How to apply for Own Art

You’ve heard the term and seen the leaflets, but what is this Own Art scheme that everyone talks about; are you eligible and how do you apply?

What is Own Art?

First things first, Own Art is a legitimate scheme that is not a scam. It allows customers the opportunity to buy a piece of contemporary art or craft and pay for it over 10 months, in equal instalments at 0% finance. That means there is no interest to pay.

Own Art is a national scheme that is run by an organisation called Creative United who are in partnership with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

If you apply to pay for a piece of art using the scheme you would fill out a form, either in the gallery or sent to you by email. Your credit agreement would be with a company called Novuna Finance.

Who uses Own Art?

Since 2004 over 60,000 customers have used the Own Art scheme to buy works of art from over 300 galleries in the UK. Watermark Gallery in Harrogate is one of those galleries and we had to apply to be a member which we did in 2020. You can see the full list of galleries listed here.

Although Own Art was originally set up to help make art buying more affordable and accessible to a wider group of people, the scheme is used by all types of people who recognise the benefits of spreading payments at no extra cost.


Are you eligible?

Probably yes!

You can apply to Own Art if you are over 18 and a permanent resident in the UK. You also have to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Working at least 16 hours per week (employed or self employed)
  • Retired or in receipt of a pension
  • In receipt of disability allowance

If the above doesn’t apply to you then perhaps you have a partner or family member who is willing to apply instead?

How to apply

It’s very simple and takes about 10 minutes to complete the forms. Here are the steps:

  1. Contact Watermark Gallery stating which artwork you would like to buy using Own Art.
  2. We can arrange for you to come to the gallery to fill out the application, or we can send it to you by email to fill in at home.
  3. When they receive the application, Novuna Finance completes a credit check, approves the application and let’s us know the application has been successful.
  4. We contact you to arrange collection or delivery of the artwork.

What can I buy using Own Art?

Any piece of contemporary art and craft, by a living artist, is eligible for the scheme. Our application allows you to spend from £100 up to £2500 and it is possible to buy more than one item. If you want to spend more than £2500 that is possible but you would have to make an initial payment as a deposit to cover the difference.

Unfortunately, this does mean that works of art by Modern British artists, such as John Piper and Edward Bawden, are not covered by the scheme.

Contact us

If you would like to go ahead with an Own Art application, or you need more help, please contact Liz Hawkes on + 44 (0) 1423 562659 or by email: [email protected].




Smart tips for choosing wall art for your home

Sometimes selecting a piece of wall art for your home might seem like a rather daunting task. You might be apprehensive about choosing the right size, the right colours to match your interior or even worry that you might change your mind about the artwork a few months down the line.

Choosing art for your home, however, shouldn’t have to be a stressful time. In fact, it should be most enjoyable, and it certainly can be. Especially if you have done your research first. It is much more intuitive than you think if you just follow a few simple rules…

Size IS everything

If you are looking for a piece of wall art for a specific wall in your home, then aim to fill about two-thirds of that space in total. As a rule, bigger is usually always better. You want the piece to stand out, and an artwork that is too small against too much empty wall space can look lost in space and out of place.

You can aim for this same proportion also if you are looking to hang the artwork above a piece of furniture or a sofa or dining table. Work towards finding a piece that is two-thirds the width of the furniture item it will hang against. As an example, if your sofa is 300cm wide, then aim to find a piece of art that is around 200cm wide to sit nicely above it.

Don’t be scared to break the rules

Although your home décor and interior might follow certain rules i.e. monochrome, neutral or pastel shades, when it comes to selecting artwork, you can be a bit more irrational! Your chosen art should be an expression of your personality and taste, so go for colours, textures and content that mean something to you.

The more private the space is, the more personal your artwork can be. The artwork you choose for your bedroom, for example, can be much more intimate and personal than the artwork you select for your lounge.

Choosing the right piece in a social area is instrumental in creating a welcoming atmosphere, as well as provoking conversation and setting the feel or vibe of the space. This is an opportunity to make a statement, and an eclectic mix of wall art, mixed with other artefacts and sculptures can combine to achieve a great effect – even in the most neutral home.

Trust your intuition

If you are buying art for your own home, then, at the end of the day, you are the one who knows best what will work and what won’t. A lot of the time, when it comes to choosing art for personal enjoyment, your intuition plays a bit part. If you know, you know. So the saying goes!

Some artworks you will fall in love with immediately and continue to do so for many years to come. Some pieces you will adore only at specific times in your life until your tastes change. And, some you will fall in and out of love with constantly over time.

Don’t worry about how you might feel in years to come. Instead, try to embrace the now. Trusting your instinct at the time of purchasing your piece of art is a great place to start.

Get to know the artist

Getting to know some background information on the artist that created your art will help you gain a better connection with it – even before it has arrived into your home. By doing this, you might also discover other pieces in their range that could complement each other when hung on various wall spaces in your home.

Art galleries often hold regular events and launches where you can meet artists in person, which would be a great opportunity. However, this isn’t always possible, so ensure you do your research and check the artists biographies and profiles online.

Following artists via their Facebook and Instagram channels is another great way to get a glimpse into their lives and their latest inspirations.

Don’t delay

Art is very often individual and one-of-a-kind. If your heart is calling out at you to buy a certain piece, then don’t hesitate! You could miss out and regret your decision for a long time to come!

If you are considering a new piece of wall art for your home, then we would love to hear from you. We receive new pieces into the gallery frequently and can offer suggestions to help you to choose your next artwork.

Get in touch today.

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