The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Art Collection

Starting your art collection can seem like a scary prospect. The art world can come across as inaccessible and elite - that’s not surprising when paintings change hands for £40 million+, and high-profile galleries are known for their snooty attitudes. Luckily, we’re here to dispel the myth that art collecting is scary or unaffordable. It couldn’t be easier to find art you love, by emerging or established artists. 

The art world is a fluid, everchanging entity - and it’s never been more accessible, or more diverse. Art is being bought on Instagram more than ever, and artists are finding fame, followers and representation purely from Tik Tok. With digital artwork like NFTs set to disrupt the industry even more, now is the perfect time to begin collecting. Our number one tip? Trust your instincts, and always go with your gut. Your first instinct is usually right - don’t be seduced by gimmicky marketing or a beautiful story. 

Read on for the ultimate guide to starting your art collection. 

Where To Start 

Take some time to consider why you’re beginning to collect art, and what your budget for that first piece will be. You don’t have to be a millionaire (or even approaching it) to start a collection - but it is a leap into the unknown. We’re here to hold your hand through the process, to offer advice, and to guide you through the thrilling, sometimes incomprehensible world of contemporary art. 

It’s worth considering what you’re seeking to get from your very first artwork. Are you searching for an investment that will grow in value? Are brand-name artists your bag? In which case, it would be worth looking at our collection of limited edition prints from emerging and established artists. These signed and numbered, handmade prints are likely to grow in value - with print runs from 10 to 100, you can pick up an exclusive artwork that’s super rare. 

Framed limited edition print

Colour Block 68, Limited Edition Print 

Or are you searching for the first piece to adorn your new home? Our open edition prints are the perfect place to start. We only ever use quality materials sourced from sustainable forests, with 100% real glass - never plastic. We’ve curated our wall art prints into categories, to make searching for that special artwork even easier. Lose yourself in a brilliantly rendered landscape, or discover a breathtaking impressionist cityscape. 

London framed print in black frame with mount

Impressionist London Cityscape - Open Edition Print 

Choosing Art You Love 

Art is deeply personal. It can provoke an emotional reaction, make you empathise with the subject or the artist, and force you to think more deeply about a social or political issue. That’s why choosing an artwork you’ll love and treasure forever is so important. It’s worth taking some time over the decision. Think about famous pieces of art, and how they make you feel. Are you moved to tears standing in front of one of Rothko’s Seagram Murals at Tate Modern? Perhaps the broad brushstrokes and vibrant colour palette of Paul Klee is more your thing, or Matisse’s bold blue figurative works. 

Whichever artist inspires you, we’d recommend visiting some of the big-name galleries (or viewing their collections online) and really thinking about art that you love. There’s nothing quite like seeing art in person - getting up close to a large scale canvas, seeing the texture of a sculpture from just a metre away, or viewing site-specific art in a glittering room (Yayoi Kusama’s Mirror Rooms is one of our favourites!). 

If you can’t get out and about yet, simply search social media for a bevy of emerging and established artists. Check out some of the smaller galleries in every city for as-yet-unknown talent, and peruse our collection of innovative and beautiful art. 

original oil painting above sofa in living room

Art Fairs 

London’s summer schedule of art fairs is ideal for the art buyer who’s new in the game. Fairs like the Affordable Art Fair showcase original contemporary artworks priced between £50 and £7,500. It’s a great place to marvel at the range of art on offer - delicate sculptures, groundbreaking original photography, vibrant NFTs, genre-redefining digital art, and beautiful oil paintings. The evocative artworks on show are curated by individual galleries such as Lara Bowen Contemporary, Lucinda Dalton, and Heriot Gallery - to name just a few. 

If you have a more sizeable budget, we love The Other Art Fair. Their ethos is one of immersive installations, unconventional artworks, and even taxidermy classes. With an emphasis on inclusivity, you’ll never be bored - it’s the perfect place to get lost, get involved, and discover the kind of artwork you love. 

For the ecologically minded art lover, Abstract Art Fair ticks all the boxes. Takes place in London, it’s the world’s first sustainable art fair. The fair has been curated with the planet in mind. It’s a mixture of emerging and established artists, and all the artworks have been created using sustainable materials. As a zero-plastic fair, we love their focus on sustainable art - we believe art should work in harmony with the planet, not against it! 

Modern Masters

No guide can be complete without talking about the modern masters. These innovative artists are the good and the great of 20th century art. A century where the world changed in inconceivable ways - and these artists were there to capture it. 

Cy Twombly was a groundbreaking American painter, famous for his idiosyncratic style. Born in 1928 to a world still recovering from the first world war, his energetic, large-scale works incorporate line drawing, graffiti, and lexicography to create unique abstract expressionist paintings. Critical opinion was mixed - his art wasn’t without controversy - but he’s now recognised as one of the greats. 

His contemporary Robert Rauschenberg (born 1925) was known for combining painting and sculpture in his large scale works. Often described as a precursor to the Pop Art movement, Rauschenberg wanted to bring three dimensionality back to an art scene dominated by abstract expressionism. He utilised sculpture to bring life and texture to his canvases, and used mass-produced objects and commercial imagery later in his career. 

 

Paintings or Prints? 

Unsure about different mediums? What does the term ‘original art’ even mean? We define original art as a one of a kind creation. Original paintings are entirely unique - usually painted on canvas, they won’t be replicated in their current form. Our selection of abstract and original art offers a range of stunning abstract paintings, painted in acrylic or oil on canvas. Simply choose the artwork you love, your frame - available in colours such as pine, black, and white - and we’ll do the rest. Make sure you don’t purchase an original artwork without a Certificate of Authenticity, which should be signed by the artist themselves. 

large oil painting in living room above sofa

Lost Control by Omar Obaid (Acrylic and Oil Paint on Canvas)

How about prints? Prints are defined as a printed reproduction of an original work of art. As we touched on above, prints can be open edition (an unlimited print run with infinite copies) or limited edition, signed and numbered. This factors into the price - limited edition prints will pretty much always be more expensive than open editions, and the price goes up depending on how small the edition is. A print run of 10 will fetch a higher price than a print run of 100. 

We’ve curated a selection of wall art prints that are made exclusively in the UK. Our collection covers abstract, botanical, typographic, impressionist, and vintage prints. With framing options available, it’s so easy to find the right artwork for your wall. We always print on the highest quality 230gsm fine art paper, and make our frames using solid FSC certified wood. 

If sculpture catches your eye, and you love the ephemeral beauty of flowers, our Forever Blooms collection could be the place to find your perfect piece. We delicately hand-press dried and preserved flowers between two layers of glass. Botanical art goes all the way back to Ancient Egypt, and if you live in the city it’s a lovely way to bring nature into your home. Our Flower Block artworks arrange dried flowers as though they’re floating in mind air, creating a stunning conversation piece that’s sure to delight friends and family. 

dried flowers

The Forever Blooms Collection

If you still can’t get your head around the different mediums, our wall art buying guide can tell you even more about which artistic medium is right for you. 

Buying Online 

Purchasing art online couldn’t be easier. We offer a seamless process from start to finish - if you hang your new artwork on the wall and don’t fall in love with it, we offer 30 day returns. So you have a 30 day window to decide if you love your new piece once you see it on the wall. 

We offer free delivery for artworks over £39, and you can pick up your chosen piece from us within 4 hours, or enjoy delivery at your home within 2 days. Your painting will arrive strung, so it’s ready to hang on the wall.