Art Collecting: A Beginner's Guide

Art Collecting: A Beginner's Guide

The phrase “Art Collector” may bring to mind images of tuxedo wearing men and fur clad women with vast inherited fortunes and a lot of time on their hands. Though it’s true that historically many art collectors have also been wealthy people, you need not be an Astor or a trust fund baby in order to collect art.

However, even without the inhibitions of feeling not wealthy or pretentious enough to begin collecting, taking your first step can feel pretty overwhelming. Where do you even begin?

It All Starts With You

The short answer is to begin with yourself. The single most important thing to consider when beginning your art collection is what kind of art speaks to you? That’s all you need to know. Any other consideration plays second fiddle to that light inside of you that is pulled towards a particular aesthetic. You can collect art in any medium you like in any style that you like. There are no rules to follow here and no wrong way to do it.

Become Informed

Your own intuition about which art is right for you is the first tool you need, but you will benefit tremendously from talking to professionals and other collectors. Art dealers, gallery owners, curators, and fellow collectors can all be of help to you in your quest for art. Keep your eyes and ears open, listen for what artists are being discussed and jump on the opportunity to invest in them.

Working with a Budget

A great deal of affordable, high quality art is available on the market. If you are interested in a certain artist, research to see if they are represented by more than one gallery. Sometimes you can find the piece you want or a piece that is comparable by comparing prices at different galleries. Galleries have also been known to re-pay loyalty with discounts, so if you buy at one gallery often, it could benefit you in the long run.

A great resource for the beginning collector is This website features art in the $50-$750 price range and is curated by art professionals. Each print includes a certificate of authentication, and is printed to museum quality standards, making it easy and affordable to shop for your perfect piece. ArtStar also give you the option of purchasing your limited edition print framed, so it is delivered to your house ready to hang.

 Buying As Investment

As with any other market, the value of a piece of art is driven by supply and demand. Learning to predict which artists are about to explode and what pieces will increase in value can be every bit as tricky as playing the stock market. However, it is possible to strike gold and many collectors buy pieces as investments. As in any other market, diversification is a good idea. Be an informed buyer and follow your instincts. You could see some big returns.

 Collecting With Purpose

After you have purchased your first few pieces, ask yourself why these works of art in particular appeal to you. You may find a deep love for a particular niche or style that moves you on a level nothing else does. See if you can find a common theme to your likes and build your collection around it. This well help you focus your buying in to creating a stunning collection you can be proud of and enjoy all of your life.


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