The creative arts and crafts of Thailand are renowned worldwide and this is perhaps mostly attributed to the numerous cultural and aesthetic influences developed from the region's most talented artists. It is for this reason that the flourishing art market has an almost universal appeal and any shoppers delight.
Now, apart from the more traditional as well as the most modern aspects of what sort of art can be both seen and admired around virtually the whole country, an area not often discussed or even, for that matter found on any brochure, are the informal art galleries perhaps better known as art shops.
Stroll down any street around Pattaya or Phuket and you are bound to stumble upon an art shop. Maybe even two or three of them. Inescapably not nearly as many as those annoying tailor shops that seem to spring out all over the place.
One certain assurance is that there will be no touts harassing you to purchase their wares. Don't you just hate it when salespeople hassle you when all you want to do is mind your own business and enjoy a leisurely day out shopping?
Please step inside one of the art shops where you'll be pleasantly greeted by the friendly staff. There is no hard sell here. Young artists often sit in rows feverishly painting away to finish customers orders. Feel free to browse around.
As an artist and art collector myself, I can only admire the amazing talent these Thai artists have. So much so that not only did I purchase completed paintings, I also commissioned many others too. At one stage I ran around from one art shop to another to collect all my pieces before heading back home.
There were times when I could not remember which shop I had purchased what painting, but at the end of the day I did manage to find all the paintings I had commissioned. On one trip to Thailand, I even had a container load of metal art shipped home to my art gallery. It took me two weeks to unpack them all.
I'd like to point out that it's difficult for me to recommend any one particular art shop in Thailand. I buy my paintings from a number of different art shops. I also like to browse around the various shops until I see something that has a good look and feel about it and that it is well executed.
This is when I make inquiries as to who the artist is. I have made all my purchases this way. I usually buy all my paintings in Pattaya and Phuket and my metal art in Bangkok.
In Pattaya, you will find a heck of a lot of shops in walking street and also around Mike's Shopping Mall between the beach road and second road. Phuket has a few good ones on Bangla Road off Patong beach road as well as a little further afield. You bound to stumble upon a number of these creative art shops on your normal rounds of the cities and resorts.
The best advice I can offer you is to look around until you find artists who you think will suit your requirements than an art shop
simply full of paintings. What you will also find a lot, is the same
painting in just about every other shop. What you need to do is look for
the best one of the bunch and then find out who the artist is. That
artist would be your man.
In Thailand, there is a saying... Same Same but Different.
What this means is that you will find the same thing in a number of
shops, but that they will all be a little different. It also means that
there is a number of the same type of shops, but with each one selling
slightly different items which appear to look the same.
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