One best piece of advice I can give is to have someone put together an art collection for you. Don’t settle for the same boring gallery wall as everyone else; instead, fill your walls with unique artwork that reflects your personality and tastes. You could hang up a map showing the spot where you and your significant other first met, a framed postcard from a dear friend, or an object that represents your values and beliefs. A beautiful original painting was a gift from my family on my 30th birthday, but I also have cheap posters, art books leaning on picture ledges (ideal for those afraid to commit to one piece of art on the wall), and photo booth snaps pinned to the fridge with washi tape.
The Benefits of an Art Collection
Putting together an art collection serves many purposes. There are many reasons why people start collecting: as an investment, to preserve history, to promote culture, etc. Art collecting is highly personal, but it’s also a fantastic way to express yourself and show the world who you are.
Leave your preconceived notions about art collectors at the door. As they gain experience and knowledge, many first-time art collectors today begin with a modest investment. In this regard, Herbert and Dorothy Vogel serve as the best possible exemplars. This New York City couple, who were once dubbed “proletarian art collectors,” amassed 4,782 pieces while working for the government. Theirs is one of the most significant American art collections from the 1960s, with a focus on minimalist and conceptual pieces. What really set them apart from the stereotypical art collector was the fact that they displayed and stored their collection in a rent-controlled one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and only purchased pieces they personally liked and could possibly take home in a subway or in a taxi.
How to Get Started
Make a financial plan.
The first step for novice art collectors is to set a financial limit before searching for pieces to add to their collection. Your purchasing power and location decisions will be guided by this budget. Begin with a modest investment and increase it as your collection expands and your knowledge of and appreciation for art deepens. Depending on your financial situation, a starting budget of $1,000 or less could be reasonable.
Think about the way you usually shop. Have you settled on a monthly budget that includes one original work of art priced at $1,000 or several works at more reasonable prices? Since your financial situation is dynamic and subject to change, quality should always be prioritized over quantity.
Determine your objectives.
What do you plan to do with all of these paintings? The kind of art collection you end up creating will depend greatly on the reasons you collect. The best strategy is to spend money on things that make you happy. Since you’ll be seeing the artwork you buy every day, it’s best to invest in something that makes you happy.
Stick to the budget is essential, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy something you hate just to stay within it. But don’t undervalue a work of art just because it’s less than what you’d pay for “good art,” either. Buy it for $50 if you really like it or for $500 if you really love it, if that’s how much it is. Expensive does not always imply superior quality.
After deciding on a spending plan and settling on some objectives, it’s time to get down to business. Make sure you enjoy your time spent collecting artwork by learning as much as possible about the field.
You can educate yourself on the subject of art by reading biographies of artists, going to art galleries and museums, or even just sharing images of works you like on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.). More exposure to visual art increases awareness of the differences between mediums, approaches, and styles. Most importantly, you’ll develop the ability to recognize your personal preferences in the aesthetic realm.