An Artist’s Guide to Art Collecting

October 14, 2016

Are you an art lover? If so, chances are you’ve considered starting your own collection at some point or another. However, this can be an intimidating endeavor if you’re new to the art scene. To get you started, I’ve outlined some great tips below to help you ease into this fun and fulfilling process.


sue-layman_studio2How do you start?
Before you begin collecting art, it’s important to first do a little homework to determine which styles, mediums and designs you most desire. You can look in magazines and online or attend local art fairs and festivals in your area to explore and find pieces that touch your heart and make you happy. Once you get an idea of what you have a passion for, it’s time for the fun to begin—buying! The pieces you purchase become part of your family and serve as a conversation pieces when you have guests around, so find art you’re going to enjoy wholeheartedly for years to come.

Do you have to stick to a style, a certain media or theme?
I love to mix and match art pieces. Bringing in an array of mediums and styles brings new dimensions to every room in your home, giving each area its own story to tell. As always, stick with what you love. Art is such a personal experience; it’s a direct reflection of your personality. Find works that match you, not the other items in your home.

Is there a suggested percentage of income or dollar amount that one should consider setting aside to dedicate to a collection?
Collections can be started from any budget. Remember, art doesn’t have to be expensive to be beautiful. After I landed my first job, I wanted to decorate my apartment. Since I didn’t have the money to buy art, I would cut pictures of Picasso and Rembrandt paintings out of magazines and frame them like prints. It brought life to my new place! When I got a little more money in my bank account, I was able to invest in some nicer pieces. View expensive items as a wise investment. They’re going to last forever and can be passed down to the younger generations of your family. By doing this, you ensure the painting lives on (along with your good taste) long after you’re gone.

Why is it important to buy original art?
Buying original art is important because those pieces have more character and individuality. And, you’ll likely not save that much money by buying a copy. Originals carry a special degree of uniqueness that has always moved me. I feel a special connection knowing it’s an original piece and that my purchase has helped another artist further his or her career. 

Any other advice?
Art has brought so much joy to my life, and I hope it can do the same for others who are looking to start their own collection. It’s important to buy art that makes you happy so you can find a feeling of satisfaction every day when you look at the piece hanging on your wall or the sculpture sitting on your coffee table. Art is expressive, and it allows you to connect with it very strongly if you let it. Love art, and it will love you right back—I guarantee it!

Still have questions? Let me know in the comment section below and I will be glad to help!