There are thousands of art collectors worldwide, all with varying tastes and funds. This 8 step guide covers how to collect/start collecting art on a budget in 2023, whatever that might be. After all, ‘affordable art’ is subjective, just like art itself.
1. Defining your goals and budget
You should ask yourself why you want to start an art collection. The answer will give you an idea of what to collect. A good approach is to buy what you love. You will have to live with your artwork, so invest in something that will inspire you every day.
Knowing your budget, whether £100 or £100,000, will help to keep you on track with your collection. Creating and sticking to your budget is essential, but that doesn’t mean settling for something you don’t love.
One thing to remember about art is that more expensive doesn't always mean better. If you love the piece, buy it! If it works for your budget, buyer's remorse is the worst feeling for a collector and an artist.
2. Art tastes evolve
Collecting art is a marathon, not a sprint. Attempting to complete your collection the week you start can be very expensive and might leave you regretting your choices.
Over time, the more you browse art online, in galleries or in exhibitions, the more you will understand what you like and don’t. As time passes, you will hone your tastes and preferences.
3. Art is personal
Confidence might stop you from buying a piece of art. Whilst some collectors view art purely for investment purposes, this can be highly risky. When you start, you should love the art you buy and be happy with your collection.
Taste and beauty are subjective. If you love the pieces you own, nothing else matters. What would be the point of collecting art if you didn’t enjoy your artwork.
4. Focus on a genre
Build your collections around a theme: animals, portraits, landscapes, seascapes, etc. Focusing on a genre will bring synergy to your collection, regardless of the medium of the artwork.
Think of all the beauty surrounding you once you start building your art collection. Gradually, as you acquire more pieces, you will have the opportunity to watch how your taste in the genre develops and how the artworks in your collection evolve.
5. Consider emerging artists
Buying art from emerging, lesser-known artists can be ideal when collecting art on a budget. Artwork is typically more affordable, and you are likely to be one of their first collectors. Creating these connections can be helpful, as if you collect more from a particular artist and get to know them, you might benefit from deals and discounts.
You have a chance to become a patron; supporting an artist who invests all their time and effort into creating art is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world.
If you meet an emerging artist you admire, try to buy more of their artwork to support their attempts to take the first steps in the highly competitive art world.
This artist will remember the first client who loved and bought their art. If you are lucky, it could turn into an excellent investment.
6. Size matters
Art prices are strongly correlated with size. Larger pieces will require more materials and, in most cases, time and costs to ship (unless you are lucky enough to live near an art gallery or local artist).
Luckily art can fit pretty much anywhere. You should consider how much room you have in your space, as this could limit the amount of artwork you can display.
7. Shop Locally
If you are lucky enough to live in an art-rich area, finding local galleries and artists can be great fun! There might be artworks that appeal to you for your local area, such as Buckinghamshire oil paintings.
You get to meet the artist behind the pieces and build connections, adding more meaning to your collection.
8. Go Online
Online galleries allow you to compare artists, styles and prices easily. Buying directly from an artist’s website can be more cost-effective as artists don't have commissions and additional costs to consider when pricing their artwork.
Security is important
Ensure that you can do so securely if you ever purchase art online. Being able to pay online through payment gateways such as PayPal or shop on websites built on PCI-compliant platforms like Shopify (which Jo Earl Art is); will help you stay protected.
Regardless of your motivations for collecting art, remember it will not be complete in a day. Enjoy the journey and ensure that you love each piece of artwork you buy.