How To: Start an Art Collection

How To: Start an Art Collection

Sarah Coffey
Aug 20, 2008

A friend asked us a good question the other day: "How do I start buying art?"

Although there aren't any hard and fast rules for building an art collection, we do have some tips for first-time art buyers...

Image: Mike Frazer artwork at The Beholder

Rule #1: Buy what you love. It may take a little while, but you'll know what you love when you see it, and it's fun to look.

Rule #2: Have confidence. Although art shows and galleries can seem intimidating, many artists and gallery owners are happy to talk with browsers about the artwork on display.

Rule #3: Surf the web. With the growth of web-based galleries, sites like The Beholder, Tiny Showcase and Etsy offer affordable artworks online. You can also search the AT sites for artwork recommendations.

Rule #4: Set a budget. No matter how much (or how little) you spend, you can find artwork in your budget. Handmade prints and posters are an inexpensive alternative to original paintings. Chicago print shops we like include The Bird Machine, Spike Press, and The Post Family.

Rule #5: Display it. For ideas on how to hang art, check out Domino's photo gallery.

Any other tips on collecting for first-time art buyers?

(Re-Edited from 2007-8-9 - CB)

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