Friday, January 9, 2015

How to Start an Art Collection

The thought of starting an art collection can seem daunting at first. How do you know what to buy? How much should you spend? Where do you find quality art?

Though you may have a lot of questions as a first time buyer, collecting art doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, an overwhelming process. Art is fun, and buying it should be too.

You can’t go wrong if you make sure to invest in pieces that have a special meaning to you. Meaningful pieces of art may evoke a special memory, whisk you away to a special place, remind you of a special person, or it may simply brighten your day. Some collectors find a specific artist whose style they like and continually add pieces to their collections from that artist. Some like to collect by style such as Western, abstract or realism; or by medium such as oil paintings, watercolor, bronze sculpture, ceramics or glass.

The most interesting collections are built around a variety of styles, mediums and artists. You don’t need to worry if pieces go together or match your furniture. You will find over time that pieces you love will work together even if they represent a wide range of mediums. Remember, the most important thing to consider when making a purchase is your attraction to the piece. The goal is to find what you love and what speaks to you.

It can be helpful to start out with a budget in mind so that when you find something you love you will be sure to stay within your budget. This will help you avoid having buyers’ remorse and will also point you in the direction of your price range, even if it means buying a smaller work of art. Do keep in mind that sometimes there is an option to make payments over time if you find something you just can’t live without that is a bit of a stretch.

There are many great venues to find good quality art. Spend time exploring and discovering art at galleries, art events, artist studio tours and museum shows. Ask as many questions as you want to – any artist or artist representative should be more than happy to answer any question you have about the art work, the process or anything else you want to know. Some artists will even bring the art to your home to make sure it is a good fit.

A few things to remember when selecting art:

  • Only buy what you absolutely love. Don’t worry about the long-term investment potential.

  • Always buy original art if possible, even if you have to select a smaller piece. Buying original art ensures you are getting a one-of-a-kind piece.

  • Look for young and emerging artists that you like and collect pieces from them as they are up and coming.

  • Don’t be afraid to mix styles and media. Variety makes a collection interesting.

  • Be sure to keep records of your invoice and any information on the artists. If you are buying from the artist directly, take a photo of them with you and the piece. This helps you to document and add value to your art collection.

  • Remember, art does not have to match your couch.

  • Have fun!

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