Knowing how to begin the journey of collecting art can seem quite unnerving and overwhelming. It can often feel like the art world is reserved for those with millions to spend on artworks by the major names in the business. But don’t be daunted, everyone can enjoy buying and owning art in an affordable way, you just need to know how to approach the process. Below, we guide you through this journey by outlining a few things to consider before your first investment.
Buy what you love
The most important piece of advice when purchasing artwork for your home is to buy what you love. Art is very personal and it should reflect your personality and your interests. Trust your gut when making the purchase. It is not a one-night stand, it is a lifetime relationship, so you need to ensure you will continue to be happy with your artwork each and every day.
Do your homework
Acquiring art is something that you should not rush. Do your research before making the purchase. Find local galleries and artists and follow them on Instagram and Pinterest. Also, do the leg work - visit as many galleries as you can to get a sense of what is out there, and what you like well before you open your wallet. In Canberra, there are a number of different options, from the Old Bus Depot markets, to the National Gallery of Australia, to the smaller contemporary art galleries. Sign up to the local gallery newsletters to be informed of upcoming exhibitions. Do your initial research via the internet. Art Finder is a great place to research art style and artists. It functions like an online gallery - artists list their works for sale and the website gets a commission. The beauty of Art Finder is that it has a fantastic blog that gives hints for getting started, discusses trends in the art world and introduces new artists. But make sure you see the artwork in the flesh prior to committing your funds.
Mix up art from different styles to different sizes
When it comes to art, you don’t need to factor in matching your cushions or window treatments. Look at different styles that speak to you, regardless of your home décor. Consider various art mediums like sculpture, photography, print media, paintings and illustrations. Also consider scale - large oversized artworks can work perfectly in smaller spaces. You might also choose to combine various sizes and styles of art on a gallery wall in your home.
Art can be affordable
There are so many options available if you don’t have a lot of cash to spend. Well-known artists can often produce limited edition prints that are done in small batches and are reasonably priced. Also keep your eye on up and coming artists and graduates. Visit the local university art shows. Each year, the University of Canberra have a graduate exhibition. There is also the ANU School of Art Gallery which showcases the work of students all year round.
Frame & hang it right
When framing artwork, remember you don’t want to take away from the art itself. Often, simple framing works best. If it doesn’t work where you first envisioned it, move it around the home until you find the place that works best. Smaller artworks work well near light switches or above small pieces of furniture.
Buying art is something that shouldn’t be rushed. Enjoy the journey and build up your collection over a life time. As mentioned above, the most important part of buying art is choosing something that resonates with you. You have to love a piece and if you happen to love one that makes no sense as an investment, buy it anyway. You’re looking to create a home that sparks joy and reflects your taste.