Art 101

How to build an art collection

Discover how to start building your art collection online.

By Ruth Millington

Building an art collection needn't be daunting. Whether you're a seasoned collector or just starting out, we're on hand to offer useful advice on how to start and grow your art collection.


Here are 6 tips for building your art collection

Before you start your 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

Which styles, mediums and subjects are you drawn to?


Buy what you love and want to live with.  

2. Start small

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

Collage 11 by Abigail Robertson


Go online

Online galleries allow you to easily compare artists, styles and prices. It’s often less daunting than asking for more information at a gallery or during an exhibition. The internet has made buying art more transparent and accessible, especially for new collectors. 

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


Collect signed limited editions

Limited edition prints are a great way to start your art collection. What's more, signed editions inevitably have more value, and even more so when the artist grows in fame and reputation. On Rise Art, you can collect a Bruce Mclean print for under £1,000.

Monica's Walnut Sponge Cake by Bruce Mclean 


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, styles and subjects. 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. 

So I Left You by Tracey Emin


Pay in instalments

Finally, it's impossible to ignore price, especially when starting out on your collector journey. 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. That way, an original painting worth several thousand pounds could be paid for over a couple of years.


Related Artworks

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