searching (most of them are pictures of deers drinking from a peaceful pond in a very baroque golden frame), but if you find something special, is so gratifying!! I love thinking about the artists story, who they might have been, how the rest of their work was…
Alright I did complain about the pre-made posters that everyone owns, and one could say the same about postcards, but guess what: most of them are free! Plus my favourite thing to do with postcards is combining them into murals, so I can play with the color an composition, and change it up whenever I feel like it. I keep mine in my bedroom, so the livingroom is still a bit more “polished” (if you will) for our guests.
3. Scan Away!
This one has got to be one of my favourites. Whenever I have a collage I don’t like, I scan it and move it around at the same time. I do this 3 or 4 times, since the results will vary depending on the movements. And sometimes (not always) I love the final result! It’s an easy way to get a totally different composition from something that needs a bit of “umpf”. You don’t even need a collage to do this, you can just use a magazine page. The only thing you need to look out for is a color combination that you enjoy, and your scanner will do the rest.
An easy way to adding some sentimental value to your walls, is by printing maps of the cities you love. My boyfriend and I met in Hamburg, so I googled pictures of Hamburg maps, and found this one in a vintage style. Granted, sometimes google images don’t have the greatest resolutions, but even as a small print it can be a nice addition to your gallery wall.
Last but not least (you knew this one was coming)… Collage! All you need is a pair of scissors, some glue, and a couple of magazines with pretty pictures. Try different color combinations, compositions, make it your own… It doesn’t take drawing skills or fancy techniques, but you can achieve unique results and frame something that is only yours, and no one else has.
I will keep working on my art collection, and hopefully with the years I will have included some real master pieces to my collection, but for now, these tricks keep my walls colorful and interesting.
What about you? Do you like your walls empty, or are you also in the search for pretty prints to decorate them with?