A Practical Guide to Starting and Building an Incredible Art Collection
Art collection seems like an intimidating hobby reserved only for a few. The big market doesn’t hold a lot of room for the layperson, and the art industry can appear a bit overwhelming to those who aren’t a part of it.
But these are all myths in their own regard — you don’t need tedious technicalities or extensive knowledge about art to start a collection. After all, art goes beyond being a business: it is meant to be loved and enjoyed for what it is. While this warrants that art collection should have no rules, it’s still wise to be oriented with helpful insights and words of advice.
So whether you’re collecting art because your space needs a little bit of spicing up, or you’re doing it just because looking at art pleases your senses — here are a few tips to keep in mind as you get started.
Building a Great Art Collection
Define your style and trust your artistic intuition.
The world of art is quite immense: there are a lot of artists, genres, and themes out there. Getting started should be the simplest part of the process, but it may end up being your first roadblock in your collection journey.
Thankfully, you’ve got the internet at your disposal, so doing a bit of research about art categories, styles, and themes should be easy and accessible. You don’t need to think too much at this step — the goal is to get acquainted with the basics.
Above all, remember that art should feel right to you in whatever way. There’s no need for a reason behind this: it can be as simple as “This suits my taste,” or something as complex as “This called to me spiritually.” Narrowing down your collection according to your preferences — and your instincts — will help you start somewhere.
Keep seeking inspiration.
You’ll be investing your time and money in your collection, so you better start investing your curiosity and interest in art as well. Start with the easiest domain that you engage yourself daily in: social media.
Sure, you know your Picasso and your Matisse, but you might be surprised at the abundance of new and contemporary artists that can speak to you just as powerfully. Art is everywhere, and we’ve got technology to thank for that.
Scroll through discovery hashtags on Instagram or follow boards on Pinterest, and you might just find a master-in-the-making. Or, at the very least, you might get an idea of what to have for your very first piece.
Set a budget and work with it.
Many people are under the impression that collecting art should cost a lot of money. After all, the art industry is certainly not seen as an economical one. While this might hold a grain of truth, you can still work with a budget that’s both reasonable and feasible.
Art collection should be joyful, not troublesome. By setting boundaries and limits in your finances, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of stress and “buyer’s guilt.”
Set an appropriate allowance and remember to work within it. If you think that $500 splurge is worth it — then go for it. But remember: at the end of the day, the most expensive pieces are not always the best ones.
Make sure to buy art ethically.
Technology is great because it gives us access to a multitude of art, but this accessibility is a double-edged sword. Because art is posted everywhere, cases of art theft and other forms of fraudulence are rapidly rising. The new culture of the technology-based NFT art isn’t helping, either.
So when you purchase prints from shopping sites and platforms without doing background checks, you might find yourself in a cumbersome case of possessing stolen art.
The least you could do is look for reputable sources — or, better yet, buy from the source itself. Many artists sell prints of their work; you just have to be on the lookout for their official merchandise sites or promotions. Additionally, you can find a lot of credible brands that sell legally and professionally printed art.
Start an art journal.
As with anything, it’s always wise to keep a record of your plans, finances, and purchases. But collecting art is a highly personal project, and you might as well go beyond the basics.
Write about the art you’re buying. What attracted you to it? Why did you buy it? How do you feel about it? This activity is not only therapeutic; it might also help you discover things about yourself and your purchasing habits.
Sometimes you could even notice insightful patterns that can help you make decisions the next time you buy another piece for your collection. (Or you could just admire, in a few months, how far your art journey has come.)
Fill Your Collection with Meaningful Art
You don’t have to be philosophical or spiritual to be a collector, but if you choose works of art that “speak” to you, you’ll find that your collection will be more nuanced and enriched.
Overall, the sum must be greater than its parts. There’s no way to quantify this, of course, but the entire thing — instead of a select few — should continue to reveal something about you. Maybe it’ll even help you learn more about yourself in the process.
Check out our collection of contemporary spiritual wall art here.