Setting a budget
Starting to purchase artwork and paying thousands for the first piece is just crazy, unless you are a millionaire (even then it isn’t very wise). You may love it, but until you’ve learned how to purchase great art, it’s a good idea to start out with a budget. Purchasing a piece under $500 is a good place to start as you don’t want to risk too much before you really know what you are doing.
First where do you begin to shop for art and where do you get the knowledge to know whether you are making a good purchase? In this day and age of technology, online is a great place to start. You can research artists to see how professional they are, how active they are in their career and where they show their work, if you desire to see it in person. You can research styles of art to see what style you are most interested in. Impressionists, abstract, watercolors, oils, acrylics, texture, symbolism, etc. are all great subjects you can google to see what strikes your fancy the most. Also, art galleries, art museums, art festivals, shows, art centers are all great places to see art. Artists that you see at shows are usually happy to discuss their knowledge about the style of work that they portray.
Art galleries usually represent established artists which charge higher prices for their work. Also galleries take a large commission for representing an artist’s work, and this is reflected in the price. Lots of wonderful artists participate in sidewalk sales, studio tours – where the public are allowed to visit a series of artists’ workspaces and purchase the work on display, regional shows, art center shows, and online. Artwork purchased directly from the artist can be more affordable and frequently you can purchase online without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home.
Once you find the artwork that you like, how do you know if it will be a good investment? One way is to do some research on the artist. Doing a little research on their career is a good indicator. Google the artist’s name and see how active they have been? Are there press releases about them? Have they participated in a number of shows? Do they have a website and/or blog? Are they a member of any organizations? If they aren’t active online that doesn’t mean they aren’t active or collectible, it just mean that they aren’t online. Check with the artist to see if they are a member of any art organizations, are they represented by an art gallery? Do they participate in regional shows or public events? Have they won in awards? The more active an artist is the more solid their career is and the more sure you can be about the art becoming collectible.