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The art market can seem daunting, with reserved entry for those with millions to spend. But the truth is that everyone can enjoy buying and owning art in an affordable way. Whether you are looking to acquire art for decorative purposes, as an investment or for the love and passion for art, building a strong collection requires time and knowledge. And there is a difference between buying art and collecting art. Buying is more of a random activity, whereas collecting art is more purposeful and is a long term commitment. In this article, we explore some tips to starting and building an art collection. What is important is to have an open mind and a sense of curiosity.

Why collect Art?

There are numerous reasons to start an art collection. Some may start as a form of investment, others to collect a piece of history or as a way to support art. Collecting art is a very subjective experience, but it is also a great way to showcase your personality.

How to get started...

Set a budget - Before you start looking for work to collect, it is important to establish a budget. This will allow you to decide what is available for you. It is advisable to start small and increase the budget as you grow, in your understanding of art, confidence and your collection! A good rule to follow is quality over quantity, since your budget is due to change in the future.

Define your intentions - What is your intention to have an art collection? As mentioned before, defining your motivation for buying art will impact the kind of art your end up collecting. A good, sensible approach is to buy what you love. Remember, you will need to live with the art you purchase, therefore it is important to invest in something which will inspire you, every day. Just because you stick to a budget, it doesn't mean settling for something you don't like. It is important to remember not to devalue art, just because a piece of art is priced below your perceived figure. If you like it, please buy it, the more expensive necessarily doesn't mean it is better work.

Do a background check - Once you have the budget and the goals sorted, it is time to do some research to find out the different types of art, mediums, styles and artists who are out there. The more you see art, the more you will begin to understand the variations in techniques, the mediums and the styles used by different artists. It is a learning process and one which you can truly enjoy once you train yourself to identify the different styles and types.

Where can you start looking for Art?

Art Fairs and Galleries

There are many places to discover art. A more traditional method is attending fairs, exhibitions and galleries. These are great places to find artists and build a collection. It is necessary to ask questions, read biography pages etc. It is also best to speak with like-minded collectors at these events.

Online Galleries

Another way to find artwork to add to the collection is to browse art through reputable online platforms. Most sites have art categorized by medium, style and orientation which is very useful for those wanting to narrow a search. Reputable art galleries have the option of comparing artists and prices, which makes buying art very efficient.

What should you purchase?

If you still need guidance on what you need to collect, the points below will help you make an informed decision.

Photographs - Paintings are unique and can be expensive, photographs on the other hand, are more common and are more affordable. If there is a specific artist that you like, but whose works are too expensive, consider the limited editions as they are likely to have a lower price tag but still valuable if they are signed by the artist.

Paintings - If you are keen on purchasing paintings, there are some ways you can get your hands on some beautiful pieces for a reasonable price. Invest in smaller pieces to start with, this will help you purchase exquisite art. Also, if you are willing to support emerging, lesser known artists, you can add some amazing original paintings to your collection. You will also be giving the new artists, a much needed boost to continue their work.

We hope these tips have and will help you to start your own collection. What is important to remember is that Art is ever changing and for the collector, there will always be room to add one more piece to your collection. It is a beautiful journey which should be enjoyed every step of the way?

Manesha Peiris( 2021)