What is Great Big Canvas?
It's great and it's big, I get that and bigger IS better right? Greatness is determined by service, so we will have to come back to that. Based on the name alone though, Great Big Canvas must have something truly special to offer in the world of canvas wall art right?
Formed in 2002, Great Big Canvas is a private company located in Raleigh, North Carolina that offers canvas prints, framed prints, posters and large canvas wall art both online and at the retail level with distribution through brick n mortar stores such as Walmart, Amazon and Wayfair. While the materials used to produce Great Big Canvas wall art are imported from overseas, the assembly of the materials is completed in the USA. Let's dive in and find out if buying canvas art from Great Big Canvas will be a positive experience or a great big mistake.
What Is Canvas Wall Art?
Canvas wall art is either printed using digital photography or art or painted onto thick canvas material and then stretched and stapled to a wooden frame. Traditionally, canvas was produced using hemp. In modern times, hemp has been replaced by cotton and linen. The majority of canvas art that you will purchase for your home use cotton or polyester. The main difference between cotton and polyester when it comes to canvas wall art is absorption of inks. Color seeps into cotton fibers while resting on top of material made with synthetic polyester strands. Cotton prints are typically longer lasting while polyester blends more vivid visually.
Canvas Prints Vs Framed Canvas Prints
Great Big Canvas offers their artwork rolled and unmounted, stretched and stapled around a wooden frame and externally framed. If purchasing a rolled print, the artwork will need to be stretched whether wrapping and stapling or traditionally framing the work. The choice between framed and unframed canvas art ultimately comes down to personal choice and style of decor. That being said, there are advantages and disadvantages to both options.
Stretched canvas prints, especially in larger sizes are prone to warping over time. Canvas art is also known to sag, losing it's rigidity over time. The artwork is also unprotected against damage from light, dirt, contact from foreign objects and humidity.
Framed canvas prints add elegance to canvas art and a higher sense of visual quality. Additional support can be provided as part of the framing process to reduce the chances of warping or sagging. An extra dimension is added to the artwork when a frame is used and the glass, or plexiglass used during the framing process can protect against dust and contact damage. Normal glass does not provide any type of UV protection and is also susceptible to humidity and water damage in the same way that stretched canvases are.
The Great Big Canvas Experience
The first time I visited the Great Big Canvas Website I was immediately bombarded with a pop up offering 50% off my order. While everyone loves to save money, a 50% discount the moment I say hello doesn't speak well to quality or value in my experience. At the very least this tells me that the company already has a significant profit margin built into their pricing structure.
The second thing that jumped out at me was the overwhelming collision of options on the homepage. For those who love to look through every available option, you are going to need to clear your calendar through 2087 to look through all of the canvas styles, colors, artists, rooms, subjects, featured collections, best sellers and ideas. Most of us search for artwork visually and being bombarded by a cocktail of pop art, paintings, graffiti and posters of wizards and witches, natural wildlife and Jesus curing the blind, I felt instantly overwhelmed by too many options and lack of cohesion.
Nevertheless I dug it and picked one artwork to look into pricing. Prior to the 50% discount offer, a stretched 18" canvas print started at $114 and rose to $739.99 for a 60" print! When you compare these prices to the $79 and $99 canvas prints you can purchase at any Target, World Market or Walmart, you get a very clear picture for why they are so quick to offer a 50% discount.
Great Big Canvas Reviews
Enough about my opinions. After all, I don't deal in cheap art and never have. My clients aren't looking for cheap, they are looking for luxuriousness, luminance, quality and value. Since I may be biased, let's have a look at what others think by following the Trustpilot link on the Great Big Canvas Website.
The first review gets 1 star. "Terrible Customer Consideration" and DO NOT BUY FROM THIS COMPANY were a few of the highlights from this review.
The second review must be better right? "Total Waste of Money" and "ridiculously ugly" are the rave reviews from this customer.
Remember, this was literally the first two reviews, but don't worry I'm sure it gets better from there. I guess it could be worse. Great BIG Canvas is 34 out of 71 best companies in the category Decoration and Interior Design Store on Trustpilot.
While I may be biased against Canvas Prints themselves, there is no doubt that customer service determines the value of your brand. While a picture is worth a thousand words, Testimonials from your clients are worth far more than that. Don't worry though, Great Big Canvas has cherry-picked only 5 star reviews for you to run on a carousel at the bottom of their site, hoping you don't dig any deeper for yourself.
Quality Fine Art vs Canvas Art
Many forms of art can be quite expensive, from hundreds of dollars to millions, there is an endless range of cost and quality across the world of art. Once you get past the marketing and the description of the artwork itself, it all comes down to real world quality. I personally have never been moved emotionally by a roll of cotton fabric no matter what was printed on it. Ok, I take that back. The Shroud of Turin is undoubtedly impressive and alluring. Great Big Canvas though..... not so much.
As an artist the work that I produce is the made using the highest quality materials on the planet and I wouldn't have it any other way. A percentage of my clients do enjoy canvas prints because of their weight, painterly look and lack of glare of any kind. In an effort to identify a medium that could meet these requirements while still offering the worlds highest quality materials, I sought out and added a canvas product to my line of wall art called Innovaluxe.
Innovaluxe Ultra Gloss Dibond Fine Art Prints
Innovaluxe Ultra Gloss Rag prints are a new, exciting, and unique fine art print process produced with Innova 380gsm photo cnavas with revolutionary Crystal layer technology. This technology creates a barrier between the canvas and the glossy coating allowing the surface to maintain incredible sharp detail, an enhanced tonal range and exceptional D-Max rating. Innovaluxe prints are archival, acid and lignin free.
Unlike traditional stretched canvas prints, Innovaluxe Ultra Gloss prints are surface mounted to DiBond Aluminum Composite sheeting and finished with the same float mount system used for my Chromaluxe and Lumachrome Acrylic prints. This finished fine art process produces an extremely strong, lightweight & ready to hang fine art print that is essentially glare free. Innovaluxe Ultra Gloss Prints can be produced up to 60 x 120 for maximum impact artworks with an investment cost less than all other fine art mediums I offer.
Mass Produced Wall Art, Posters & Prints
If you are looking for cheap, mass produced wall art, it can be found everywhere you look from your local Target or Wal-Mart, to print-on-demand sites such as Fine Art America or Art.Com. If you need a wide selection and a higher level of quality you can check out Lumas Art Galleries or Yellowkorner Photography Galleries. However, if you want the very best photographic wall art available today, you won't find it on any of these websites.
While I certainly could produce my work using cheaper materials, that would just make it cheap. You do truly get what you pay for, so don't be surprised when your $65 canvas art shows up at your doorstep... or doesn't. ;)
Where To Purchase The Highest Quality Wall Art?
The highest quality photographic art can most often be found by purchasing directly from the artist themselves. Once middlemen, mass production, overseas materials and poor customer service get involved you can pretty much guarantee a lackluster return on your investment.
Benefits To Working Directly With An Artist
As a family-owned and operated business you will always work with me (the artist) directly, never disconnected office staff, wholesale distributors or pushy gallery directors. I believe in offering the highest quality photographic art available in the world today, while continuously going above and beyond for collectors of my work, providing exceptional and personal customer service. Whether you are simply looking for a single showpiece to transform a room or have a grand vision to fill your home or office with the world's finest photographic art, my level of dedication to you never wavers.
Here in my online galleries, you will find stunning limited edition nature and landscape photography collections showcasing the beauty of our natural world. From the unbridled wonder of trees to the repetition of abstracts found in nature and much more, I am confident you will find inspiring and uplifting art you will fall in love with.