From choosing the right artwork to framing it and hanging it on your wall, this article gives you the keys to a successful art collector experience. Enjoy!
Find the art you like
Original art doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you don’t have to be an expert to find it. Whether is true that nowadays browsing galleries, artists and artwork online can be overwhelming, there are ways for you to narrow your search and to get information that directly relates to your interests and requirements.
Social media is a great way to find art and artists that connect with you and what you’re looking for, as well as to find trustworthy galleries to buy artwork from. Instagram is a great platform for this. Its algorithm acts as a curator using the information of the accounts you follow to suggest related ones, thus offering you an easy and effective way to come upon artists, artwork, art galleries and more that fit your taste.
Once you find artists and art-related sites that interest you, we encourage you to explore their sites and sign up for their newsletters in order to be updated with their latest additions, news, events, promotions, etc.
Do your research
In addition to social media platforms it is important that you also research and browse different artists and galleries in order to refine what you like and don’t like.
In the beginning, and unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, it is challenging to know what you truly want. Your ideas and thoughts about the kind of artwork you’re seeking to buy are probably going to change a few times before making a solid decision, therefore spending time exploring artists and art galleries will help you define the kind of art you feel more drawn towards.
Stick to your budget
This is a very important step to keep in mind at all times: set a budget and stick to it. Consider how much you are able or willing to pay for an artwork and don’t forget about framing, if applicable.
Not all artworks need to be framed, but if they are, they must be taken as the key element they are in the artwork display and in the way they are experienced by viewers. They are as important as the art itself.
Follow your instincts and personal taste
Nowadays it’s very easy to get distracted by names and trends within the art scene. The solution to this is to just buy the art that you love, as simple as that. It doesn’t have to be expensive or trendy, it has to connect with you and what you want.
Always buy original artworks from reliable sources and don’t get misguided by trends. Buy art that you love and has meaning for you.
Be discerning and brave! Always choose original art and explore emerging artists from your area or country, or from places that mean something to you —there is great satisfaction in supporting the next generation of artists.
When you find an artist that you like, take an interest in knowing who they are, their story and what moves them to create. Contact the artist directly or the gallery where you found their work.
Each artwork tells a story about the artist who created it and the creative force that drove them to do so. But not only do artworks tell their own story; they’ll also speak about yours. Think about your art collection as a gra phic biography. Each of your artworks is the reflection of a moment in time, and they will forever remind you of the circumstances surrounding that moment in your life when you decided to buy it.
Consider the space
Thinking in advance about where you’ll place your artwork is key, however, the main priority remains to always buy what you love regardless of the space.
Claudia Kennaugh, founder of Art & People —a Bristol based art advisory business that supports both collectors and artists—, encourages clients to buy for themselves and not just for their space. It’s ok if an artwork isn’t an exact fit for your home’s colour scheme or if it doesn’t perfectly match your décor; the most important thing is that you love it. In fact, many would argue that the most sophisticated houses mix modern and classic whenever possible.
Enquire about the art you like
Being informed about your purchase is paramount —the more you know about the artwork you like and its creator, the better you will understand it. Make sure to always contact the artist or the gallery to enquire about that special piece you like and if there is a possibility to meet with the artist in person, we definitely advise you to arrange a time and go for it. Getting to know the creator of the art you want to buy takes the collector experience to the next level.
If, otherwise, the option of meeting the artist isn’t available, you can still try to reach them via email or communicate with the art gallery they work with, which will also allow you to get a feeling for the professionalism and veracity of the service they provide.
Frame your artwork
There are no particular rules about what frame to choose for your art. Do your research, think about the style you like, if you’ll need a mount —in which case you’ll need a bigger frame—, the space that will surround the artwork and the effect you want to achieve: do you want it to blend with the other art pieces in the room or you want it to stand out and make a statement?
It can be tempting to play it safe, however, Claudia Kennaugh at Art & People encourages clients to be bold and always make sure that the frame they choose doesn’t take away or compete too much with the art itself. When done right, a frame becomes the perfect complement to an artwork, giving it character and enhancing the piece itself.
Considering a mix of antique and ornate styles can work well in contemporary homes to achieve an eclectic feel. For minimal interiors, people usually choose frames with a similar look to keep a more balanced feeling.
The most widely chosen frames are wood frames of varying shades which are versatile and durable with lots of finishes and mount options to choose from, aluminium frames that are lightweight and come in a varied assortment of finishes, and decorative frames which provide a more playful display.
When it comes to mounting artwork, the colours, materials and techniques used are of utmost importance. The type of mount will depend on the piece you’re framing, but always make sure it complements and enhances the artwork and the tones within the image.
Hang your artwork
Hanging pictures is an art form in itself, a balancing act of spacing, colour and proportion. As any gallerist, curator or interior designer knows, the way art is displayed is crucial and transformative, not only to the space but to the feeling given off in the pictures themselves.
Think about the space distribution and its features. For example, a small artwork can be lost on a large wall, while a more substantial one could dominate a room. Considering lighting is also crucial. First and foremost, make sure you place the art on a wall that’s not getting direct natural light —indirect light is okay, but avoid direct light since it can damage the artwork.
Don’t be afraid to hang a picture somewhere surprising. Hanging pictures at eye level is a safe option and if you’re hanging several works or creating a gallery wall, lay them out on the floor first to see how they work together and to get an idea of the spacing you want, then start with the largest and work around it.