If you think collecting art is a pastime limited only to the super-rich, think again. You might not be able to pick up the latest by Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin or other top contemporary artists, but you can certainly build a collection you love and that may increase in value over the years. These tips can help you build an art collection even if you don’t have much to spend.
Get Your Finances in Order
Don’t use your credit card to purchase art unless you have some sort of strategy in place, such as charging things on it to get miles or points and then paying it off monthly. In fact, if you have credit card debt, you should get it under control before buying big-ticket items. Credit card interest rates can make you feel like your balance isn’t getting any lower as you pay the monthly minimum. A better solution might be to look into your options for a personal loan. They typically have lower interest rates, and you can use the proceeds to pay off your credit cards. You should also have a few months of emergency savings in place before you start making big purchases.
Know What You Like
Worry less about what everyone says is the next big thing and focus on what you love. The value of even established art can be fiendishly difficult to appraise. Large discrepancies in art collection appraisals have brought many high-asset divorce negotiations to a screeching halt, so you might as well buy what you want hanging on your walls. Don’t be intimidated if you feel you lack a sufficient art appreciation background. If everyone you know is into abstract art but you prefer the work of your favorite comic book artist, that is what you should collect. Art is for everyone, and how you feel about the work you purchase is the most important part.
Back to School
If there is a university near you, check out their student shows. Some of the art may not look professional by any means, but some may be very good indeed, and all of it will be inexpensive. Having the opportunity to chat to artists about their work and the ideas behind it might help you select items that may grow in value over the years.
You can visit less-established galleries and purchase the work of up-and-coming artists. Another option is buying a small work by a more established artist, which you may be able to pick up for just a few hundred dollars in some cases. Even prints of an artist’s work can be a good investment if they are limited in number. If you’re feeling brave, you may find some bargains at an art auction, but do your research and set a firm spending limit for yourself beforehand.
If there are no universities or galleries anywhere near you, don’t despair. Many younger artists post their work for sale on social media, and you can find some terrific work at excellent prices this way. You may also have the opportunity to interact with the artist, following their account and their progress.