Thinking About Collecting? Here’s 5 Easy Ways To Start
For a lot of us, starting a collection of actual (beyond those dorm room movie posters you picked up for college) art can seem like a pipedream. But it really doesn’t have to be.
The truth is, art is getting more affordable than ever, with an influx of art fairs and E-fairs encouraging more and more artists to bring their art to market. Sure, you might not snag a priceless Picasso… but there’s no reason that what you do pick up won’t someday become priceless itself. Here’s how to start.
"Aquarius" by Deming King Harriman
Find What You Love
Whether you’re dropping ten dollars or ten million on a work of art, one thing’s for sure; you should make sure you LOVE it. While many, rightfully so, see collecting as an investment, rule #1 is to collect what you like. If there’s no intrinsic value in owning a piece, what’s the point?
Unsurprisingly, a lot of smaller works also come with smaller price tags. If there’s a particular artist you love but you can’t afford their best work, show up to a fair or their gallery and just ask if they have anything else stashed away that’s within your budget. Remember, for every great work there could have been multiple studies that aren’t even up for sale (until you ask). And who knows, maybe your petite painting could end up being worth $69 million one day.
Above: "Koch and a Smile" by Christopher Olson; below: "3Deer Mentional" by Aliguori
There’s no doubt: the best way to shop for art is at a fair, where you’ll be exposed to tons of artists outside your normal scope and can see everything up close and in person. But, if you’re living outside of DC, NYC, LA and Miami… that might not always be an option. Thankfully, more and more fairs are bringing their art online. Superfines!’s E-fair, for instance, lists everything that’s up for grabs IRL. Online auctions on Ebay and virtual estate sales run by sites like EBTH can also be a goldmine for great art at a surprisingly affordable price.
Most of us are first introduced to art in an environment of stoic museums or sterile galleries, giving the impression that actually owning a piece of art is something inaccessible, left for institutions or the 1%. Totally not the case. While art can be expensive, all artists had to start somewhere. After connecting in-person at a fair or online via social media, you might be surprised to find that even the most successful artists will take the time to connect and warmly welcome your thoughts about their work.
Get A Loan
Believe it or not, you can bring that piece of art you love from the fair home today without dropping major coin. Loan companies like Art Money are helping burgeoning collectors pay for their art purchases in installments, making art far more accessible for everyone. After an initial 10% deposit, payments are made with nine monthly payments, interest-free. Not a bad deal for artists and collectors alike.
L: "Welcome to No Bad Days", R: "Red Lips and Palm Trees"; by Fei Alexeli