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Art Collecting 101

Ready to make original art part of your life? What a great decision! Surrounding yourself with art that you love adds quality and enjoyment to each day. The following are some tips & advice for new art collectors: 

BUY WHAT YOU LOVE! 

Art to hang in your home should be something that gives you great pleasure every day that you look at it, so buy what makes you happy.  


Never purchased original art before?  

The good news is, it's not nearly as challenging as you think it might be to trade in those thumbtacked posters and Ikea art for meaningful, original pieces.  There’s a level of identity that comes with art collecting. Just as you express your style with the clothes that you wear, the way you design your house, even the car you drive. Anything you buy really is a reflection of who you are and your individuality, and that is never more clearly expressed than through the art that you buy.   

Your collection can become a map of who you are and how you are evolving as a person. Similar to your diary, yet it’s all visual, and it’s in your haven, your home. There’s not much more magical than that – 

to be surrounded by treasured items that reflect who you are.  

Need some tips to get started? Keep reading....


MATCHING IS OVERRATED!

You won’t get the joy from your art that you should if you simply try to follow trends. The right artwork should take up residence in your heart and mind before it takes up any wall space. Buy art with your heart!

One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to match a room versus buying something that they love independently. Your piece of art should reflect who you are as a person, and that’s way more important than matching it to a space because you think it’ll look good. 


MAKE A PLAN

 The immense amount of art on the market is both a blessing and a curse for collectors. Whether you’re starting your search online, in a gallery, or at an art fair, it can feel overwhelming. You can neutralize those feelings by deciding on an art medium, price point, and the dimensions of the space you’re hoping to fill ahead of time. That way you can focus on art pieces with a detailed eye, only giving attention to the pieces the meet your criteria. 

 

KNOW YOUR BUDGET

Art can be found at all price point, some pieces are as low as 50 or 60 dollars. Don’t feel like if it’s not expensive, it’s not a real piece of art. Be honest, if you need to start with smaller pieces or prints vs. originals -  do that, at least you will have started!  

 

INVOLVE YOURSELF

Planning your budget and the wall space to fill will only get you so far. A great way to get familiar with art collecting is to get involved with art in general — whether that means going to gallery openings, roaming through art fairs, or scheduling visits at open studios in your area to meet artists. 

In truth, the more you see, the easier it will become to understand what you like and dislike. We live in an amazing time where there are a ton of online art galleries that curate and introduce fantastic artists and sell both originals and limited edition prints. Additionally, many artists now have their own online art stores where you can buy directly from them. Once you find an artist whose work speaks to you, I recommend searching to see if that artist has his or her own online gallery set up and checking there for originals or additional works. Originals are often more affordable than you might think!  

 

ASK QUESTIONS!

 A lot of people are intimidated by art in general, and it’s important to know that there’s no wrong interpretation of work, and there are no stupid questions. Artists and gallery owners look forward to discussion their art with you! The same goes for online art shoppers. 

If you can't find answers to your questions on the web, reach out to artists and galleries to set up a studio visit. 

Which leads us to the next point…

  

DISCOVER THE STORY

It's easy to be swept away by a piece at first sight, art is a visual medium! Often though, it's the story behind a piece of art that can make it a “must have” for your collection. 

Whenever you are looking to expand your collection, you need to read up on the artist and really just get to know them. A good place to start is by searching online for interviews with the artist or asking gallery owners directly for more information. If you're having trouble finding info on the artist behind a piece, try setting up a meeting with the artist him or herself. If you’re not it the same area as the artist even a zoom meeting works! 

It will make it that much more intimate and really special when you get the artwork home.


just do it!

One of the most difficult parts of starting an art collection is learning to trust your instincts. You may end up talking yourself out of a purchase. More often than not your instincts are good! 

If you're truly unsure about a piece, a good rule of thumb is to sleep on it. If you wake up the next morning and say, 'Am I going to regret not buying that?' to yourself and then answer “Yes!” you’ll know that it’s time to buy. 

Sooner or later you'll have to take the plunge. The good news? It gets easier with time. Once you start buying art, you’ll become more comfortable with the process and you’ll begin to see what direction you want to take with you art collection.   

 

PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE ARTISTS, TOO

 If the art you’ve been seeing isn’t speaking to you, maybe photos are more up your alley. 

 Real or reimagined images of locations and subject that hold a place in your heart can often become your most treasured art pieces. 

It's not the medium that makes it art, it is the artist!

 

DON'T FORGET ABOUT FRAMING

 It’s incredibly important to use acid-free materials when framing your artwork to prevent discoloration, and to use a UV-shielding glass or plexiglass. After all, you wouldn’t want your hard-found pieces to get damaged! You'll also notice that decorating styles change frequently, so picking a frame that is timeless, and can work from room to room, is the safest bet. It gives you flexibility in the long run and is especially important if you’re renting, as your home may change from time to time. 

Buying unframed art is another way to spread your art budget over time - buy the art, then save for the framing a few months later!

(Another conservation tip for your artwork: Make sure your pieces are kept away from direct sunlight or moisture. It will prevent fading, discoloration or mold growth.) 


see if a payment plan is available

 If you're on the hunt for art, chances are, you're going to fall in love with something a bit outside your budget. But that doesn't mean you'll be going home empty-handed. What many buyers don't realize, is that galleries and artists may offer lay-away or payment plans, where collectors are charged incrementally on a month-by-month basis.  Something that might be at the tip-top of your budget, perhaps you can pay 50 percent now, then 25 percent the next two months. 

They do exist, you should always ask!

 



 I hope these tips help you on your art collecting journey. Of course I'd love to be a part of that journey! If any of my artwork speaks to your heart I encourage you to schedule a visit to my studio (in person or virtually) so you can get a better feel for the art, see the details up close and talk about how it fits into your life. If you live or work locally I'm always happy to bring the artwork to your home or office to see just how great it looks on your wall!

Happy collecting from your randomly creative artist friend,

Lynne


P.S. Beginning collectors! I've set aside a page specifically for YOU with great starter pieces for your collection...

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