Buying art is a tricky business. It requires striking a delicate balance between your passion for collecting artworks, the practical limitations of your budget, and the available space to showcase the pieces. When you reach a point in life where you’re prepared to curate your personal art collection, there are several crucial factors to contemplate. As a contemporary artist and an art collector myself, I am more than familiar the mental gymnastics one makes in order to justify an art purchase.
For this week’s blog, I am reaching out to all the potential first-time art buyers and relatively experienced art collectors to help them avoid making an emotional purchase the next time they are at an art fair or a gallery.
So, here are the three main questions that you need to ask yourself before you put down the money for that particular artwork that you’ve just spend five minutes admiring:
Question 1: Why do I like this artwork?
If you’re already browsing through my website and reading this blog, chances are you have a sense of the art that resonates with you. Why not dive deeper and explore what else ignites your artistic taste buds? Remember, buying art solely for the sake of it is like purchasing an expensive canvas with random paint splatters. True art emerges when it evokes an emotional or mental response from within. A painting becomes art when it draws an emotional or mental response out of you, and this is the baseline of what you should be looking for when you are out there looking to buy art.
So, take a closer look at the artwork that you are about to buy and ask yourself if it truly connects with you emotionally and aesthetically. Also, I would suggest thinking about how the artwork will fit into your art collection overall: will it be consistent with the collection’s style and themes?
Question 2: Can I afford it?
While it’s admirable to support and appreciate the arts, it’s equally important to be financially responsible. If you are going to an art fair where there are artworks that can be bought at various price ranges, have a think and set a budget in mind of what you are ready to spend It’s crucial to establish a spending limit in advance, as it’s difficult to make such decisions on the spot when the artist or seller is right in front of you discussing payment terms.
Additionally, if you are someone who is fond of going to galleries, I would strongly suggest never buying a piece immediately when you find something that you like. At a gallery showcase, artworks are usually considered high value art investments that are priced at considerable sums with the assumption that their value would appreciate in the future. So, if you like something at one of these gallery shows, I would suggest to take a day or two to examine the art valuation of the piece and what its trajectory will be like in the future. Will it be a financially worthwhile investment if made to undergo an art appraisal? If not, would you still be content owning the artwork, regardless of its cost?
Question 3: Where will I display this artwork?
Now, here’s a question that may initially appear frivolous but is undeniably practical: Have you considered the size, dimensions, and appropriate display space for the artwork you’re thinking of buying? It’s crucial to assess whether the piece fits well within your available space, but it’s equally important to evaluate whether it aligns with the taste and aesthetic of the room. While you may be tempted to buy the artwork and store it until you find the perfect spot, I firmly believe that considering the display space beforehand is paramount. Art is meant to be viewed and appreciated, not tucked away in storage. Take a moment to contemplate where the artwork will be showcased before you make the purchase and bring it home.
So, before you dive headfirst into purchasing a piece of art, there are three vital questions you should ask yourself. These questions will not only help in the prudent collecting of artworks, but will also allow you to explore and be more specific about the art that you are passionate about. So, make sure to bookmark this blog and the next time you find yourself irresistibly drawn to a piece at an art fair or gallery, take a moment to ask yourself these questions. If you’re satisfied with the answers that emerge, then go ahead and treat yourself to that artwork!
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Check my digital artwork collection here.