Art advice from Art Sommelier, Maggie Fairs

Art PicksInspirationTips & Tricks
Maggie Fairs, Strategic Partnerships lead and Art Sommelier at Partial

In July of this year, Maggie Fairs, Partial’s Art Sommelier advisor, hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on IG stories, answering all of your burning Art Somm related questions.

Things like: I’m new to buying art, where should I start? Should I choose art to match my furniture? And, of course, my partner and I can’t agree on what we like – what should we do? (Spoiler alert: You are not the only one; and the solution is to buy two pieces!).

As the latest guest curator for the collection ‘If these walls could talk’, we wanted to share Maggie’s helpful insights from her AMA and introduce her favourite works of art on Partial.

About Maggie Fairs

In addition to her work as Strategic Partnerships lead and Art Sommelier at Partial, Maggie is a global communications leader, a passionate supporter of the arts and a natural connector. For the past two years, she was also the program director for the Canadian Arts Summit. Where possible, she looks for opportunities to have her passions collide, which is the case with Plum Viewing, a curated list of arts & culture to enjoy online and in person, around the world.

“How much money do you need to start collecting art?”

Buying original art does not mean spending a ton of money. The first piece I bought was just $20 and I still have it! Check out the Affordable Finds collection with gorgeous pieces across every price range.

“What are my options if I want to use the service but don’t want to commit to buying right now?”

Buying art, especially buying online, can be daunting. This is one of the main reasons Partial also offers a rent to own option. Here’s how it works: you can rent a piece for a 3-month period after which time, you can decide to keep the piece or return it. If you keep it, the money you’ve paid in rent goes towards your purchase and to the artist. A win for everyone!

“What are your recommendations for framing art?”

I love searching for old vintage frames in secondhand stores and repurposing them for artwork. And, I have been known to spray paint a frame or two as well! If you’re unsure, ask the artist whose work you’re buying for their recommendations. They will be a great resource in helping you find the best way to display your art.

“What’s the most unusual space you’ve worked in?”

Hmm, I was once asked to help find art pieces for someone’s walk-in-closet. Very fun but needless, I was very jealous!

“What’s your process like when selecting art?”

I am very lucky indeed to match people and art. Dream job! When working with someone, I start by setting up a call to get a better sense of their style, specific sizes, etc. From here, I put together a long list of selections and set up another call where we review together. Brutal honesty is required here to find the right piece for the right person. It’s a very hands on process and so much fun. You can learn more about the Art Sommelier offering here.

“What are some of your picks for small spaces? (I live in a studio with minimal wall space)”

Art can do a terrific job of making your space look bigger than it is. Partial has lots of great options to suit whatever size space you have. I recommend checking out our collection for small spaces. Here are a few recommendations that bring colour and fun to a small space:

“What styles of art are the most popular? I don’t know what to look for right now…”

We are seeing a wonderful range of art being sold on Partial. Everything from beautiful landscapes to fun and colourful abstracts. One of the things to ask yourself is ‘does this piece make me happy when I look at it?’ If so, get it! Everyone deserves more joy in their life. Here are a few joyful pieces:

“What to do if I want to mix photography with paintings? How to match?

Oh, I love mixing different pieces of art together, especially photography and paintings. One tip is to think about proportions and not worry too much about matching colour or sizes. I like small and larger pieces mixed in between vertical and horizontal pieces.

‘If these walls could talk’, Maggie Fairs’ Curated Collection

I definitely lean towards female artists and art that features and enhances the female form. Perhaps quirky librarian would be a way of describing my style! I find myself being drawn to things that veer towards the old world, grand ballrooms with a bit of a ‘if these walls could talk’ theme.

Maggie, on the theme of her art collection, ‘If these walls could talk’

Browse the curated collection, ‘If these walls could talk’ by Maggie Fairs

Discover art by hundreds of emerging and diverse artists from across Canada on Partial.

Not sure where to start? Let one of our art advisors guide you. Our personalized art sommelier service is ready to help. Try art sommelier today