How do I start collecting art? Actually it’s easier than you might think. Collecting art doesn’t need to be scary or cost a lot of money. Art is an amazing, fun way to personalise your space and make it into a home. In fact, you might already be an art collector without realising it.
Who can collect art?
Anyone, and don’t believe people who say you can’t. Recently I was at an event and a lady who has bought several pieces from me in the past came by and said hello. We chatted for a few minutes, and then I introduced her to another artist as one of my collectors. This surprised her as she didn’t think of herself as an art collector, but she is. She has bought multiple pieces from me (and other artists), then lovingly arranged and displayed them around her home. She didn’t just randomly pick up any old artworks, but she specifically selected ones she loves, and has been putting together different pieces in a way that brings her pleasure. That’s definitely a collection and it makes her an art collector.
Buying art as an investment.
There are loads of articles on the internet about investing in art and most galleries will be happy to advise on the best pieces from a financial point of view. However, I’m going to go against all that advice and tell you to ignore all the talk of financial investment. Unless you’re one of the mega-rich who can afford to drop silly money on something they don’t like just to put it in storage, don’t buy for financial investment reasons. The odds are you’ll lose money and there are much better ways to invest. Buy art that you like and invest in art for enjoyment, not financial gain.
Buy art that you like.
What type of art should you buy? Well, art that you like. Art that speaks to you and that you form a connection with. You’ll know it when you see it, trust me. Does it remind you of something or somewhere special? Perhaps someone special? Could you sit and look at it for hours, losing yourself in the image? Does it spark a happy memory?
This is the EDAN Gallery in Seaham Harbour. It’s run by an artist group and a fabulous place to find reasonably priced art, including mine. If you’re in the area pop in and say hello.
In our bedroom, we have a lumen print of some Alstroemeria Flowers and I treasure it. Why? It was made using flowers my husband bought for me. Next to it is a painting I commissioned of my dog Jake who is sadly no longer with us. I love that painting as I loved and miss my dog. It was made from a photo I took of him playing in the woods, and he looks so happy and full of life in it. Continuing around the wall we have a print which used to belong to my father. Every time I see it I’m reminded of his sense of humour.
My point is that I love them not because of what some art critic said or how much they cost, but because I have an emotional connection to each of them. It’s the same for every piece of art in our home, it’s there because a member of the family has a connection to it.
Is collecting art expensive?
It doesn’t have to be. You’d probably be surprised how little some artworks cost. The cost of art will obviously vary depending on where you’re buying. The big galleries have amazing work but often at amazing prices out of reach for most people. However, there are many amazing little independent galleries that work hard to bring interesting work to their customers. You can also find galleries and shops run by artists and artists groups or co-operatives. These are wonderful places with fantastic artwork for sale at really reasonable prices.
Another approach is to buy directly from the artists themselves. Look for local art fairs and markets where you are likely to not only be able to see a wide variety of artworks on display, but also meet the artists themselves. This will give you a fantastic opportunity to talk to the artist about what they do and any pieces you might be interested in. Negotiating on price or haggling is also much easier at an event like this – just don’t take it too far.
Where can a find an artist I like?
If you’re unable to visit an art market or fair, social media is also a wonderful place to look at art. Many artists are active on Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok. Spend some time taking a look then, if you spot a piece you like, check out the artist’s website or webshop. Many have them now and you’ll easily be able to see what work they have available and how much it costs. Also don’t forget that even if you decide not to buy from an artist you can still support them by liking and sharing their work with others.
Social Media Platforms where you can find me (and lots of other lovely artists)
Get started collecting.
Still not convinced you can afford it? Well, here in the northeast of England there are regular events where you will be able to get an art print directly from the artists for the cost of going out to eat pizza. Honestly, I’m not joking!
So what are you waiting for? Start collecting that beautiful art and showing your individuality through an art collection in your home.