Boss Up Your Interior Decorating & Holiday Gifting with Art Prints — A Buyer’s Guide

Believe it or not, yes, that's a print!  "Fae Flowers"  is such a stunning number and available on stretched canvas. But, what exactly does a stretched canvas print mean???

Believe it or not, yes, that's a print! "Fae Flowers" is such a stunning number and available on stretched canvas. But, what exactly does a stretched canvas print mean???

I put some terms on Facebook recently to see what my non-artist friends knew about them:

“Canvas Roll”

“Stretched Canvas”

While many people may have heard these terms before, one friend made a very telling comment to me when I explained that these terms were for art print choices:

“Wait—what? Those are for ORIGINALS, right? I thought prints were just on paper.”

Interior Designer Amanda Hill decided to pair this chic boys nursery with a large  "Gino" canvas print.  I love the black frame she chose to hold the artwork!

Interior Designer Amanda Hill decided to pair this chic boys nursery with a large "Gino" canvas print. I love the black frame she chose to hold the artwork!

Her comment confirmed my suspicion that there is definitely some room for explanation about the various choices available when buying art prints. Having a better understanding of these options will give you a full understanding of the power of art prints to cost-effectively transform your space, and it will help you choose the best option for your needs.

Let’s go through the various choices and then I’ll talk about why high-quality fine art prints are the best way to up your decorating and gifting game.

Screen Shot 2017-11-19 at 7.38.01 PM.png

Canvas Roll (No it's not a type of sushi)

The artwork is printed on heavy cotton canvas that can be framed, mounted, or stretched for later use. This option is a good choice for my many international art collectors —your shipping costs will be the most inexpensive (usually around $30) because I can ship it compactly rolled in a tube. You can then have the print framed in your own country.

Another reason to order this type of print would be that you plan to use your own frame or frame the print yourself for a one-of-a-kind look. Custom framing can be expensive, so an alternative is to buy readymade IKEA frames and just get a custom mat to insert the artwork. However, if you already own an incredible frame, an art print that fits and goes well with it will be magnificent—and worth the fee for the framer’s expertise and advice. For these reasons, canvas roll is still the most popular option in my shop. It has no risk of tearing, it's inexpensive to ship, and gives you the flexibility for display and storage.

Stretched Canvas

A chic mom decided to order a stretched canvas of  "Rebirth"  to be the center statement piece above her fireplace. My collectors often report back that they can't believe how much more vibrant and colorful the work is in person!

A chic mom decided to order a stretched canvas of "Rebirth" to be the center statement piece above her fireplace. My collectors often report back that they can't believe how much more vibrant and colorful the work is in person!

This is a personal favorite and I'll show you why. The artwork is printed on cotton canvas and then stretched onto a wooden frame. I have all of my prints stretched over 1 & 1/2" wood with the art continuing around the edges as shown in the first photo at the top of this article. You can hang it on your wall out of the box! This is a clean, minimalist look that goes very well with today’s contemporary style. It’s easy to hang and maintain. I love this option because it's as close to an original looking piece as you can get and often feels like the real thing in a room.

You can pop a nail in the wall and hang the print directly, or sit it above a mantel or bookshelf. I love to use stretched canvas prints in dining rooms as well as living room statement pieces above the couch.

Mat Paper

One of my best-sellers is  "Bora, Bora"  and as you can see here, even the smallest print 12x12" can make a big impact. The colors on our archival mat paper prints are simply phenomenal! The vibrancy of the colors and detail really fills your heart with joy.

One of my best-sellers is "Bora, Bora" and as you can see here, even the smallest print 12x12" can make a big impact. The colors on our archival mat paper prints are simply phenomenal! The vibrancy of the colors and detail really fills your heart with joy.

Mat Paper: My friend was right—prints are also sold on paper! This is a great option for gifting, long-distance shipping, those with a special small frame in mind, and those on a tight art budget. It’s a wonderful way to bring your favorite artist’s work into your home for everyday joy. It also makes for nice additions to a budding gallery wall. You can mix and match small paper prints for under $50 and decorate like a pro!

Love how one collector framed the  "Evil Eye"  print with a custom black mat and modern gold frame. This is divine!

Love how one collector framed the "Evil Eye" print with a custom black mat and modern gold frame. This is divine!

 

So, why are art prints the best way to boss up your home design and your gifting? Let's count the ways…

  • They are an affordable way to invest in beauty! Original art costs 3–4 times as much as a stretched canvas print, if you are lucky. There is a print for every budget.

  • Because they are not expensive, they are not a huge commitment. Decorate your home and be happy! These decisions should not stress you out or make you feel burdened.

  • Prints are fast and easy. Commissioning an original painting is a long, involved process. Prints provide quick gratification, and you are sure of what you are getting.

  • The quality is superb. All of my art prints are printed professionally using archival materials. This means that your print will NOT fade as many cheaper alternative tend to do.

  • Canvas roll and stretched canvas prints look almost as good as originals! They are a very classy way to decorate.

  • As with all art, art prints are an expression of your personal aesthetic and style. They provide you comfort and joy for years.

What other questions do you have about buying prints? I’m here to help.

 

ONE MORE THING...

I will be releasing a special collection of prints in time for Cyber Monday next week along with a special offer available for a limited time only. Skip the wait and get the first code now!

 

 

May Studio Update

Fresh Paint

New work from my studio

The weather is warming up and so is my easel! I've been plugging away on a new collection and I'm excited with what's been showing up on my canvas so far. These paintings have a decidedly softer feel, while still being as colorful as ever.

I'm experimenting with more texture and whites in my work. It is a challenge but I have some visions in my head that I'm determined to see come to life. I think this month is going to be a bright and colorful one. Some of these paintings I use a brisk motion with my palette knife to finish, and others, I am slowly sweeping over with my brush, one thick stroke at a time.

There's something about these pieces that makes me want to keep going. I'll be back in a few days with more to share but would love your thoughts on the latest additions so far.

The titles are all listed in my shop with some like "Something like Intuition", "Show me a better way" and "Sunday in Central Park".

Can you make art while you're sad?

In my attempts to practice what I preach, I want to open up today about a very unpopular topic but something that has shaped my experiences and how I move through life greatly. I had a creative consultation with an artist today. And as usual, we started with her story, her "why". When she opened up about some pretty scary things and how it put life in perspective, causing her to follow her dream of becoming a full-time artist, I stopped and scribbled down some notes. I then told her that she needed to share this. That the level of detail was up to her, but the story was as interesting as the art itself and it needed to be told. It needs to be a part of narrative, and in the process, I realize I haven't really been up front about my own.

I told her that my ongoing struggles with low-level depression led me to commit to a regular art practice and that even though my art is happy and up-beat, it's really a response to my own self-work to not be sad, and to live in the present moment. As the words flew out of my mouth, I knew I had to rethink my own platform, and consider how my posts and "branding" for lack of a better word, could be a bit problematic.

I'd never want someone to go to my IG feed and assume that my life was perfect, or that I was having the time of my life all of the time (although many days I am jumping for joy at the fact that I get to live out my childhood dream of being an artist). It wouldn't make me feel good as I have a disdain for people putting me on any kind of pedestal. I don't like being the center of attention in public or social settings, and I still don't know how to take a compliment properly, although I've learned to be more gracious in the past few years. That confidence grew as I began to come into my own as an artist and boss, realizing the gift to touch lives with my creativity. 

But I still battle with my inner demons. Like my art, happiness is a daily practice. And depression is something I've learned to accept as just part of the way I was wired. It took a long time for me to accept or even acknowledge because I thought it was just my personality. At least it came with a dark sense of humor, right? In Abu Dhabi, I reached a real low after just 6 months as I found myself in a new country, no familial support, and facing very scary health prospects in my family life. I was terrified and not fun to be around. By the end of the year, I had to seek help. Adjust my outlook on a few things. And dive head first into the one thing I could control. My art.

The hard work paid off, and the clouds began to lift again. But then came the anxiety. In a land where everyone's trying to be the next big mogul, and anything's possible, living the Dubai/Abu Dhabi dream bought out my anxiety like nothing else. I would look out of my window, 30 stories high off the ground and stare into a 100-degree abyss of opportunity. I was startled with the idea of sitting still. Disgusted with the possibility of leaving this country without leaving my mark, without doing anything other than shopping--and in the UAE, shopping in the most breathtaking malls year after year can keep you quite busy. It wasn't enough. (Insert: I wasn't enough).

I was able to shake much of my depression off. I'd feel it coming and I'd do things to lift my spirits. Mostly create art, listen to podcasts, etc. But like an old friend, it was still waiting by the phone for that familiar conversation of loneliness, self-loathing, and pessimism. I soothed its wait with accomplishments. More art sales. More shows. More press. Pushing past new limits of health and balance. Anything to leave it in the dust. I even thought that so much of my anxiety was because of that dusty metropolis itself.

Moving back home seemed like the right solution.  And then the politics happened. And the horrifying news flashing across our screens happened. And the bigotry happened. One day my younger sister in her headscarf was stared and laughed at for the course of a family meal at a local restaurant. And it hurt me to the core. And then #BlackLivesMatter happened. I couldn't hear one more reminder that racism in America is still an issue in 2016. That the way I look causes people to fear me. Or my kin. It ripped me apart. And like a true loyal friend, Depression came to visit. Getting out of the bed felt pointless. Suddenly, I couldn't deal. So many external forces aggravated my already frantic state and we met again, instantly. My old friend. Hello, Depression. I thought I saw you around the corner and here we are again.

The difference is that now I can recognize a little more easily that I am not my emotions. I am not my fears and my anxieties. I am not my pain. 

We all have painful things in our lives that we must deal with. I don't think for a second that trading our lives with people we see online or on TV, or in our PTA meetings, or even in our families is the solution, because no one goes through life unscathed.

I know it took me forever to answer this question, but yes. You can make art while you're sad. While you're depressed. While you're hurting for the world. While you're exhausted with a difficult medical situation. While you're barely hanging for dear life. You can make art while you're sad. 

These days I'm taking active measures to live a more holistic life. Two weeks ago I deactivated my personal Facebook account (you can still find me on Instagram and my Facebook business page) and unplugged from my favorite social media platform, Snapchat. Mostly because I wanted to take back my personal space and refresh. I'm spending in time in nature, going on hikes; today I meditated in the gorgeous Verona Park. Family is a nice buffer because, well, let's be honest, they're crazy and keep me out of my own head. But, they also require more of my time which means that, even if I wanted to live like the workhorse that I was in UAE, I couldn't. Work-life balance is suddenly a thing again. There's more time in between the original art I list for sale. So I expanded my print collection while I get settled into a new studio here in the States. I will also be raising my prices in a few months to reflect the growth in my life and the value I see in what I do. 

We can make art when we're sad, but let's not. Seek the help that you need professionally, medically, spiritually, and safely. Don't suffer alone and indefinitely. But keep moving. Keep making anyway. I hope that we don't have to stay in that space, and I truly hope we all can find more joy and happiness in the world. 

I just had to come clean about my own struggles. Yes, to happy art anyway. 

Disclaimer: This is my personal blog documenting my own experiences. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Some helpful links I found: 

Living with High-Functioning Anxiety

17 Ways to Raise Your Vibrations

Therapy Vs. Life Coaching

 

Enjoyed this post? Subscribe to my newsletter for more personal letters and regular updates. 

I Want to Go to California...

because of this...

 

And this...

Image courtesy of  Let's Frolic Together . Featuring "Bora, Bora" paintings on display.

Image courtesy of Let's Frolic Together. Featuring "Bora, Bora" paintings on display.

Amira Rahim x The Fig House

In early 2015, I was asked to become an artist in residence with The Fig House LA. If you're familiar with the interior design scene in California, then you may have heard of this place. The bespoke event venue was designed front and back by the incredible Emily Henderson

My work will be hanging there for much of this year and I am so honored. If you are in the Los Angeles area, stop by and peruse the space. If you're far, far away like...well, then, this gallery will just have to do.

Okay, now back to this. Don't you wanna goooooo? Meet me in LA.

Long-Beach--California--Ocean--Palm-Trees_art.jpg


That Time When Suki Waterhouse Signed My Painting

Hey guys!

So, I have been keeping quiet for weeks now and I can finally share! A few months ago, I was commissioned by Anasya Media company to create a painting for a VIP movie screening in London, UK. The event took place on June 15th and was a massive success.

Read More