7 Tips to Start Collecting Art
Owning art and starting a small collection not only adds a lot of personality to your space, but is often one of the most fun and rewarding investments you can make. Although, understanding the ins and outs of the art world is sometimes not as fun or easy. It can seem intimidating, complicated, and hard to access.
Maybe you dream of one day selling a piece of artwork you purchased from an emerging artist at the beginning of their career for millions, but have no idea how to find artists whose work you admire. Maybe you want to decorate your home with interesting artwork to catch peoples eye when you have friends over, but don’t know if a piece will be a conversation starter or stopper. Maybe you just love looking at art, and want to see it everyday in the comfort of your own home, but you think you won’t be able to afford any of the work you like. Maybe you aren’t an art lover, but one day you encounter a piece that you just have to have… should you? Shouldn’t you?! If you are reading this, and still thinking to yourself, “Ahh, to collect art. But I don’t know how?”, then this one’s for you.
I truly believe that everyone deserves and should own original artwork. Anyone can be a collector. Starting a collection of art is much easier and affordable that you might think. Some work will speak to you, others will not. Express yourself, your tastes, and support the artists that speak to your aesthetic. There is no wrong choice. Buying art is a completely subjective and emotional experience. Don’t rush. Don’t be nervous. Take your time, and keep in mind the following tips:
Buy what you like, not what is on trend. Buy art because you are drawn to it, and because you will enjoy it being a part of your home. Living with art you love will enhance your everyday life! Smaller and affordable work is the easiest way to start a collection. This could mean a smaller piece by an established artist, a work on paper, or a piece from an emerging artist. There is fantastic art available in everyone’s price range. I promise!
Explore. There are many avenues into buying art. Every city, and most towns, have art galleries, some large and some small (normally correlating to the price points they carry). Keep an eye out for Open Studio events, where artists open up their studios to the public, allowing you an inside peak into how and where they work. Open Studios normally provide the better value when buying in comparison to galleries, due to the fact that you aren’t usually paying the gallery commission. The internet has made it easier than ever before to purchase artwork. Online galleries are popping up, allowing you to browse and purchase from a curated collection of art from both emerging and established artists, and from the comfort of your own home! The more that you explore, the more likely you are going to find work that speaks to you, and your budget.
Before you purchase, think about where you want to hang the piece. This can impact decisions on size, media, and color scheme. Art is made to be seen! You don’t want it ending up in a closet because you don’t know where to hang it. You can mix it up aesthetically, but you want the work being hung together to speak to each other.
Buy work from living artists. One positive of this is that the work is more likely to appreciate in value over time, and an even better positive is that there is great satisfaction knowing you are supporting an artist whose work you admire! Also, you know it’s authentic.
Do your homework before buying. So you have found a piece you love. You want it, you have to have it. Check out the artist’s website, where you normally can find the artist’s biography, artist statements, and recent exhibitions and publications. You may find connecting conceptual threads in work that you are naturally attracted to, and being aware of this not only educates you as an art lover, but also builds a more cohesive collection! This being said, you should buy what you love. Its an emotional experience. As long as you connect with the work in your collection, you can’t go wrong.
Keep in touch. After you have purchased your piece of artwork, follow what that artist has been up to professionally. Is he or she showing quite a bit? Maybe they were just interviewed somewhere. Go to the artist’s exhibitions if you can. Read that interview. Take a look at his or her website. It will not only allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the work you have on your wall, but will make you love it that much more.
Owning artwork that you love will be a rewarding investment for years to come. Keeping in mind the tips above, you can make informed decisions about what kind of artwork is for you, and fits within your budget. Don’t rush it. Don’t stress. Art, and the art buying process, is meant to be enjoyed. Enjoy it.