How to Start Collecting Art? Guide for Beginners

Posted by Robert Lange on

How to start collecting art? You need to get some education (at least basic) in different art styles, set your budget, visit local galleries, and finally purchase your first painting or sculpture. In this article, we explain what art collecting is and how to get to it. Read on if this is a topic of interest to you.

What Is Art Collecting?

So, what exactly is art collecting? As the name suggests, it’s purchasing and storing pieces of fine art. But is it really that simple?

Art collecting is a deeply personal and enriching pursuit that involves the acquisition and curation of artworks based on individual taste, passion, and appreciation. At its core, art collecting goes beyond the mere accumulation of pieces; it is an intimate expression of one's connection to culture, creativity, and aesthetics. Collectors become custodians of artistic narratives, weaving a tapestry of stories through the pieces they choose to bring into their lives.

Art collecting may also be perceived as a financial approach. After all, art is a good investment, so it naturally attracts individuals with considerable wealth. But, even then, art collecting is a journey, a choice of income combined with aesthetic value, a way to surround oneself with assets, but also with beauty – it’s a multidimensional experience.

how to start collecting art

BEAR WITNESS - 30" x 40" oil on panel - Robert Lange

How to Get into Art Collecting?

How to start collecting art? Here are a few tips:

Define Your Artistic Vision

The first step in art collecting is to define your artistic vision. What resonates with you? Modern abstracts, classic landscapes, or perhaps contemporary sculptures? Go visit a few art galleries and see what works for you and what doesn’t. This way, you’ll know what to set your sights on when you start collecting art.

Educate Yourself on Art Movements and Styles

To become a savvy art collector, you need to immerse yourself in the diverse world of art movements and styles. From Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary street art, knowledge is your greatest asset. Attend gallery exhibitions, explore art museums, and engage with online platforms to stay updated on the latest trends. Understanding the context and history behind artworks will deepen your appreciation and enhance your collecting experience.

But, at the same time, don’t necessarily stick to all these trends. Art collecting is about your personal journey and exploration of masterpieces, not about the blind pursuit of the newest fashion – stick to what works for you, but learn about other styles.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

Art collecting may be as fascinating as it is expensive. Therefore, you must be aware and avoid the dangers of diving into the world of art too hard. Set a budget that works for you – smaller at the beginning and larger with time. A painting does not need to cost an arm and a leg to be exquisite, so it should not affect your experience.

This is especially true for investors seeking art for long-term gains. With a defined budget, you will mitigate the risk of overpaying for art and make sure that you have funds for other investment methods.

Build Relationships with Artists and Collectors

How to start collecting art if you don’t have fellow enthusiasts to share your collection with? This is why you should invest your time in the art galleries in more than just admiring the art – networking and building relationships with other collectors and artists.

Cultivating relationships with artists, collectors, and galleries will help you gain a deeper understanding of the art world. Attending artist talks, openings, and workshops will let you connect with the creative minds behind the works you admire. Building these connections not only enhances your appreciation for art but also opens doors to exclusive opportunities and insights or even rare art pieces.

Invest in Quality and Buy Early

Art collecting is all about beautiful landscapes, detailed portraits, sophisticated busts…It’s not the names that matter but the intricacy of the works themself. Thus, however tempting it might seem, do not invest in big names – they add up to the price, and you may often find less expensive and better quality pieces among less-known artists.

This is also why you should pay special attention to those who are new in the artistic world – artists who have just emerged. After all, every big name was once a beginner, and you, as a collector, have the opportunity to buy the works of future masters for a bargain price – as long as you’re observant enough to spot hidden talents.

The Takeaway

How to get to art collecting? First you need to go on a journey inside yourself, and define what concepts, styles and themes you’re passionate about in art. Then you should research these and different styles to gain an overall understanding of art. Finally, set a budget for your collection, build relationships with artis and fellow collectors during events in art galleries and purchase your first piece of art. Remember, big names don’t matter – the quality does.


You may also read: What is Contemporary Art? Definition and Examples

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