7 Pro-Tips on How to Start Collecting Fine Art

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Building A Collection, Building Your Life

Being an art collector can seem like a daunting endeavor, but the good news is that it can be a “learn-by-doing” sort of thing.  It is both beneficial and rewarding  to begin your journey now.  You have to start somewhere, and these are seven tips for how.

Pro Tip #1

Ready or not, Start Now!


The single best momentum-builder for developing your strong portfolio is to START NOW!  Practice makes perfect and this is no exception, so ask lots of questions and fact-check along the way.   Start your adventure now, and as your intellect and emotional intelligence naturally develop, so too will your collector’s acumen.  Plus you will get super-satisfaction from seeing the evolution of your taste.

Pro Tip #3

Crawl, Walk, Run

A tendency is to overlook accessibly-priced works in favor of more expensive ones.  Price is not everything (see tip #2).  When you are ready to invest in a pricey work, do so with a mature understanding of your collection, the market, and how the new work fits into it.  Avoid paying top-dollar for those works which are being reproduced indefinitely: Always remember that “collectables” are those items which are limited in quantity.

Pro-Tip #2

It’s your collection – do what you want to do


Your collection should be a reflection of your physical and metaphysical self, and the arts is no place for conformity.  Hop on out of your box, and do not resist pieces that you find provocative.  Allow your subconscious to guide your eye, then step back and appreciate your inner perspective.  You will learn about yourself as you experience the growth of your art collection. (Artist David McKenzie is pictured above with one of his works)

Pro-Tip #4

Put some motion in your ocean

On the go?  Make time for an artsy adventure and stop by a local boutique or antique store.  Stroll through a market, or browse a nearby exhibit and buy a couple postcards from the gift shop.  You may find the perfect new-addition for your collection, meet a valued contact person, or be inspired by the local art style.  Buying art on-the-go broadens the geographical scope of your collection and also offers a pleasant backstory you will enjoy sharing for years to come (“I found this piece when I was visiting…”).

Pro-Tip #5:

ABP – Always Be Preserving

It is no secret that the condition of your artwork will play largely into the integrity of your collection (sun and water damage is seldom a value-enhancer for collectables).  So whenever possible, plan for the long-haul.  If you will be hanging a watercolor by the window, be sure it has UV protective glass on it.  If you are storing a poster, keep it off the ground to protect it from exposure to water or excess moisture.  When you are on the move, package and preserve your collectables.  Once you are settled, unpack and display them! If you would like to make an heirloom out of something, consider long-term preservation options; like a case for your autographed baseball, or a small shadowbox for your grandpa’s bible.

Pro Tip #6

Making Room is So Easy To Do

Building an art collection is a life-enriching adventure!  Making space is the least of your worries; in fact, it can be easy.  If you are not working with a whole lot of wall space, customize every inch (like above your doorframe, for example).  Not enough space for a large original? Save money and space with mini-prints and postcards (see tip #4!).  Bring your mini-print to life by adding a beautiful custom frame, and save money in the process.  Here’s how: Ask your custom framer for a suitably elegant moulding that is in-stock.  Add a super-thick white mat with a wide berth (also “in-stock”), and the postcard will pop off the wall!  Plus, by requesting all in-stock materials, the cost of your design drop.  That means more money left-over to frame your other postcards. 🙂   Repeat and see your well-designed space come to life with each new addition to the wall!

Pro Tip #7

DIVERSIFY! DIVERSIFY! DIVERSIFY!

Life imitates art, and diversity is key!  Define and expand your interests as a collector, by taking advantage of opportunities to look past your walls to explore other cool collectables.  Not only will they enhance the aesthetic, they will add character make your space that much more intimate and cozy.  We love incorporating quilts, custom furniture, and artifacts into our decor.

Collecting for Life, Collecting for Legacy

Are you creating a legacy through an art collection? We'd love to hear your tips and suggestions! Share your collector's story below.