Jul 27, 2023

So, you’ve decided that you want to start an art collection. Congratulations! Collecting artwork can be a truly rewarding and fulfilling experience. However, it’s important to approach art collecting with a strong foundation of knowledge and understanding.

It can be overwhelming to navigate the complex and fascinating art world, but with the right guidance, you can build a collection that is both meaningful and enjoyable. As featured in our new ArtCollect online course, we'll share some tips and insights to help you get started on your art collecting journey.


Step 1: Define Your Style and Personal Motivation for Collecting

Buying art is a great way to add some personal style to your living space! Before you start buying art, it's important to take a moment to ask yourself some questions to understand your personal style and motivation for collecting art. Are you drawn to figurative or abstract works? Do you prefer paintings or sculptures? What is the message or emotion you want to convey through your collection? Answering these questions will help you build an art collection that is uniquely yours, and that truly reflects your personal style. Take the time to think about what you want to collect and why, and then start exploring the wonderful world of art collecting!

Step 2: Identify the Types of Art to Collect

If you're looking to start an art collection or build upon an existing one, it's crucial to identify the different types of art you can collect. There are two primary categories of artists you can consider including emerging and blue-chip artists. Emerging artists are those who are just starting their careers and may not have a big reputation yet and offer a sense of excitement and potential growth. Blue-chip artists, on the other hand, are established names in the art world whose works are highly sought after. It's important to consider both types of artists when building your collection, as they each offer unique benefits.

Step 3: Look, Look and Look Some More

One of the best ways to determine your style and preferences when starting an art collection is to look at a lot of art. Whether you prefer old masters' paintings, contemporary pieces, or something in between, the more art you see, the better your chances of finding what you like. Visiting museums, galleries and art fairs is a fantastic way to see a wide range of art works from different genres and artists. Make sure to take notes on what you like and what you don't, so you can start to formulate a style profile that will guide your future art purchases.

Museums offer a great starting point for budding art collectors. Not only do they offer a diversity of exhibits, but they often have tour guides and educational materials available to help you understand the works. Visiting galleries, on the other hand, is a great way to see what's happening in the contemporary art scene. This is where you can glimpse the newest, most relevant creative talent. Finally, art fairs provide an excellent opportunity to see a wide range of work styles, genres, and mediums all in one place. Fairs often present works from artists from around the world, providing an exciting, international flavor.

Step 4: Know Where to Find Art

Now you’ve explored enough art and are interested in buying art for your collection. There are many places to find art, including galleries, art fairs, auctions, and artist studios. Each art buying avenue has its own unique benefits, allowing you to appreciate the diverse range of art styles and techniques available. Galleries are a great starting point, where you can find established and emerging artists represented. Not only can you find a mix of art forms, but you can also immerse yourself in a community of like-minded art enthusiasts. Many galleries now offer online access, making it more accessible and convenient for art lovers to browse and purchase art from anywhere in the world. Connect with our ArtCollect expert Caren Petersen to find out how to best work with a gallerist.

Another excellent option for buying art is by attending art fairs like ones offered by Redwood Art Group. During these events, thousands of artworks are displayed in diverse mediums, presenting an incredible opportunity to gain exposure to new artists and artworks. Art fairs are a fun, dynamic way to explore a massive array of art styles—you can view different pieces, chat with artists, and obtain valuable insights into the art industry. Art auctions like Bonhams and online platforms like artnet are also great channels, as they provide the chance to acquire unique and rare pieces at lower prices. Moreover, visiting an artist's studio enables you to connect with an artist on a more personal level while witnessing the progression of their creative process. This experience allows art collectors to develop deeper insights into an artist's work and gain more profound appreciation for their art. Whatever your preference, exploring multiple channels for finding art is crucial to discovering new artists and unique art pieces.

Step 5: Set the Direction of Your Collection

Once you have a sense of your personal style and preferences, it's important to set the direction of your collection. You may want to focus on works from a particular historical genre or a specific subject of personal importance. Alternatively, you may want to focus on the aesthetic value of the works, such as building an all-blue collection. Whatever your direction, make sure it aligns with your personal motivation for collecting. If you’re struggling to determine what your direction is, consider seeking advice from experienced collectors, curators, and art advisors. They can offer valuable insight into the art world and help navigate you through the process of building a collection.

Step 6: Buy the Best of What You Love

As an art collector, it can be easy to get caught up in the idea of buying works solely for investment purposes. However, it's important to remember that the true value of art lies in its ability to evoke emotion and convey meaning. Ultimately, the most important rule of starting an art collection is to buy what you love.

This means looking for works that speak to you on a personal level, rather than just trying to invest in works that may increase in value over time. Contemporary art has outperformed the S&P 500 since 2000, but not all art is created equal. It's important to do your research and buy the best works within your budget. By developing a keen eye and a discerning taste, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions when acquiring works for your collection.


Starting an art collection can be a rewarding and exciting journey, but it can also be intimidating. Whether you are looking to add to your existing art collection or just starting out as a collector, the prospect of navigating the art world can be intimidating. That's where ArtCollect comes in. Our ultimate online course is specifically designed to help art collectors like you build a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, ensuring you smoothly navigate the complex world of art collecting. With the guidance of our team of experienced experts from all areas of the art world, you'll develop the knowledge required to build an art collection that is both meaningful and enjoyable. By the end of the ArtCollect course, you'll be a confident and informed art collector with a collection to be proud of. Enroll Now!