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A Pro's Tips For Buying & Selling Art

Posted by Liana Orenstein on Jul 31, 2018

If you follow us on Instagram, you may remember seeing our frames in Erin Foster’s gorgeous, art-filled home—and perhaps wondering how you might acquire a similarly impressive art collection of your own. Well, you’re in luck—because today, we’re introducing you to the brains behind all of that beauty: Citizen Atelier Founder Alessandra Salituri.

alessandra salituri
Alessandra in front of Angel 4 by Zena Holloway in our Black Gallery Frame.

Alessandra grew up in the art world and has long believed in art’s transformative power. While traveling through Europe, she fell in love with the intimate shopping experience provided by ateliers—little storefronts with art for sale in the front, and art being made in the back. Prompted by the desire to create that same sense of relaxed exclusivity online, Alessandra founded Citizen Atelier (the name loosely translates to “the people’s studio”) to help others fall in love with art and curate their own collections. The site is structured as an online marketplace, featuring a selection of handpicked open-edition and limited-edition works of art, with custom framing provided by Simply Framed.

Whether you’re in the market for a new fine art print or are an artist looking to sell more of your work, you’ll surely benefit from Alessandra’s industry expertise. Read on to learn more about the process and inspiration behind Citizen Atelier, and for some of Alessandra’s best tips for buying and selling art.

custom framed art in erin foster's home
Art curated by Citizen Atelier, custom framed by us, and photographed by Team Woodnote in Erin Foster's beautiful home. Chanel Grenade by Magnus Gjoen is in a Black Gallery Frame, and the floral print is in our Black Gallery Wide Frame.

Simply Framed: How do you find and source the art and artists that you represent on Citizen Atelier?

Alessandra Salituri: When I started the gallery in 2014, some of the first artists I selected were those whose work I had seen in person or heard of during my travels. Over the years, I’ve come across others online serendipitously. I particularly love to find and share work by emerging artists from other countries like Australia, and around Europe and Africa.

SF: What advice do you have for young artists trying to sell their work?

AS: My number one tip for selling your own art is to focus on finding your unique voice and weaving that into a cohesive body of work. When I’m searching for new artists to work with, the first thing I look for is consistency in a series. I ask myself, “Does this tell a story?” And secondly, believing in yourself is at the core of a successful art career. It’s a process and it doesn’t always happen overnight, but continue to work on that part of yourself by reading inspiring books, putting yourself out there, and sharing your art. Your network and your opportunities will flourish. I also recommend reading The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield.

custom framed art on a mantle
We love Alessandra's minimal styling of this mantle. It allows the art—Mallard Wing #1 by Sean Gallagher, and Cuervo Bueno by Antonio Mora in our White Gallery Frame—to truly shine.

SF: What tips do you have for buyers looking to start their art collection?

AS: I always say, “Let your heart do the picking.” Don’t worry too much about buying art that matches your decor. Also, if you find a piece that speaks to you, do some research on the artist’s vision and process. I find that gives so much more meaning to the work. Finally, when in doubt about sizing, go with a larger piece to create more of a statement.

SF: What are 3 criteria you consider when choosing the right art for a certain space?

AS: Love, soul, and impact. I always choose art based on the feeling it evokes in a space.

SF: Tell us about some of your favorite current projects.

AS: Residential projects are probably my favorite. Along with art curating, I also do home styling and interior design. I’m currently working on a few projects in LA, New York, and my hometown of Montreal, where clients take a leap of faith and open themselves up to art (or a design vision board) that they may not have necessarily picked themselves. Those are the projects where the most magic happens.

erin foster custom framed art
Another shot from Erin Foster's home tour, featuring Joshua Tree No. 13 by Jane Wilder in our Natural Gallery Wide Frame.

SF: You've collaborated with tons of celebrities to provide art for their homes. What have been some of your most memorable partnerships?

AS: I’ve had the honor of working with a number of wonderful people over the years. It’s always amazing to see the final result once the art is hanging in their homes. Neil Patrick Harris has one of my favourite edgy skull pieces by Magnus Gjoen in his home, and Candice Swanepoel has a beautiful meditative print shot in Africa by acclaimed French photographer Caroline Halley des Fontaines.

Inspired yet? Shop Citizen Atelier’s current inventory of original art and learn more about Alessandra’s process at CitizenAtelier.com, where all custom framing is provided by us. (And if you’re interested in becoming a Simply Framed Pro Partner yourself, head here.)

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