Art Blog

Want to become an Art Collector?

9 Jan 2022

by Ric Abel & Cat Doyle

So you want to collect art? How do you get started?

Most people start out by buying a piece or two that they love.

You hang your new acquisitions in your home and they invoke feelings of pride and joy every time you look at them.

Over time you add to your collection, choosing works you love purely for your own personal enjoyment.

Or maybe you’ve just moved into a new place and you’re looking to add those finishing touches in a unique way. You might want to buy a quantity of artworks in one hit to create the impact you’re looking for, or commission a special piece for your new pad.

Regardless of why you’re buying, you need to think about the space where the artwork will hang.

  • There are many different styles of artwork - from contemporary abstract, to traditional nudes or portraiture; or you might want edgy work that creates an impact and says something about your personality.
  • Will the style of artwork and the colours within the painting work with your decor?
  • Do you need a larger "hero" piece to create impact in your room? Most people think that they can’t hang really big artwork unless they have a big home, but a large piece can be the knockout hero in a small room that makes the whole place pop!
  • Or are you creating a gallery wall with lots of smaller artworks hung together in the style of the old French salons?

Nature Morte au Buste IV Nature Morte au Buste IV, Ric Abel 2022 (Image courtesy of the artist)

Are you buying for financial investment?

All art has the potential to increase in value over time. You only have to look at auction prices for some of the great artists through history like Van Gogh, Pollock, or Rothko to realise that art can command megabucks.

Art collectors can choose spend thousands or even millions on expensive pieces by already well known artists, confidant that these pieces would very likely go up in value over time.

But there are other options.

You can choose to buy works from emerging and mid-career artists which are not already artificially inflated in price and have the potential to increase in value over time (sometimes more than works by established artists).

Or you may even decide to commission a piece from a favourite artist.

Sometimes people start out by buying a piece or two that they love just for personal enjoyment, but then decide to get more savvy about their collecting and look at ways to make their collection increase in value over time.

If this is you, invest some time in learning about art and individual artists (look at emerging artists and mid-career artists, as well as established artists who already have a name for themselves). That way you can start to get a feel for which artists and artworks are likely to increase in value over time, and build your collection as a sound financial investment as well as for personal enjoyment.

Buy pieces you love

Whatever your reasons for collecting and however you go about it, buying art that you love will always be a good investment. 

This artwork will become a part of your life and will be around for many years to come, enriching your home and your life. There’s no reason to live with a piece that you hate, or feel so-so about, even if it ends up being worth a lot of money in the future.

Making a decision

Never be afraid to ask questions about a purchase you are considering.

Provenance (the history of the work), its creation story, and information about the artist, are all aspects of the piece that are very important to its value and your enjoyment of the work.

An experienced professional can guide you in the right direction in terms of how many pieces to purchase, what style of work to include, where to install artwork, and many other crucial decisions.

Want to know more? Arrange an appointment with Ric at Spud Lane Studios on 0450 959 355 or email hello@spudlane.com.au.