How To Build An Art Collection

How To Build An Art Collection

Building an art collection is an exciting endeavor that allows you to express your personality and creativity in your personal space. While collecting art can feel intimidating at first, with the proper resources and strategies, it will become both fun and rewarding. In this article, we will discuss practical tips for building an art collection that reflects your taste, budget, and vision.

How to build an art collection

One of the first ‘rules’ of collecting is to remember that you have time. Especially when you move into a new home right away, it can be tempting to buy a lot of artwork at once to fill the space. While it may seem boring to live with blank walls for a time, allow yourself to settle in your new residence to fully be able to learn what would look best. 

Finding artists you love is also likely going to take months or years rather than days or weeks. Attending group exhibitions at local galleries or going to art fairs will expose you to larger numbers of artists, as will doing your research on social media platforms or art marketplaces. However, you may not always find artists or pieces that you love right away - and you should only invest in artworks you feel you will connect with for many years (ideally a lifetime!) rather than what looks nice above your sofa right now. 

Discover one artist you love

A simple way to start building an art collection is to focus on one artist at first and collect multiple works from them. This approach has many advantages, including establishing a deeper understanding and appreciation of that artist's style, themes, and techniques. It also creates a cohesive narrative within your collection and allows you to be a patron of that artist's creative journey. 

To start, research artists whose work resonates with you, attend their exhibitions, and follow them on social media to learn about their new works and upcoming projects. When buying multiple works from the same artist, it's important to consider the works' variation, such as their size, medium, and subject matter. This will add depth and texture to your collection and avoid repetition or monotony. 

Collect around a theme, style, or medium

Another easy approach to building an art collection is to collect around a theme or medium that interests you. This strategy allows you to create a personal and unique story within your collection that reflects your passions, ideas, or values. Themes can vary from historical periods, such as Pop Art or Impressionism, to social issues, such as environmentalism or human rights. To find artists and works that relate to the theme, attend exhibitions and events that address the theme, and engage with organizations that support the theme. 

Along similar lines, you can also collect by medium. Many emerging art buyers begin with prints because they tend to be an affordable option, but you may find that you’re most interested in photography or sculpture. 

In addition to these approaches, here are more practical tips for how to build an art collection:

Set a budget 

Art collecting is often assumed to be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be as long as you set a budget that suits your financial situation. A budget will help you prioritize your purchases, avoid overspending, and make informed decisions about your collection. 

While discounts are fairly common in the art world, do always keep in mind the time, work, and experience of the artist and gallery you are purchasing from if you ask for one. Besides discounts, you may instead be able to negotiate other aspects of your purchase like shipping or framing. Otherwise, ask if the gallery or artist accepts any form of payment plan if you would prefer to pay in installments.

Buy what you love

One of the most important aspects of building an art collection is to buy what you love and what resonates with you. Your collection should reflect what you actually like and care about - not what is trendy, popular, or what you think will appreciate in value. Take the time to discover and connect with works that you enjoy.

Mix it up

When building an art collection, eventually it’s most likely that you’ll want to mix it up and experiment with different mediums, styles, and artists. This will add diversity and interest to your collection and allow you to explore new horizons and perspectives. There is such a wealth of creative talent out there so support as many wonderful artists as you can! 

Trust your instincts

When selecting works for your collection, it's important to trust your instincts and make decisions based on your intuition and gut feeling. Don't be afraid to take risks and explore new artists, styles, or media. Only take collecting advice from those whose opinions you truly value and trust. 

Display your collection with care & intention

Once you've built your art collection, it's important to display it in a way that showcases its beauty and uniqueness. Consider the lighting, spacing, and layout of your collection in your space. Ask for tips on hanging from the gallery or artist if needed, but also be open to less traditional ways of displaying art as well. Beware of high-traffic areas where the artwork may be at risk of damage or too much sunlight or moisture. It’s also helpful to begin an inventory of your collection both for your own personal records and for insurance purposes.

Finally, remember that how you curate your collection can also be an opportunity to share it with others and invite them to engage in conversations about art and creativity. You may even inspire them to embark on their own journey of appreciating and buying art! 


In conclusion, building an art collection can be an incredibly fulfilling experience. It requires a bit of patience, research, and a willingness to explore new artists, but the connections made along the way are worth it! 

Remember to take your time and build your collection gradually, focusing on quality over quantity. With these tips in mind, you will be on your way to building a meaningful art collection that will bring joy and inspiration for years to come.


Ready to start collecting? Browse art you can afford to love at PxP Contemporary! (Header image is a painting by Sophie Adair, in text image features three paintings by Jodi Miller)