How To Start Collecting Great Art: A Beginners’ Guide

Horace once said that art is a poem without words. Collecting art is one of the best endeavors a person can pursue. However, art collection can be daunting and expensive.

The art collection is not as difficult as you think it is. Like wine tasting, the key is to choose something you love. We have a few tips to make the process more enjoyable.

Create a Budget

Starting an art collection process can seem like an out-of-reach luxury. However, luxury has a different definition for everyone. While it is exciting to buy art from big names, the way to start collecting new art is to buy from lesser-known names. You never know whether it could be worth something more expensive in the future.

Visit artist studios, museums, and even art shows at colleges. Instagram is also another way to discover galleries' upcoming stars. It can also help to ask around at coffee shops and art supply stores. Often, you'll be granted discounts or gain access to art that has not been displayed.

Originals Can Be Affordable

You should feel a connection to the art you are buying. That is why buying original art over reproductions is a smarter decision.

Original art can give your walls added decor and character. It is also one of the few areas in which you can get a return on investment.

When it comes to buying original art, there's a lot to consider. Luckily, there's plenty of great art if you know where to look. If you're buying art at an auction for the first time, start with talking to other collectors or art consultants. It's easy to fall for things just because they're being hyped.

A little professional advice can prevent you from wasting your paycheck on a fake piece of art. Start with the artist's name, title, and date of creation. Remember to ask for a certificate of authenticity.

Make Comparisons

One piece of art is always going to be better than another piece of art. Comparison can reveal much about the way each artist has tried to communicate a certain message. However, 'I like this' or 'I don't like this' without reason is not a comparison.

What do you see in terms of lines, shapes, colors, and textures? What is the center of interest in the composition? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself when comparing two or more pieces of art.

Other factors you should watch out for include:

  • Identification
  • Technical data
  • Theme
  • Function
  • Structure Composition

Buy from Online Galleries

The growth of digital channels and the rapid rise of e-commerce allow both buyers and artists all around the globe to connect seamlessly. Buying art online is an interesting adventure, and it's an affordable alternative to buying pricier original art.

Print out the picture of the art on a piece that is of the same size and see if it can fill that yawning space above your couch. Remember, it doesn't have to be an intricate 15-piece gallery wall. Start with one or two key pieces and then consider unusual ways to shake up your choice. It's also highly satisfying knowing that you're supporting a young online artist.

Don't Forget the Frame

The art collection process is still incomplete unless the works are finely preserved. Your next big decision is choosing the right frame in which to display your new art. How to choose your art frame is an art.

The main purpose of a frame is to focus people's attention on the work of art. Consequently, you should use the best affordable jointer to affix the art into the frame. A general rule of thumb is to use a simpler frame design. Similarly, a shimmery frame can modernize a traditional scene.

It's much easier to find a classic and ready-made frame if you select basic frames for your affordable art. And then there's the cost to consider: you will find frames for almost every budget.

Keep Art Pieces Away from the Sun

A problem most art collectors face is how to protect their art from light damage.  Ultraviolet radiation is potentially damaging to all works of art. It can cause discoloration and weakening of paper fibers.

Although most oil paintings will not get damaged over a short time, too much light will ultimately damage an oil painting.

To better protect your artwork from things like UV radiation, never put the artworks where they will be in direct sunlight. Additionally, monitor the humidity level in your home and maintain it below 55%.


Collecting art is a passion that takes time and money. Luckily, the art world is becoming more accessible to a wider collecting group. You, too, can join them today. Ultimately, discovering your style and taste is what matters the most.

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