Thinking of Starting an Art Collection?

Thinking of Starting an Art Collection?

Art is a universal pleasure, regardless of age, knowledge or nationality we are all drawn towards the aesthetically pleasing and things that resonate with our values and beliefs. Art provides a common thread throughout humanity and it is something that should be a part of each and everyone's life. Many of us believe that you need to be rich and informed to gain pleasure from collecting art and whereas there is a certain truth in that statement, each and every one of us regardless of wealth or current acquired knowledge can begin to piece together an art collection today and over time accumulate knowledge to inspire our choices and understanding of art in all its formats. Before starting a collection the following points may be worth taking into consideration, however, in the end if you really love a piece of art and can afford the price then why not make it part of your life?

Be Patient and do your Research

There are times when we will totally fall in love with a work of art and feel compelled to buy it. However, if you are aiming to build a cohesive art collection you need to examine the work and decide whether it really does fit within the parameters you have set for your collection.

When building a collection you need to consider how each work responds to the others, it requires discipline in your approach which should ensure that you select the right pieces to complement your previous purchases. It is certainly worth contemplating various factors such as art genre, style, media, subject matter etc.

Having an art collection means bringing together art works which are linked in some way, rather than just random pieces that you fell in love with and instinctively bought. This means planning your acquisitions and selecting the right pieces which will complement your existing purchases.

We can't help but react to art on a personal and instinctive level, often having conflicting responses to the person standing next to us and this fine, because in the end you have to feel comfortable with the works you buy.  

How should you start?

Before commencing, try to decide on what you want to achieve in the long term. An art collection is more than just a bunch of paintings, it requires that you put together a well thought out long term plan regarding the types of work you want to own. Each work should bring a value not just on its own merits but by adding value to the overall collection.

Although you may want to purchase beautiful and striking artwork, the skill lies in identifying and tracking down the pieces which will help your collection to evolve, complementing your existing art. It should appeal to you on a personal level, many of us can cave in to the notion that only the experts know best, trust your instincts, recognise what appeals from the perspective of subject matter and trust your personal idea of aesthetics, whilst also understanding the technical merits of a work. Setting a framework from the beginning will allow you to be more focused in finding works that enhance your art collection.

Define your own boundaries when it comes to Art

Art in its creation and appreciation is of a personal nature, remember that, so when it comes to building your art collection don't feel confined by the established train of thought. Approach the building of your art collection with an open and inspired mind. The avenues for obtaining art are changing, you can buy direct from the artist, galleries as well as through online art platforms like, so why limit your enjoyment based on old principles and thought patterns? Collecting should be fun.

Of course you should build relationships with other art lovers along the way but your loyalty should be to your collection, not to one gallery or indeed one artist. But you decide on what you want to build and then set about bringing it all together. Time will get you there. The possibilities for enjoyment are endless and the door to new and exciting artworks may not be the ones you first thought about opening.  Be creative in your approach, be confident in your taste and never be afraid of learning more.

Art Collecting is a Journey not a Destination

Keep that in mind because along the way you will desire pieces that are not for sale or beyond your price range. Don't let this put you off, if this happens pause and think about why you liked that piece, what was it that appealed to you about the work? You learn about your own tastes and day by day you will discover more and more about art and how it brings together the world around us.