How To Start An Art Collection (Tips from... well, an artist)

I've heard quite a few people say "I'd like to buy art if I were super rich, but I don't even know where I'd start."

Fear not, dear buds! One does not need to be overly wealthy or even overly clever to be an art collector! Here are some tips that I think will make it easier for even the most novice-est of novices to slay the art of the art treasure hunt. Say bye-bye to boring old stock art from the clearance rack at Target!

Superstar Secret: Another great resource on this topic: Invaluable's How to Start a Fine Art Collection.



First, calm down. Don't feel pressured to dive into a purchase immediately. Take some time to just casually browse art. You can look online, in magazines, in other peoples' houses... what speaks to you? If everything is kind of meh, keep looking. Did you know that when a person sees an artwork they love, it activates the same part of the brain that controls physical attraction to other humans? So basically... You'll know when you find "the one"! Also, don't feel like you have to like a particular genre (i.e. a black and white landscape for the living room, a painting of fruit for the kitchen...) No matter what you're attracted to... even if it's a painting of a cheese-it on a paper towel dispenser... if it pulls your heart-strings, it's for you!

Superstar secret: Grouping things into themes are a fun way to collect. Maybe a color scheme. Maybe a medium. Maybe a subject matter. Your home can be a collection of several different themes of art.



These days, there are endless ways to find your perfect piece. Try browsing Etsy, Saatchi Art, or even Google Images. Or, find out if your city has a 1st or 2nd Friday Artwalk night... not only are they a great way to find out about local talent, they are very fun (and delicious... hi mega egg roll food trucks.) Most states also have some type of statewide art organization (in Oklahoma, we have OVAC) that can provide you a list of working artists. Nothing is nicer than supporting local talent while adding to your collection!

Superstar secret: Develop relationships with your favorite artists. This will allow you to know about any special deals, studio sales, or available commission slots. Plus, it's just nice to support a person instead of a webpage. Good things for everyone!


OK, I assume that you'd followed my above tips and now have a few pieces you're just dying to put on display for all to see. Here are my fave ways to showcase art. I use all these methods in combination in my own home!

- Gallery (saloon) style. There are endless templates online to help you navigate this look. This is a great way to showcase a large collection of very differently-sized pieces. Examples:

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- Picture ledge. IKEA has my favorite ones. You simply lean your fave works up and then change them out when you're tired of the arrangement. Perfect for people (like me) who hate permanence! Examples:

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- Alternative hipster ways to hang art. Behold heart-rending chicness.

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Photo via Urban Outfitters

Superstar secret: Here's my best tip for having artwork framed at Hobby Lobby. Pick your frame on 50% off week. If you need a custom mat cut, use your 40% off coupon on it. Boom. You saved several hundred dollars just then. You're welcome.


How To Start An Art Collection (Tips from... well, an artist) How To Start An Art Collection (Tips from... well, an artist) Reviewed by Julie R on 12:44 AM Rating: 5


  1. Hey, those examples on how to hang your art are helpful! I like the picture ledge, too, and the simple landscape hung by a string from a nail!

    1. Oh yay! Thanks for reaking Ehuikah! Yes the simple methods are very chic too. I like the clipboard for prints.


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