Your own art is the most personal gift you can give. That said, there are a few basic guidelines you should follow when deciding exactly how to go about giving your art as a gift. Follow these quick tips to make your gift of art meaningful, effective, and memorable.
1) Think about who will receive it.
Giving is all about the other person. After all, if it’s the thought that counts, make the thought count. Have an idea of where the recipient of the gift would put the art. Have you been to their house or office? Do they already have art? What kind of art would fit in with their theme? Do they decorate their space with golf things? Maybe include greenery in the art you give them. Will they place your art in a small space? Then don’t paint a mural. Make sure that whatever you make, it is right for the person to whom you are giving it.
2)Speak through your art.
Make something that has a message tailored for whomever receives it. Hopefully you know to whom you will give your art; use what you know about the recipient to craft a message that will speak directly to that individual or family. Choose a theme that will enrich and edify the life of whoever owns your art. In the same manner, be sensitive, and realize that art that is inoffensive to some people may be offensive to others. Art with dark or controversial themes is probably best left to be sold so that the consumer can choose whether or not to procure it.
3) Give your best work.
This may not feel like the best business move at first if you are making art for a living. You may think that you have to hold on to your best art so that you can sell it for the most money. The fact is, however, that you are putting your name out into the world whenever you give your art away. When you give your art away for free, it may be your only opportunity to get rid of your most unmarketable pieces. As a result, giving your art away is also your biggest opportunity to make your name as an artist unmarketable. If you wouldn’t sell it, don’t give it. If what you give away is good, on the other hand, people may see it and ask where it came from, bringing you more visibility and business.
4) Give a physical copy.
That is, don’t give an electronic copy of your art. If you make your art on the computer, print it out on a quality printer. When someone receives an electronic copy of something, it is as special as a Facebook post. Electronic art is cheap and easy to find on Google images. If you want to give art as a gift, you will have to give something physical to make the recipients feel like they received something valuable. Take advantage of a good printing service you know of, and, if necessary, ship your art to its recipient. Time and effort put toward this end will multiply the effectiveness of your art, and bring it more appreciation in the long run.
5) Make it durable.
Well made art can be a treasured heirloom for generations if it is crafted with preservation in mind. Get to know your medium, and choose one that will stand the test of time. Be careful if you choose to use paper as your medium, and make sure that you choose an acid free paper; otherwise, your art will become discolored over time. Choose a good, sturdy frame to protect your art so that it can be hung, handled, stored, and enjoyed for years to come.