A lot of people assume that one needs to have millions to be an art collector. That’s a terrible assumption to have as it couldn’t be more false. You don’t need to have thousands of millions saved up in your bank account to regard yourself as an art collector. All art collectors start small; that’s how a collection grows.
As a matter of fact, if you ask around, you will quickly discover that a lot of accomplished art collectors started their expansive collections with $1000 or under. Even the most expensive galleries and artists in the world are actually expected to offer affordable options for beginner art collectors. That’s why you will always see high-end galleries and exhibitions that include pieces from younger, emerging artists along with artworks from big names such as Jeff Koons.
These pieces are typically included to cater to collectors that don’t necessarily have the budget for high ticket collector items. As such, if you are worried that you don’t have enough money to start an art collection yet, the good news is that you can begin with any budget. The point is to just start somewhere and then develop your taste and collection as you move along in your collector’s journey.
The first pieces of art that you collect may not be the most expensive ones in your collection. However, you will find that those original pieces you first invested in will become your most prized and most highly guarded pieces due to the sentiment you will have attached to them over time.
Contrary to widespread belief, you can also start collecting art at any age; whether you are in your teens or your eighties. Many art enthusiasts with outstanding collections began when they were younger, in their 20s and early 30s. As, such if you’ve ever fancied the idea of owning an art collection, there is no better time to start than now.
Why should you start collecting art?
It is one of the best investments you can make
Even though your art collection may not be worth much to begin with, in the long run, it could be the best investment that you ever make in your life. While not all art is a worthwhile investment, most art appreciates as time progresses. So a piece that you purchase for $500 may end up being worth a lot more in the future. That’s why it is advised to start collecting art when you are younger so that you can see your collection expand not only in size but also in value.
Starting a collection gives you a chance to become an art patron
The best way to demonstrate your love for art is to support the artists that dedicate so much time and effort to creating masterpieces that make the industry and the world better. If you can, showing your support to an emerging artist can make all the difference in the world in your development and theirs.
If you find a struggling or emerging artist whose style you like, consider becoming their patron and keep purchasing pieces that you like from their collection. In many instances, these emerging artists tend to remember the first customers to support and patronize them fondly.
Therefore, if you are serious about becoming an art collector, supporting emerging artists that show promise is a great way to establish relationships with them and grow your networks as an aspiring collector. Networking isn’t just a skill needed in the boardroom- it can also be highly beneficial in art circles.
There is nothing better than watching your art collection grow
When you start an art collection early, it will give you the chance to watch your art collection grow. What is even better, as you get older, you will also observe how your taste in art has changed over time. In this way, your art collection will truly reflect your adult choices and serve as a unique narrative of your past, present, and future.
Tips to find art to collect
Take the time to check out emerging artists
As mentioned earlier, if you do not have the budget to go for expensive art- don’t. It is a lot easier to find art that you can afford from emerging talent. The artists you come across art fairs and independent galleries worldwide and country are not to be discounted. Although they may appear to have humble beginnings, these artists can end up being nothing short of exceptional as they continue to grow in your career. a
Plus, it is so much easier to find art that you connect with on an emotional level from these fairs and galleries than you will at a high-end exhibition. So take the time to research some of the emerging artists in your location and see if there is something that would work in your collection.
Try and think of it as a hobby and not an investment
Instead of putting too much thought into what each piece will cost when it appreciates, simply just collect art that you love. The art market can be extremely volatile as it is controlled by global economic forces that you have no control over. As a result, one trend might look like it’s going to blow up in popularity only for it to die down along the way. As such, the earlier you start collecting, the better you will be able to assess your tastes and preferences so that you can hone in on artists that represent that style well.
Important things to do if you are serious about collecting art
Come up with your budget
Before you head out to your first art fair, you will need to determine what your preferred budget is. The budget that you have is what will guide you and help you pick from the numerous options that might be available. If you are a new collector, it is always recommended that you start slow and increase your budget as you move along in your collection. The more you collect, the more confident you will become as a collector.
When setting your budget, try and establish how frequently you intend to invest in your collection. Once a year? Twice? Every few years? It is not important how extensive your art collection is as what matters the most is the quality of the art that you are collecting. However, in the same breath, don’t devalue a piece of art just because it’s priced low. Expensive art isn’t necessarily the best art.
Define your objective as a collector
What are your plans or goals for your art collection? Defining your primary motivation for investing in art or collecting it will have a considerable impact on the collection that you create as well as its quality. As mentioned earlier, a good rule of thumb to follow is to purchase art that makes you happy.
Keep in mind that once you pay for a piece, it will remain in your custody for you to look at until you offload it to someone else. As such, it is important that you only invest in things that spark joy. After all, what’s the point of collecting art if it doesn’t utterly make you giddy with joy?
When setting your objectives, remember to widen your goals.
Many beginner collectors start their collection for aesthetic purposes, either because they want to make their spaces brighter or livelier. Art is definitely one of the best ways to transform a bland room. However, what happens when you outgrow your current settings?
As your art collection gets bigger and bigger, though, you will need a designated area for storage and conservation. Some other things that you have to keep in mind before building your collection include logistics, insurance, and the installation of the artwork. Come up with a list of resources that you can turn to when you need these services provided to you.
Dig deep and do your research
Once you’ve outlined your goals and set your budget, the next best thing that you can do is carry out your research. First, take time to understand all the different genres, mediums, and styles that you can invest in. Then, visit art fairs, galleries and museums, and look for art that might pique your interest.
It is also generally a good idea to do a deep dive on social media. Try and find artists that you might love on platforms such as Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram; you’ll find no shortage of accounts to inspire you. As you continue to explore different kinds of art, you will begin to discern which styles, mediums, and techniques stand out to you so that you can, in turn, start looking for artists that you can patronize.
What’s the best place to look for art?
Art fairs and galleries
As mentioned initially, art fairs and galleries are absolutely some of the best places for beginner collectors to find art and artists that they can invest in. So keep an eye out for local art fairs, exhibitions, and openings. However, don’t be afraid to expand your horizons beyond your region. Whenever you attend these fairs and art shows, make it a point to network and make connections, as well as ask questions.
Look around online
Another great way to look for art that you can add to your collection is by looking for it online. There are so many online stores these days that sell affordable, high-quality art. These online stores are super easy to look through and browse as they come with filters that let you search by medium, theme, orientation, size, style, and color. This makes it a lot easier to narrow down your searches so that you can find something that fits your style or taste.
What’s so great about shopping online for art is the price comparison. You can easily compare artists, galleries, and prices from the comfort of your home. This eliminates the need to ask for price lists and quotes from artists and galleries. When you shop online for artwork, you can take your time and carry out your research without any pressure from anyone.
So what should you collect?
You can collect anything and everything under the sun. However, the research that you will have carried out should be sufficient to guide your taste. If you are still unsure about what you should be collecting, you may want to consider collecting:
Photography and limited edition prints
One-of-a-kind works such as paintings are usually not reproduced, which is why you’ll find that most are expensive. This can be the opposite for photos and limited edition prints because these types typically come in multiples, making them a little more budget-friendly. Limited editions and photo prints are also easier and cheaper to handle and ship, which is a great way to start your little but growing collection.
Sculptures and design objects
When people are starting their collection, they tend to lean towards framed canvases and paintings as their first investment pieces. As a result, they often overlook sculptures and design objects, which can be wonderful additions to one’s collection.
When starting your collection, it is a good rule of thumb to stick with small-scale sculptures and design objects. As you move along in your collectors’ journey, you can then begin experimenting with different styles to add an eclectic touch to your collection.
If you chose original paintings as your preferred medium, there are several ways that you can look for museum-worthy pieces at reduced prices. Paintings from well-known and experienced artists are likely going to cost you an arm and afoot. So if you don’t have the budget for these established artists, consider collecting smaller pieces as a way of balancing out your new collection.
Whether you are interested in growing your collection for decorative purposes or as a form of investment, you cannot go wrong with art. The artworld is an amazing and exciting world to explore, especially as a beginner, so remember to have fun along the way. Whether you want to buy your first high-end piece or enhance your space, all you need is a little curiosity and an open mind to find your perfect piece.