Louisa Warfield is a specialist in the contemporary art market who works on a one to one basis with private clients, interior designers and friends to find the perfect pieces of artwork for their homes and offices. By working with just one or two clients at a time Louisa works hard to understand their needs and find art that reflects their home and personality. We inevitably wanted to find out more about Louisa’s bespoke consultancy service and how her love for art began…
Could you tell us a little bit about Louisa Warfield Art Consultancy?
First of all I would like to thank you for asking me to contribute to your lovely blog! I have been a follower of yours for quite a while now and hugely admire your brand, your wonderful attention to detail and beautiful style – not to mention your amazing looking recipes!
Louisa Warfield Art Consultancy is really like a personal shopping service for art: I work with clients or interior designers, to help guide and find them the art for their projects and spaces.
What is your career background and why did you set up Louisa Warfield Art Consultancy?
My first career was in marketing for Unilever. Then I had three kids and realised that I couldn’t look after them and work at the level I was at, so I took a career break. Fast forward several years, an art history course at the V&A, a strongly developing personal interest in the emerging art market and I found myself selling contemporary art for a gallery at all the major London Art Fairs. I set up Louisa Warfield Art Consultancy at the request of friends really. After I had worked in the art world for a number of years friends started asking me to help them choose work for their homes. I soon realised that I absolutely loved this side of the business. Selling a work is one thing, but finding the perfect home for a piece is another – I find it much more creatively satisfying. I love the freedom being a consultant gives me – I am not constrained by what I have to sell from my booth, I love the close working relationship and often friendship that comes from working with clients on a one to one basis. I can choose work from any artist, living or dead, from any part of the world to propose to my clients. I am only constrained now by my own imagination and those very real things called budgets!
What led you to focus on the contemporary art market?
My interest in the contemporary really began because it was the most accessible part of the art market for me all those years ago. Its what I still love, its what I have bought over the years and it reflects my style. I love modern contemporary interiors and of course contemporary art sits beautifully in those. The art world is really quite massive and can feel overwhelming (which is why clients come to me in the first place) – new artists are coming all the time and I have to run fast enough to keep up as it is. I doubt I’ll ever veer from the contemporary, but if I have clients that want something else I now have a lovely book of friends in the industry that I will happily refer them onto.
Can you describe a typical day in the life of what you do?
One of the things I love most about my job is that there is no such thing as a typical day. A day can include going to private views, studio visits, desk research, client meetings, installation and hanging and of course the boring but necessary stuff – invoicing and accounts. One of my favourite bits of my job has oddly become my daily Instagram postings @LouisaWarfield_ArtConsultancy– I’ve made some amazing virtual friends there some of whom have turned into real live ones and love the feeling of community and camaraderie.
What’s your dream project / client?
Ah well they do say you only need to set your intention for the universe and it will be answered so here goes:
My dream client would be someone who has a completely clean slate and wants a fresh start with their artwork. A space with lots of large lovely empty walls would also be a plus – so often some of my favourite works are just too big for the average residential ceiling height so a huge wall always gives me goosebumps because of its potential. Also someone who is brave and who wants to start a focussed collection based on a strong curatorial or visual theme. I would want to work with that client to help them decide what their area of focus would be and then help them make their first few purchases. I see my role very much as one of a guiding hand on the back rather than pulling someone along by a lead, so I get great joy when my clients start to develop their own passion and are up and running on their own.
I am a massive fan of the sisterhood and do feel that women artists are still hugely under represented and under valued in the art world, so my ultimate ultimate client would ask me to pull together a portfolio of emerging and established female artists for their collection.
What would be an ideal piece of artwork?
The ideal artwork is one that you fall in love with. I always tell my clients to buy what they love and it makes for a very satisfying day at work for me when I show clients something and their jaw drops and they say ‘Oh my god I/We LOVE that’.
What is your starting point for a new project?
Starting points can come from many different places which is why I always start a project with a visit to site and the client. It can be a colour in the designer’s scheme, a piece of furniture or inspiration from where the home is situated that is a jumping off point. Or equally something from the client’s personal life – a hobby, an interest or a place that they feel is important to them. It is hugely important to me to provide bespoke ideas to clients – and I take great pride in sourcing artwork that feels personal to them.
It feels like a really exciting time for you, what plans have you got for the rest of 2018?
Every year in the art world is exciting as its constantly changing and you never stop learning. 2018 will be no different. I’ve already been lucky enough to visit Art Dubai, then I will be going to Brussels, Art Basel of course and then all the other shows in London that are constantly on. I visit all the degree shows so June is always busy and then in between all that I have to actually do the work for my lovely clients. I love the unpredictability of what I will be working on next and I am lucky enough to be looking at working on projects in the hospitality industry, for a legal chambers and on some beautiful residential projects. I should be able to stay out of trouble in 2018!
To find out more about Louisa’s service visit here website here.
Image credits – Abigail Fahey