Are you interested in starting your very own art collection but you don’t know exactly where to begin? Here at UP & COMING ART, we understand purchasing art can be a little daunting, especially if you don’t know exactly what you should be purchasing and why. We’ve put together a few pointers that you may want to keep in mind when you begin your journey into collecting art.

WHAT STYLE OF ART DO YOU ENJOY?

Let’s begin at the beginning – what style of art do you prefer? Once you know that, then you can really kickstart your art collection. If you’re checking out this article, you may already have a style preference in mind but there are a few ways in which you can really discover what type of art appeals to you. Keep in mind that art is something you want to keep with you and enjoy for many years. So, it’s essential that you like what you buy.

Is it renaissance art that you enjoy? Bright, bold pop art? Abstract pieces? Sculptures or contemporary photography? Find out first what style art really floats your boat and work from there. 

DO YOUR RESEARCH

If you are a little unsure of what it is you are looking for, take a stroll around your local art gallery or museum. Note down the artwork that jumps out at you and when you get home, do some research on the style of art and the artist who created it. 

Let’s face it, unless you’re a billionaire, you won’t be able to afford a piece that was created by an artist who has their work hanging in a national art museum. However, you will be able to research artists who are producing work that is of the same style of these leading artists.

Here is an example of how you can research the style of art you are interested in collecting:

Are you interested in Pop Art? Visit your nearest modern art museum (they usually have a selection of Pop Art pieces in their collection) or any other national gallery that has a collection of Pop Art. Take your time and soak in all the art work. If there are any pieces that really catch your eye, write down the name of the piece and the artist. For example, it could be Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych (1962), which hangs in the Tate Modern in London. 

Image of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych
Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol (1962)

Pick up a postcard of the artwork from the museum gift shop to use for reference. Alternatively, visit the museum’s website – most of them would have images of their collection with some information on it. You may also be interested in setting up a digital mood board on Pinterest (or you could do it the old-fashioned way using scissors and glue.) 

Once you have some references to work from, do some research on that artist and on the artwork that you are interested in – what style is it? How did the artist create the work? What was their inspiration? What’s the medium? For example, The Marilyn Diptych is in the style of Pop Art and was created using the silkscreen process, using ink and acrylic paint. Warhol created the work after the death of Marilyn Monroe in 1962. According to the information given by Tate Modern, “Warhol found in Monroe a fusion of two of his consistent themes: death and the cult of celebrity.”

Now, from here, you can research silkscreen art, pop art, bold colours, Marilyn Monroe art. Whatever you find particularly appealing about the piece of art, you can research other artists that may practice similar techniques.

STAY IN THE KNOW

Keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the art world. Follow local artists on Social Media, sign up to newsletters, read art blogs and newspapers. The more you know, the better chance of finding the artwork that you will truly love.

It’s really worth researching art galleries in your area – especially the smaller ones. There are many local galleries that exhibit exciting, new up and coming talent that sell their work at an affordable price. 

Alternatively, find an online art gallery. Most online galleries search for all types of artists from around the world to exhibit unique creations that you may not find yourself.

AVOID A TREND

This ties in with the first point: When you’re choosing what style of art you want in your collection, don’t follow a trend but rather look at what you are interested in. Remember, you want this work to hang in your home, so purchase something enjoyable.

That being said, don’t purchase art just to flip it. It’s called an ‘art collection’ for a reason and the collection is there to be enjoyed. There is an idea that buying art could lead to a nice little profit margin, but that may never happen. So collect art for your own personal enjoyment and maybe, later on you may be able to sell it off for a profit. Just don’t bank on it.

SET YOURSELF A BUDGET

There’s this common misconception that collecting art is a rich-man’s hobby but that’s far from the truth. Collecting art doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. In that same breath, it’s worth mentioning that you should set yourself a budget on what you can and what you’re willing to spend on a piece of artwork. 

If you have a small budget and you feel that you can’t stretch for a one-off original canvas painting or sculpture, consider purchasing limited edition pieces instead. Lot’s of artists who use etchings, lithographs, digital art, photography or screenprints, produce series that can be reproduced but limit the reproduction to a maximum number. This is so much more affordable and you have access to a lot more choice and variety of work.

Finally, when it comes to starting your art collection, just enjoy the process. This is an exciting activity and you will learn a lot about art, so make sure you are taking the time to immerse yourself in the art world and enjoy what’s out there.

Did you enjoy this story and want to know more about how to start your very own art collection? Don’t hesitate to get in touch! 

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