Friday, August 25, 2023

Eight Tips for Starting an Art Collection

Starting your own art collection can be a very fun endeavor.  You don't need thousands of dollars to get started buying art. Everyone can enjoy buying art and starting in an affordable way.  Whether it's a print, painting, photograph, or sculpture, the key is to choose something YOU love and feel good about purchasing.

There are many places to buy art: in galleries, online, at art fairs, festivals, and open studio events.  In a gallery, you will be speaking with someone who represents an artist.  A middle man or woman between you and the artist. Many artists prefer selling their art this way because they can then just focus on creating, while the gallery representative sells their art.  Galleries take a commission for selling art, as much as 50% to 60%, depending on where the gallery is located.  In most cases you can do better buying directly from the artist.

Since Covid, many people have become more comfortable with shopping online, even for art.  Sales for artists increased tremendously, and are still going strong.  Many artists have an online presence, a website and social media accounts, and you can communicate directly with them to find out all kinds of information about them or the artwork. This is a really good place to start researching the artist who's work you are interested in. 

Here are some things to consider when starting an art collection...

1. Follow your gut.  Buy what you like, what appeals to you. You are going to live with it.  Often buying art from an emerging or beginning artist is more affordable, and it can also appreciate in value over time.  Just because an artist is just getting started showing their art does not mean they have not all ready been putting years into learning their craft.  

2. Research an artist whose work you may be interested in.  Check his or her web presence online.  You can find out so much about them from their website and social media accounts.  Or if they are in your local area, visit their studio and talk to them directly.

Showing my linocuts during our North Coast Open Studios

3. Look for artists on Instagram.  Instagram is the best social media platform for seeing artists and their work. Many are self representing, meaning they do not have galleries representing them.  Many artists like representing themselves, they like interacting with their collectors and followers.  I do.  I don't want a middle man or woman representing me.  I think I can speak best about my own art. Instagram is an amazing platform for finding art of all art forms.  If you follow artists there, you can see how they create their artwork as well as get to know who they are and what is important to them.

4. Start small.  You do not need to start with high priced pieces. Works on paper are generally less expensive than works on canvas. By works on paper I mean drawings, various methods of printing, collage work, etc.  Works on paper used to be considered less valuable because they are harder to take care of.  But now with all the high quality papers being made and quality framing materials, that is changing. So start with what you can afford and work your way up as your collection and budget grow.

5. Did I mention framing? Framing choices are very important, especially for works on paper.  I have a blog post written all about the ins and outs of framing.  After all, I used to be a framer in my past life.  Here is a link to that post. 

6. Diversify your collection by purchasing different media.

7. Art makes us emote.  How do you want to feel when you look at a piece of artwork? Do you want to feel good, positive, optimistic?  Do you want it to remind you of someone? A person or beloved pet? Art can be the start of a conversation.  And art can be healing too. But art will definitely make you feel.

8. And lastly, if you are looking to buy art as an investment, do thorough research.  Study an artist's background and career and look for artists whose work has a proven track record of increasing in value over time.

Remember that art collecting should be fun.  It's a personal journey and there are no strict rules.  Trust your instincts, follow your passion, and enjoy the process of building a collection that reflects your unique taste and style.

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