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How to start collecting art

They all say that the world of collecting art is a daunting one - but it doesn’t have to be. The best part about it is that it’s fun and can open up a whole new world of exploration for you, and an exciting lifetime journey where the wonderment never has to end.

To fill a house with blank walls is like a canvas in itself, to paint a symphony of colour on your walls, where the artist’s story is woven with your own. As your collection begins to grow and more and more art surrounds that very first collected piece, you’ll have formed a beautiful cacophony of colour and evocation.

But where does one begin?

Start by choosing what you love

Did you know that a really evocative piece of work that you really connect with releases the same dopamine as being in love? Art has that incredible power to bring out emotions within us that we may not have expected at all.

Faux pas no worries! You can’t go wrong if it’s something you love and can be proud of. There’s nothing like an authentic collection that carries your passion, enthusiasm and connection with it.

Start by immersing yourself in art of all kinds and places, and take notice of your responses. Even if a work shocks you initially, sit in the moment and connect with why - what is it about the particular piece that sparks a particular reaction within you?

While there are a lot of expert opinions out there that are definitely valid, there are moments where you need to decide what you like because you like it, not necessarily what is determined by others.

Get art savvy

Learn about it! Seek out knowledge from gallerists and curators, and hunt around at local art galleries and art fairs (The Rockhampton Art Gallery is an amazing place for this!!). Hire some books out from the local library or jump online to find articles on art history or contemporary art collections.

Be ruthless in the pursuit of what you love. Research is a big part of it especially when you learn about new or emerging artists. It’s good to take a look into an artist’s body of work and their selling history. Buying trends are important to note so that you can be well-informed when it comes to purchasing.

Head along to auctions and observe until you’re comfortable with the way it works and in what you’re doing. There are even online auctions that can be a good way to test the bidding waters.

Talk to the artists at shows, discover what mediums they use and why. Also make sure to educate yourself on where the best places are in your house to hang different works, as weather and lighting can effect the integrity of the work. Learn also about storage for those times when perhaps you’re moving house or you want to switch out some frames to create new moods in a room.

Start small and buy what you can afford

Old money who? Unless you’re made of millions, nobody’s out here buying Picasso’s straight off the bat. Be your own kind of new money.

Whatever you do though, make sure you buy originals; or failing that, look for limited edition prints that are signed. This adds value and credibility to your collection, adding weight to your art of collecting.

The beautiful part about it too is embracing art from different worlds and backgrounds - buying from a new artist could contribute to that next big art movement in years to come.

Attend off-season auctions when the market is a little quieter for that unsuspecting piece that’s just quietly waiting for you, and when you can - save up for that big special buy you’ve had your eye on.

Consider longevity

Those eclectic, bold, quirky pieces are great to have in your collection, but make sure you also balance it out with some timeless, classic pieces. As much as you buy with your heart, buy with your head as well.

Create a meaningful grouping of work that is authentic to you and isn’t just about being on trend or ahead of the curve - because after all it’s your collection.

Like Vogue says “It’s not like buying a pair of shoes that will one day wear out, art is something that you have to be willing to hang on your wall and look at for a lifetime”.

So what are you waiting for? The world is your canvas, start collecting. Talk to Gala Gallery on how to go about getting your collection started. As a premier commercial gallery, you can arm yourself with knowledge straight away from your own local expert resource.


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