Many first time art collectors and art lovers working on building a collection with a budget ask me how to find quality art that is unique, affordable, and will be timely and not look out dated in 5 years like most of what is available at discount stores or online. There are some criteria and rules that I like to outline to my clients as I remind them that Fine Art does not have to be expensive. There are literally hundreds of thousands of artists currently trying to sell their work and there are many options for buyers of quality art and you can find art that is unique and meaningful.
Know what you like and what you do not like. Stick to this. If you hate impressionistic landscapes, do not compromise and buy something impressionistic just because it is trendy. This rule applies to all types of art, even if someone tells you it is the investment of the future, or that particular artist is the next IT artist.
Know your budget. Be realistic and make sure the money you spend on art is money you can realistically afford to spend. Art budgets should be like anything in your budget and should be realistic while allowing you to enjoy the best you can afford. If your budget is $5000, you should not be looking at art in the $10,000 or $20,000 range.
Know your art buying goals. Are you looking for art to decorate your home, inspire you to live more creatively, for an investment, or to look and feel artsy and unique? There are many different kinds of art and all of them fulfill different emotions and purposes. Some people buy art to decorate a second home and they want it to harmonize with the theme of the decor, (ie. Mountain cabin, beach house, urban loft) and what you put on your walls and display in your home says a lot about what you like, and your sense of style.
Decide if you want to invest in original art only or are you open to prints and limited edition artwork.
Be realistic about the size of your home and the space you have to display art and/or store art.
Where to buy art on a budget:
Artist Co-op Galleries - Co-op Galleries can be fantastic opportunities to find up and coming and emerging artists for affordable prices. Co-op Galleries are artist run and are usually juried, so only quality artists may participate.
Art Fairs - Smaller, regional art fairs can be an excellent resource of information and new artist’s for art collectors looking for unique and affordable art.
Saatchi Art This is a carefully curated selection of fine art under $2000
Second Hand Stores - This requires a passion for treasure hunting, as you will need to really search and sort on you own. You can always ask an art appraiser or advisor for an independent opinion of value before you buy. Ho