Mazarine Memon - Buying art for Zoom!

Buying art for Zoom!

Yet another thing to add to the long list of new phenomena brought on by the pandemic– “Zoom Art.” I recently watched a piece on CBC that sparked an “aha” moment for me. Although tourism, exhibitions, and events have been put on pause, purchasing art has been on the rise. 

In a previous blog, I wanted to share some helpful tips for artists selling art. Now, I think it would be helpful to share some insight on how to buy art for the first time. Whether it is to add to your collection or to standout in your Zoom calls, in this article I’ll go over:

  • Picking an emotion you want to convey
  • Understanding the longevity of an art piece 
  • Setting your budget 
  • Testing out the artwork
  • Choosing the right size to fit your wall
  • Knowing the artist and their story
  • Interesting process and inspiration
  • How to know you have fallen in love with the work

Whether to bring colour to your room or the right energy for your background, picking the perfect piece can be challenging. These include: 

Pick an emotion you want to convey 

To create a stand-out wall, you’ll need to choose standout art. As the background of your everyday calls, a piece should make you feel an emotion: romance, power, connection, and nostalgia are all great emotions to choose from.

Consider what your workspace will say about you.

Remember that if the artwork is for your home, but with the wonder of modern technology, it is also the boardroom. Consider choosing something personal that will spark feelings– but also keep in mind you might want something appropriate for your workspace. 

Set a budget 

Ask yourself this question when setting your budget: What do you want your art piece to do for you? If it is just a decorative piece, you could go into the hundreds and find a reproduced print or photography poster. If you want something to spark a conversation, that represents you or a certain memory you will want to invest in a piece and seek an artist with gallery representation. Pricing varies greatly depending on the artist and their reputation. Commissioned pieces are one-of-a-kind, but you will get what you pay for.

Consider the story behind the artwork 

When you buy a piece of art, is it emotion you see from the piece or is it the story behind the artwork itself? Artists are very approachable, happy to talk about their work. Art doesn’t need to be mystified, sometimes the story is what will create the connection between you and your next piece of art. Send out a message to the artist you admire and have them walk you through it. Artists love their work and are almost always approachable and excited to speak to someone about their work.

Test out the artwork

I wrote an article to help guide artists selling their artwork and told them to use the tools available to them to test out their art on the walls of potential clients. 

If you’re a buyer– same goes for you! Test out what the art will look like by using online apps like Canva and Zoom’s background feature to see what your setting will look like when it is enhanced with art. 

Choosing the right size to fit your wall 

No golden rule for walls! As large as you want but consider the longevity of the art piece. You might have a massive wall today, but what about tomorrow? 

Envision the future and the possibility of change. A past client of mine wanted a huge mural to bring life to her room. I talked her out of it! Such a large piece would be costly and difficult to deal with if she ever moved. Working with an artist to create a great piece is like working with a good hairstylist– they might not give you the haircut you want, but they will give you the one that will make you the happiest in the long run.

Know your talking points 

After speaking with the artist, you will better know them, their story, and art-making process. These are all great talking points when someone points to your art as an icebreaker. There will always be the obvious things to comment on; colours, shapes, size, what drew you to the art, but speaking to the artist will add flourish to your talking points. 

Personal understanding of longevity of a piece 

I mentioned this briefly, but I want to stress it again. Understand the longevity of the piece before purchasing it. Ask yourself these key questions to understand if this is a piece you like, love, or are willing to spend the rest of your life with. 

  • Move the piece around. Use the same software tools I mentioned and test out what the piece might look like in different rooms. 
  • Aesthetics are important, but do you connect with the painting’s meaning and story?
  • And perhaps the most important question to understand longevity: Do I really want to go admire that piece again?


Buying art is like dating; it can be scary, tiring, and expensive– but if you fall in love with the right one, you might just spend your life together. I hope you find these tips useful to purchasing artwork that will make you stand out in any virtual meeting. 


Mazarine Memon - Buying art for Zoom!

Here is one example of why a piece was chosen, in terms of size, style, and genre.