How to start collecting contemporary art

How to start collecting contemporary art

A new collectors guide to buying art in 2021 by Artist Jacqueline Jax.

Becoming a collector of Contemporary Art is both inspiring and challenging. When you start, it isn’t easy to know where to start, but a shift in how Artists and Galleries are offering Art makes Art much more accessible. 

Working with a Gallery can help you become more educated on your choices and help ensure your purchasing quality. Still, there are so many more things to think about when you are looking to establish your collection. 

I’ve created a guide you might like to familiarise yourself with before you start buying Art. 

  1. Browse a lot of Art:
    You’ve got to know what appeals to you. Instagram is a fun place to browse Art, but ideally, you want to look at the different categories within the Online viewing Galleries offered by professional curators of Art like The Guillaume Canadian Gallery by Gallea. (Other sites include: Artsy, Saatchiart
  2. Buying Prints vs Originals:
    If your budget is small and you don’t know what you like yet, but you want to start supporting new talent, think about purchasing prints. Most artists offer prints of their work to budget-conscious buyers to support their favorite artists. There are reproduced prints, and Art Prints signed and numbered. Some artists even offer embellished prints where they have some hand-painted original effects added to the print. Saatchiart offers a print option for most artists. Some sites specialize in new art prints on demand like: society6.com , and if you connect with an artist on Instagram, you can inquire about prints. 
  3. Look at New Arrivals:
    Artists who have just graduated or are just getting started typically offer their Art at lower prices as they are just getting started. By building relationships with artists, you become their client and hear about new works first at the best prices. You never know when a Gallery will curate their Art and skyrocket the value. 

Things to consider before you purchase art

  1. As an Art buyer, it’s important to educate yourself on the history of the artist, how they create and why they make art.
  2. The work has to be visually compelling to you. Every piece of art that you purchase should be something that you enjoy.
  3. The work needs to be relevant to your beliefs. To enjoy art, you need to understand the subject and see something in that painting that speaks to you on your level of understanding.
  4. Align the art with your needs so you can display it. A great reason to purchase art is to display it in your own home or workplace. You certainly want to show off your collection and enjoy it every day, considering your space and how the artwork will fit into your space. Many times I’ve loved a painting so much that I design a space for it.
  5. Don’t buy art to resell it. Art matures over time, so the resell market isn’t always best in the same year the art is purchased. Focus on buying art that you love and from artists, you want to support.
  6. Buy to support the artist. When you get to know a particular artist you want to support, become a Patreon by purchasing their work. The Art ecosystem is filled with supportive patrons who buy from new artists to encourage them. This is an essential part of the Art world because these buyers help to grow and nurture new talent. Typically artists have art at many different price ranges so be sure to invest in your budget and find something you love in a price range you can afford.

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Art by Jacquelinejax.com

More art articles:

How art has changed in 2021:

https://jacquelinejax.medium.com/how-art-has-changed-in-2021-b52a021b5ad1