When you live with an artist (as I do) you become aware of how much work, thought and time goes into every piece of art made. I teach art and I chose my profession because I firmly believe that our ability to form, create and appreciate something is what makes us human. I love seeing my students light up when they see something they like, or find new confidence in themselves after learning a new skill. Art it also useful in helping students to discuss problems, make connections to ideas, or learn about other cultures.
I think it is really vital to support local artists, artisans and craftsmen. This is particularly important to me now that I have my son. I would much prefer him to have a few really well made, sustainable toys, rather than a horde of generic and badly made ones. I believe that when you buy something, you are making a statement about what you value. It is hard, but in the future I hope to buy less; but, when I do purchase something, I want it to give back in some way. I want him to be surrounded by things that took time, thought and care.
However, doing the ‘right thing’ can sometimes be a bit tough on the wallet. It is easy to have high morals for something when you have cash to throw at things, but it is a little more tricky on a budget. I have wanted some artwork for a while to brighten up my son’s nursery. So I set myself the challenge to find original and local artwork for the same price as department store decals. Below are the results of my search. The pieces are original works produced in limited prints. So, for the same price as Target decals ($30), you can get:
LukaLuka is originally from Lithuania and is now based in Melbourne. She creates quirky illustrations and prints. She also customises artwork if you have something in mind. The piece below can be customised with your baby’s name and the colours you prefer. All prints are signed. She also has a range of cute greeting cards and a very sweet articulated fox paper doll.
Sandra Eterovic creates whimsical pieces that are painted initially in acrylic and then scanned and printed. Her work has been showcased in UpperCase magazine as well as stocked in stores around the country, including our local Sedonia in Seddon. The print below is a steal at $25.
If you are looking for something a little more minimal, you can’t go past these prints by Simone Downey of AMMIKI. They are so fresh and calming, and would look great in a nursery. I’ve just ordered one today, and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my package! I bought it for the nursery, but I have a feeling it might be hard to resist displaying it in our lounge. The pieces are created using linen overlays, then digitally designed and coloured using archival inks and paper. She has a number of prints starting at $20 dollars. Prints like the one below, which are A4 or A3, are around $38.
She also has another store, HoneyCup, dedicated to children’s illustration. Her pieces start at $20 and would make beautiful gifts.
Many illustrators and artists also produce greeting cards or postcards. These are inexpensive and usually can be bought from $6. Etsy has some wonderful pieces that would work well as small artworks if framed. In the past, I have also hung small works with pegs from string. Support local artists and have fun along the way!