You Don’t Need to be Rich to Start an Art Collection

Let’s put it bluntly. For most of us, starting an art collection sounds intimidating. Art galleries can be a bit pretentious and the idea of getting into some of these places with a not-so-full-wallet is daunting for the majority of us living simple lives.

You don’t need to be wealthy in order to start an art collection. Many of the art collectors I know started collecting art on a small budget, including very notorious ones. Remember, art galleries function in a similar way to high-end retailers so, ultimately, they need to generate sales.

Collectors are needed by gallerists and artists and they don’t expect you to start with a big purchase. Top-notch galleries also sell younger, emerging artists alongside bigger names. Investing in works of art by both existing and lesser-known names is a good way of beginning to gather and kicking off your art collection.

Learn and follow your intuition investing in emerging artists

Building a stunning collection of art is like having style. It is a mix of taste, knowledge, and intuition. It is primordial to educate yourself before making a purchase and search for opportunities online and in smaller galleries. You can accumulate the art collection of your dreams by investing in emerging artists. Nevertheless, your first reference should always be your heart. You should make a final decision on the purchase of art because you love it and want to live with it because the market can be volatile and fickle.

You Don’t Have To Be Rich To Start Collecting Art
Miami Art Basel 2019

Over time, by attending art fairs, galleries, and exhibitions—some good ones Miami Art Basel, Affordable Art Fair or Frieze in New York you can refine your taste and make informed purchases by seeing what the current market looks like—and what pieces are being sold. By gaining a sense of trends, you will get an idea of how the markets affect the value of certain works of art. If you are unable to attend art fairs, take a look through the galleries on show at the art fairs’ websites.

How to make smart purchases when buying an art piece

If you want to start with a bigger name artist. A piece of good advice is to never undervalue a drawing. Most often it is the genesis of a more extensive artwork. And, as the traditional masterpiece hierarchy goes, paper is usually much less expensive than canvas. 

On the other hand, art tech startups are also changing the way we collect art, and young collectors flock to discover new work online more than ever. Platforms like Instagram offer collectors an endless stream of online galleries to search through.

An artist’s work will often be sold at a more modest price online, without representation. If you find something on the Internet or an artist on Instagram that you like, don’t be afraid to send a message to that artist, and see what is available.

Keep an eye on the art schools in your area, invest in art that supports the community 

A great place to begin the purchase of art pieces for your collection, before prices for an artist begin to rise is through school exhibitions. You may snag a good art investment piece before the artist becomes widely known. It is also an excellent way to support artists early in their careers.

How To Start Collecting Art
Greenpoint and Gowanus Open Studios are great places to find new art and meet artists.

Check out art schools in your area and look for portfolio reviews and exhibitions during their calendar year (Pratt Institue, The School of Visual Arts.) Gallery owners also attend these events for new talent. You will be at the cutting-edge of what is happening in the world of art. It is probably risky, but it can make a big difference in the future, for the artist, and for your art collection.

In summary,  how to start collecting art 

Most importantly, learn about art and the artists you like, their history and how they became noticed. Having an educated opinion and some knowledge of art history will train your eye. Follow the emerging artists you like and try to schedule a studio visit or a private view of their work before purchasing anything online. Get a website, blog or some sort of more professional Intenet presence. Try to attend art meetups and join art collectors groups. Go for it and don’t get intimidated. Ultimately it is not about the money but about taste and making smart choices.