Consider this scenario: You’ve meticulously decorated your home and picked out the perfect rug to match your pillows. But you see blank walls staring back at you.
Maybe you love to wander through museums while traveling, but think that buying a work of art would break your budget. After all, didn’t someone just spend $450 million on a painting?
Having an art collection is sometimes seen as scary, but it doesn’t need to be! We’re here to take away some of that fear and reassure you that if you follow these steps, you’ll find a work of art you’ll love for a lifetime.
Step One: Learn what you love
The first step you should take (before even considering opening your wallet) is deciding what sort of art speaks to you. Visit your local museum, wander through the galleries, and just observe. Which paintings jump out at you? Are they wintry landscapes, historical scenes, or even dog portraits?
Artists over the centuries have constantly reevaluated style and technique—find the one that speaks to you. Take photos on your phone, and make note of any artists you particularly like.
Don’t have time to visit a museum or gallery? Living in the digital age means you only have to open Instagram to see art online. Don’t be afraid to go down the rabbit hole a little bit, and save any works that speak to you.
Ask yourself: Is a pattern emerging? Do you like the bright colors of Matisse and the etherealism of Chagall? Then Fauvist works might be up your alley. Or, maybe you prefer Homer’s painting of his mother and Wyeth’s wintry fields. Realism might be more your taste.
Understanding your style preferences also means you’re not just randomly buying works of art to decorate your home—instead, you’re building a cohesive collection of works that tell a story stylistically. And, please, find what you love, not what everyone else loves. True collectors follow their own voice to create a unique collection of artworks.
Step Two: Set a budget
Despite what you’ve heard, original art doesn’t have to be expensive. There are lots of amazing artists just waiting to be discovered. So set a budget for yourself and stick to it.
Remember: A lower price point doesn’t mean the work is less interesting than more expensive pieces. Most likely it means that the work is by an emerging artist who has yet to make a name for themselves. Buying art helps boost the status of that artist.
Step Three: Buy what you love—finding your first piece
So, you’ve found your style and set a budget for yourself. Great! Now find an artwork or artist who suits your unique taste.
While the choices out there may seem endless, you’ve already done a great deal to narrow the field. Now you just have to do some savvy searching.
Take a tool like PatronArt’s browse art search function—you can limit your search by style and budget. (Prices range from under $250 to over $5,000). Et voila! The nearly endless options are now narrowed down to a few pages that are tailored to exactly what you love.
Another key to buying art is communicating with artists. No matter your budget, buying a work of art is a commitment and if talking with an artist makes you feel comfortable, by all means, do it! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Artists are more accessible than you might think, and many love talking about their work. On PatronArt you can communicate with artists via a live chat and negotiations page.
Step Four: Don't see what you like? Commission it!
Did you find an artist with great style but didn’t see quite the right piece for you? The beauty of commissioning art is that you can work with an artist to create something close to your heart.
PatronArt is all about working with artists to create art that’s important to you. Want a drawing of your granddaughter? Your childhood home? Beloved border collie? Artists are waiting to work with you. After all, what is an art collection if not a visual accumulation of scenes that are meaningful to you?
See? Not so scary after all.