Art brings creativity, interest and personality to a home, but it can feel daunting when making your first ‘real’ art purchase. With little ones running around, the possibility of moving to a larger space down the road, and tastes that are bound to evolve, where to begin? We chatted with Chelsea Neman Nassib, mother of two young girls, and founder of Tappan Collective, an online art gallery that breaks down barriers between emerging artists and collectors. Chelsea shares her wisdom on what to consider—and avoid—when starting an art collection, and answers a few key questions about juggling a growing business and growing babies.
What To Do (Bites)
Get inspired by your space… but art doesn’t have to ‘match’ your home decor.
When starting an art collection, think about your space as a source of inspiration. We love to see people enjoying an artist’s work in their space, living with it and centering their interior design around it. However, Tappan definitely hold the ethos that art can be both beautiful and dissonant. So we also respect and enjoy work that is not necessarily meant for (and which may really stand out in) an interior space. There is no right answer.
Listen to your heart, not your ears.
People who buy with their ears can be easily swayed toward purchasing something that they don’t personally connect to. Don’t get ‘sold’ on a piece of art by what others or worse ‘experts’ are telling you. I think if you buy something that personally stands out to you and connects in a heartfelt way then you’ll rarely experience buyer’s remorse. Plus, you’re the one who has to live with it, so choose something that engages you in a way that feels right for you.
Buy art for the here and now (and don’t let anyone convince you to buy it as an investment).
Many are concerned about art purchases growing with them – into different spaces and stages of life. But this is the beauty of collecting. Work can signify your past experiences when you buy based on your own personal taste and what stands out to you. Maybe your first purchase of a piece of photography becomes a part of a more impressive gallery wall, or you invest in a large original painting later that plays well with your original collection. We tend to think all art can travel with you through your different homes and spaces. Each piece is a relic of a special time in your life and as you collect, these unique moments and perspectives evolve into a rich and dynamic collection, unique to only you.
When you and your partner have different taste…it’s either a good time to flex your compromising muscles, or to find neutral territory. With the world of art being so vast, there has to be something out there that you can both agree on. If you can’t, there are really interesting collections that marry two tastes, like the couple, different art styles coming together make a much more interesting conversation and collection.
The frame shouldn’t be an afterthought. Your artwork is worth the investment of a quality frame that lasts your lifetime, so be sure to factor the frame into your budget. I believe the frame is as important as the piece so we take extra care when it comes to the frames we offer.
Hanging Art is a Science. Try to center your artwork so that it is equidistant from breaks in the wall on either side (i.e. a pillar, corner or door). In terms of height, the midpoint of the work should be 58 to 60 inches from the floor once hung – you may need to adjust to accommodate unusual ceiling height or large furniture. More tips on how to properly hang art here.
I feel privileged that my daughter grows up surrounded by the work of talented Tappan artists, which I hope in turn sparks her own creativity. Chelsea Neman Nassib, Founder Tappan Collective
MY CHOICES. MY WISDOM.
Has your experience as a mama changed your view of art?
I think the key difference I’ve seen is my taste has come to life more. I’m more drawn to vibrant colors than I was before. I think it’s liberating and I’m really enjoying my evolution.
Do you do anything fun with your older daughter’s art?
She’s still so young, but it’s already starting to creep up onto the walls. The freedom in a child’s stroke is inspiring.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? If you asked little girl Chelsea would she be surprised?
I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs so I think the little me would have been surprised if I wasn’t!
Does motherhood trickle into your work life?
I think it enters every aspect, from the practical things like having to leave the office earlier than I would have ever in the past, to the guilt that comes with trying to juggle everything. From logistics to emotions motherhood changes everything.
What’s the best wisdom you received about how to keep it all together with babies and a business?
Someone once said to me “don’t forget to put on your oxygen mask before anyone else’s.” In essence you have to be able to take care of yourself before you can try to take care of your husband, baby and company around you. And another good nugget is, don’t strive for perfection, it’s messy and nobody really has it all together.
Do you have any little life hacks that save you either at work or at home?
Take all the help you can get if you’re fortunate enough to have grandparents around, hire an assistant for work, whatever you can manage to take the load off of mom helps. I also think for my personality type, routine and schedules helps with the inevitable chaos of it all.