Starting Your Art Collection on a Budget Guide
Starting your art collection on a budget can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Start collecting art and learn about some of the most crucial advice and tips.
Starting your art collection on a budget is never simple, but it can be an interesting and rewarding project. I realise that if you don’t know where to begin, the process can be intimidating. Collecting art and purchasing it can be challenging tasks. But it’s also not a difficult one.
This guide will give you some of the crucial knowledge and pointers you need to begin your journey into art collecting, whether you are an experienced collector or just getting started.
If you enjoy art, you will appreciate its beauty and the amazing effects it could bring into your life.
As an abstract artist, art means a lot more than its aesthetic beauty. There is something so special about art that is hard to describe in words.
Artists and art lovers would easily understand and appreciate the impact of art in their lives.
Buying and collecting art is never easy. There are so many issues to consider when you are thinking about buying or collecting art for whatever reason.
People buy art for a variety of reasons and I have put some interesting statistics in this guide.
I have put this guide together to help you if you are looking to start your art collection on a budget and try to make the process as simple as possible. However, I’m conscious that there are so many things that you would need to carefully think about before starting your art collection.
Note: I will not hide the fact that I’m more biased towards abstract art and would love to promote an abstract art collection. I have several abstract paintings for sale on my website and I make buying my abstract paintings process as simple as possible.
If you like any of my abstract paintings on my website, you have total freedom and flexibility to contact me. And I would be happy to discuss your interests.
So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and get ready to dive into the wonderful world of starting your art collection on a budget. I already have a cup of coffee.
Understanding your personal style and tastes
Before starting your art collection on a budget, you need to understand your personal style and tastes. This will help you make informed decisions about what art to buy and what to avoid.
For example, think about your personal preference for colour, subject matter and the medium used. Are you interested in paintings, photographs or sculptures?
If you like paintings, for example, there are many different styles and themes to consider. Here are some of the best-selling themes and subjects:
- Traditional landscapes
- Local scenes
- Modern art
- Abstract art
- Dogs, cats, horses, etc.
- Figure art
- Wildlife art
Understanding the art market
Before you start collecting art, it’s important to understand the art market. I don’t intend to make it more complicated but the art market can be divided into two main categories. Primary and secondary markets.
The primary market is where art is sold directly by the artist, which is my preferred method. I prefer it this way. I try my best not to include “the middle man” as I’m always keen to establish and develop a direct relationship with my art buyers. I care that much about making a connection with my art collectors because I want them to buy a piece of art that will make a difference to them.
Enough sales pitch. Let’s go back to the main subject of starting your art collection on a budget.
There are several ways to buy art. Directly from the artist or art that is sold via auction houses, art galleries or art dealers. This is known as the secondary market.
The value of art is determined by several complex factors, including:
- The artist’s reputation,
- The rarity of the artwork,
- The demand for the artist’s work,
- The quality and condition of the artwork, and
- The provenance or exhibition history of the artwork.
I have written another blog post with a lot more details about all the above in this article, What Makes Art Valuable.
Building your art collection
When building your art collection, it’s important to focus on your personal taste and interests. It’s also important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your art collection. Are you collecting art for investment purposes or simply for the love of art?
These are some of the questions you will need to ask yourself when thinking about starting your art collection on a budget.
Once you have a clear idea and an understanding of your goals and tastes, you can start to research the artists and have a look at their artworks that may interest you.
Think about visiting museums, galleries and art fairs to see different artworks in person. Seeing artwork digitally, i.e. on a computer or mobile phone screen doesn’t necessarily give you a good feel of the artwork.
There is no substitute for physically seeing the artwork itself. Digital art representation is fantastic and I love it. But it can’t give you the real feel of the artwork and physically see the brushstrokes movements, the different layers of paint or the textures of the artwork in real life.
These are just a few things that I spend hours looking at in a painting.
Art and, particularly, abstract art is about feeling the artwork itself and what it represents and what it means. It’s about the emotions it evokes and the connection it could make with you.
Budgeting for your collection
Budget is all about affordability and it is something important to consider for your art collection. Things to consider would include:
- The cost of the artwork itself,
- Any associated costs,
- Framing, if required,
- Shipping, and
These are some of the straightforwardly associated costs, but it’s also important to think of your overall budget and set a realistic spending limit for yourself.
Starting your art collection on a budget will be influenced by how much you would be willing to spend on buying and collecting art. This is likely to exclude top-end professional artists from your research.
I visit museums and art galleries regularly and I have seen some amazing paintings made by semi-professional and also emerging artists. Prices ranged from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand and the quality of the artwork was outstanding.
Bear in mind that the value of art can fluctuate, so it’s important to consider the long-term value of the artwork when making a purchase. It’s also important to be patient and not rush into a purchase without fully researching the artist and the artwork.
Here is an interesting video about art collecting for beginners, Art Collecting 101: How to get started.
Making your first purchase
In my personal life and my art world, I try to make things as easy as possible. I don’t like to follow complicated methods of the art world industry standards and processes. They like to complicate things for art buyers and artists.
When making your first art purchase, it’s important to work with a reputable artist, dealer or gallery. Art dealers and galleries, unfortunately, become a kind of “middleman”.
They earn a commission for selling pieces of artwork. That’s the nature of their business. A professional art dealer or gallery plays an important role in the process of promoting and selling art.
Whether for emerging artists or professional artists, art dealers and galleries can help in the process of starting your art collection on a budget.
I don’t sell my paintings just for commercial gains or reputation. I sell my art to people who appreciate my artwork. I do my best to avoid having “a middleman” between me and my art buyers or collectors. I always believe that real abstract paintings are much more than decoration.
Yes, I genuinely think there is a difference between true abstract art and mass-produced artwork for decoration purposes.
In the process of buying and collecting art, you need to be aware of the quality of the artwork as well as the terms of sale. This would also include the final price, payment options and any return policies.
Ask whatever questions you may have before purchasing to give you a clear comfortable and informative decision. Ask about the artist and his/her background and the quality of the artwork.
You may have other questions to ask the artist to feel more comfortable and confident about their artwork and its suitability for what you need.
I thoroughly enjoy it when my art collectors ask questions. It shows that they are interested and they just want to know more about the artwork and the artist.
Growing your art collection
As you continue to build your art collection, it’s important to regularly assess your goals and tastes and to consider adding new artworks that complement your existing collection.
You may also want to consider working with an art advisor to help you navigate the art market and to find works that fit with your overall collection.
By following these tips and guidelines about starting your art collection on a budget, you will be well on your way to starting a successful and meaningful art collection.
Building relationships with artists and galleries
It can be beneficial for your to begin your art collection to build good professional relationships with artists and galleries. This includes reaching out to artists and galleries to inquire about upcoming exhibitions and new works. Attending art gallery openings and artist talks can be very helpful.
I enjoy visiting galleries and museums and meeting other artists and art lovers. It’s always a great way to learn more about the artworks on display and exchange information with others.
By establishing a good relationship with artists and galleries, you can gain early access to new works and be the first to know about upcoming events and exhibitions. You may also have the opportunity to purchase works directly from the artist, which can be a unique and personal experience.
Obviously, the internet provides a lot of information about artists, their websites as well as galleries, art shows, fairs and many other different art events.
Appreciating the artist and their artwork
The art collection is not just about acquiring pieces of art for your collection, it’s also about appreciating the artist and their artwork.
Understanding the background, motivations and process of the artist can enhance your appreciation of their work and give you a deeper connection to the pieces in your collection.
Here are some tips on how to appreciate the artist and their artwork:
- Learn about the artist’s background and influences
Understanding the artist’s background and what influenced their work can give you a deeper appreciation of their style and subject matter.
Research the artist’s life, their education and the cultural and historical context in which they lived and worked. Such information could add a lot of meaningful value to the artwork itself.
- Study the artist’s process
Understanding the artist’s creative process can help you appreciate the thought and effort that went into each piece of art. Ask the artist or gallery about their techniques and materials. Look closer at the layers, textures and brushstrokes in the artwork.
During a recent visit to one of our local art galleries, I was explaining to some of the other visitors about my process of creating abstract oil paintings. I showed them some of my oil paintings on my website. I was explaining that it took 14 months for the oil painting to fully cure and dry before I applied a thin coat of varnish for added protection. They were amazed.
With oil paints, it usually takes an average of 6 months, depending on the thickness of the paint to fully dry. I explained that the drying process of oil paints happens through the oxidation process. People found that to be quite interesting as they didn’t realise how long it could take to completely create an oil painting.
- Read reviews and critiques
Reading reviews and critiques by art experts and other collectors can give you insights into the artist and their work.
Consider attending exhibitions or events featuring the artist’s work and listening to what others have to say.
- Personal interpretation
Every person brings their own experiences and perspectives to their interpretation of art. Allow yourself to make personal connections to the work and share your thoughts and feelings with others.
By taking the time to appreciate the artist and their artwork, you will deepen your understanding and enjoyment of the pieces in your collection. You will also gain a deeper appreciation for the art world as a whole.
Staying informed about the art world
Staying informed about the art world will help you build and grow your art collection. This includes staying up-to-date on current art auctions, exhibitions and art fairs. Reading relevant blogs and articles can also be helpful.
Consider subscribing to art-related newsletters and magazines. Social media can also play a major part in following and connecting with artists.
Perhaps you may consider joining art clubs or organisations to connect with other art enthusiasts and collectors.
Caring for your artwork
Once you have started your art collection, it’s important to take proper care of your art pieces. This includes appropriate handling, framing and storage as well as regular cleaning and conservation.
If you are not displaying your art collection, proper storage and protection of your art collection are necessary to maintain its condition and value over time.
Store your art in a secure and appropriate climate-controlled environment. Extreme temperatures, dust and humidity are just some of the examples to avoid when storing your art.
For long-term storage, you may wish to consider using archival-quality materials to protect your art from damage. You may also want to consider insuring your art collection from theft, damage or other unexpected events.
I have written tips about framing and caring for your acrylic and oil paintings, which you may find helpful.
These tips are simple and can help you to maintain the pieces of artwork in good condition for long periods.
Good quality oil paints are known to last for hundreds of years. Oil paints have been around since the 7th century AD. We don’t know the long-term effects of acrylic paints as they were invented in the 1950s.
If, on the other hand, you collect old paintings or other types of artwork, you may wish to consider working with a professional conservator to assess and check the condition of your art collection.
Develop a plan for long-term care. Regular assessments can help to prevent damage and ensure that your collection remains in good condition for many years to come.
Evaluating the condition of a work of art
Evaluating the condition of a work of art is an important step in the art-buying process. This includes examining the artwork for any damage or signs of ageing.
It’s important to work with a reputable artist or gallery when evaluating the condition of the artwork. They can provide an expert opinion on the condition of the artwork, as well as its value and potential investment.
The allure of abstract art
Abstract paintings have a certain “je ne sais quoi” that draws us in, leaving us mesmerised and captivated by the use of colours, shapes and lines.
These works of art often evoke emotions and memories and can spark a conversation about personal interpretation.
Abstract art can be playful and fun. It can also be serious and thought-provoking. The beauty of abstract paintings is that it’s open to interpretation. Each person can look at an abstract painting and see something completely different.
What makes abstract art so special is that it challenges the viewer to think outside of the box. It forces us to use our imagination. It’s a great way to take our minds off the everyday world and enter a realm of endless possibilities. This is usually one of the main subjects in my abstract paintings.
The process of creating abstract paintings is just as fascinating as the final product. The artist must use their intuition, letting their emotions guide the brush, resulting in a truly unique and personal expression.
Whether you are a season art collector or just starting to build your art collection on a budget, consider adding some abstract paintings to the mix.
These works of art will not only add a touch of sophistication to your home, but they will also challenge your mind and spark a conversation with family and friends.
Who knows, you may even discover something new about yourself in the process.
A stunning collection of abstract paintings
In addition to all the tips and tricks in this guide, I made several stunning abstract paintings and I have put some of them for sale on my website. These are unique, original and one-off paintings for anybody who appreciates this genre of art.
From bold and vibrant pieces to more subtle paintings, my collection offers something for every taste and style. Painted in either oil or acrylic mediums.
Whether you are looking for a statement piece to hang in your living room or a more intimate work to add to your personal collection, I have a piece that will, hopefully, fit your needs.
So, as you continue your journey as an art collector, be sure to check out my abstract paintings collection.
Some interesting statistics about the art market
- According to Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report 2021, the global art market is estimated to be worth $65.1 billion, with online sales accounting for approximately $12.4 billion in 2020.
- The most expensive work of art ever sold at auction was the Salvator Mundi painting by Leonardo da Vinci. It was sold at Christie’s New York for $450 million in 2017.
- According to DollarSprout, art investment consistently returns 7.6% to investors. Art investment seems to be more stable as it is not affected by the performance of the financial markets.
- “New collectors are buying as frequently as seasoned collectors”, according to Artsy Report 2021. This is an interesting report about art collecting.
- According to “statista”, a report in June 2021 analysed the reasons and motivations for collectors, worldwide, to buy art. Here is the result of the study:
- 93%, emotional value,
- 47%, social value,
- 40%, social impact investment,
- 40%, portfolio diversification,
- 38%, luxury goods,
- 36%, investment returns,
- 32%, safe haven,
- 27%, inflation hedge.
Final thoughts about starting your art collection on a budget
Starting your art collection on a budget can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. But it’s important to approach it with care and consideration.
By doing your research, setting a budget and staying informed about the art world, you will be well on your way to building a meaningful and valuable art collection.
Remember to focus on your personal taste and interests. Also, take your time when making a purchase.
Building an art collection is a journey, so be patient, stay curious and enjoy the process. Happy collecting.
Starting your art collection on a budget will trigger many questions. I have written a detailed blog post about 20 Basic Art Questions and Answers, which explains some of the most common basic questions about art, in general.
I really hope that you will find this guide helpful to starting your art collection on a budget and I hope you will tell us about it in the comments section below.
- How do I know if a piece of art is a good investment?
There is no surefire way to know if a piece of art is a good investment, but you can increase your chances by doing your research.
Consider the artist’s past sales, the quality of the work and the condition of the artwork. It’s also important to think about the art market and whether there’s a current demand for works by this artist.
Ultimately, it’s best to trust your own instincts and buy what you love and feel a connection to.
- What are some tips for building a successful art collection?
The most important thing is to take your time and do your research. Get to know the artists and their works and start building relationships with galleries and other art collectors.
Consider your personal style and what kind of pieces you are drawn to. Make purchases of art pieces that you love and feel passionate about. Above all, be patient, persistent and disciplined in your collecting habits.
- What should I look for when buying art?
When buying art, it’s important to consider the quality and condition of the artwork, as well as the artist’s past sales and current demand.
You should also think about whether the artwork fits your personal style and what you are trying to achieve with your collection.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a reputable art advisor, who can give you professional guidance and help you make informed decisions.
- How do I store and protect my art collection?
Proper storage and protection are essential for maintaining the value of your art collection over time. Make sure to store your art in a cool, dry place and protect it from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
Consider using archival-quality materials, such as acid-free boxes and UV-resistant glass, to ensure your collection stays in pristine condition.
You may also want to consider insuring your collection for added peace of mind.
- What are some of the current trends in the art world?
The art world is always evolving. Some of the current trends include a focus on interdisciplinary practices, a greater emphasis on digital art and a push towards more inclusive and diverse perspectives.
There’s also been a recent trend towards more experiential and immersive installations. Also, a growing interest in socially engaged and politically conscious artworks.
Keep an eye on exhibitions and events, and stay in touch with the latest news and developments in the art world to stay ahead of the curve.