How to start an art collection

Posted in The Art-Isms by Ruth Millington on 05th August 2019

Starting an art collection can seem daunting, especially when trying to watch your budget at the same time. The good news is that you don't need millions in the bank to start a collection and most collectors begin by buying artworks under £1,000. 

 

6 tips to help start your art collection:

1. LOOK FOR LOVE

Which styles, mediums and subjects are you drawn to?

2. START SMALL

Look out for recent graduates or artists just gaining recognition.

3. Go online

Online galleries allow you to easily compare artists, styles and – importantly – prices.

4. Collect signed limited editions

Limited edition prints are a great way to begin your collection.

5. Minor works by major artists

If you want to buy from a big name artist, it’s still possible.

6. Pay in instalments

An original painting worth several thousand pounds could be paid for over a couple of years.

 

Dawn Beckles is an emerging, Barbados-born artist based in London. ‘Pink Door’ - priced at £995 – is characteristic of her bold colour contrasts. 

Before you start you collection, get to know what you like and what you don’t. Visit exhibitions, art fairs and auctions. Follow artists, critics and curators on social media. But know your own mind. Which styles, mediums and subjects are you drawn to? Instead of following trends, think about what artwork you want to live with and love.

 

1. LOOK FOR LOVE 

Buy what you love and want to live with.  

 

2. START SMALL

With a budget around a thousand pounds or less, you could collect a small original painting by an emerging artist. Look out for recent graduates or artists just gaining recognition. Buying from an emerging artist means you'll probably be one of their first collectors. If you're lucky, it could turn into a great investment. 

Looking at art online? You don’t need to ask for the price list.

 

3. GO ONLINE

Online galleries allow you to easily compare artists, styles and prices. It’s often less daunting than asking for the price list at a gallery. The internet has made buying art more transparent and accessible, especially for new art collectors. If you’re on a budget, you can search by price. 

Kevin Jackson’s ‘A Rising in the Beat’ is available as a signed limited edition print for £150.00.

 

4. COLLECT SIGNED LIMITED EDITIONS

If your budget is limited, limited edition prints are a great way to start your art collection. Signed editions have more value. And even more so when the artist grows in fame.

You can collect a Bruce Mclean print for under £1,000.

 

5. MINOR WORKS BY MAJOR ARTISTS

If you want to buy from a big name, it’s still possible. Look for a work on paper, such as a drawing or etching. Find an artwork which can be easily identified as by that artist. Look for characteristic symbols. For example, a drawing of a shark by Damien Hirst recently made £4,500 at auction because it’s the subject that first brought him fame. 

Fall in love but can’t quite afford it? You can often pay in instalments.

 

6. PAY IN INSTALMENTS

If you fall in love with a painting which costs more than you can afford straight away, many galleries and online platforms such as Own Art will allow you to spread the payments over time. An original painting worth several thousand pounds could be paid for over a couple of years.

 

Browse Art Under £1,000