How to start an art collection on a budget

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

You don’t need millions in the bank to start an art collection. I collect art and I am not rich! In fact, most collectors begin by buying artworks for under £1,000. If you’re new to the art market, it can be overwhelming. Here are 6 tips for starting an art collection on a budget. 

 

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

  1. Start small 

With a budget of around a thousand pounds or less, you could bag 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. 

 

Buy what you love and want to live with.  

  1. Look for love

Before you buy, 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 important to you? Instead of following trends, think about what artwork you want to live with and love. 

 

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

  1. Go online 

Online galleries allow you to easily compare artists, styles and – importantly – prices. It’s often less daunting than going into a gallery and having to ask for the price list. I find the internet has made buying art much more transparent and accessible for new 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.

  1. Collect signed limited editions

If you have just a few hundred pounds to spend, limited edition prints are a great way to begin your collection. I recommend buying signed editions, as these have more value. 

 

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

  1. Minor works by major artists 

If you want to buy from a big name artist, it’s still possible. Look for a work on paper, such as a drawing or etching. I recommend finding an artwork which easily identifies it 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 which first brought him fame. 

 

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

  1. Pay in instalments

If you fall in love with a painting which costs more than you can afford straight away, many galleries 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