With tons of new online resources for finding and buying art, personalizing your living space with affordable art has never been easier. Here are some tips on starting your art collection:
1) Find artwork and artists you love
Visit local galleries and contemporary art museums – it’s still the best way to view work and get a feel for what artists are currently creating. If that’s not possible, many top galleries and museums have artworks on artsy.net, a website that suggests art you might like, similar to music recommendations on Pandora. Museums such as LACMA and MoMA also have mobile apps for collections and special exhibitions, so you can access info from anywhere.
Stay in the loop via Twitter by following your favorite museums, and other art world news feeds such as ArtInfo, Artlog, and ArtObserved. The Art Dossier sends out daily art newsletters as well as a “5 Things You Should Know This Week” recap of top stories. Art blogs such as Art Hound and The Jealous Curator are perfect places to discover emerging artists as well.
2) Develop your own collector style
Be active when you look at art. If you like a work, ask yourself why and note the different reasons you enjoy it. Are you interested in certain mediums, subjects, or styles? Maybe you are drawn to artwork because it surprises you or simply because you don’t understand it. Find art that speaks to you, and also consider what you are trying to convey and express through your art collection. (Photos of 20×200 founder Jen Bekman’s apartment via Design*Sponge.)
3) Buy art!
Shopping for art online is a relatively new phenomenon. Just five years ago, galleries were hesitant to put images of their collections online, but today you can easily find great art and affordable art prints. Here are some places to start:
ArtStar sells high quality limited-edition prints by today’s emerging and established contemporary artists.
Started by Art Hound blogger Kate Singleton, BuySomeDamnArt features a new artist each week and sells original one-of-a-kind artwork, most priced under $500.
Little Collector has an excellent online gallery of art prints geared towards children. Don’t be fooled, these works by emerging and established artists are perfect for the kid in us all. Little Collector helps children look at the world through the eyes of an artist, and their collection also pushes adults to look at contemporary art from a different perspective. Check out this bold Obey Elephant print above by street artist Shepard Fairey.
20×200 releases new artist editions every week, and prices range from $20 to $2000 based on size and edition quantity. Every print is numbered and signed, and directly benefits the artist. The print above is one of our favorite geeky favorites, Closing Credits at the End of the Movie by Hollis Brown Thornton.
Finch & Ada represents several rising-star artists and their online shop includes affordable prints with very small edition sizes. My personal favorites are Dolly Faibyshev’s Chandelier Staircase and Justin Walker’s Daddy Bruce.
Most importantly, enjoy the process of discovering new art. Your art collection is an expression of your personality and something you can build over time.
Although nothing can replace looking at a piece of art in person, these new online resources make it easier to bring art into your home. No more excuses for having empty walls!
How do you find art you love? We’d love to see your walls. Send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tze Chun is the founder of Uprise Art, a NYC art collectors club offering exclusive access to exceptional art. Uprise makes collecting contemporary artwork easy and enjoyable through an affordable subscribe-to-own service. Follow Tze and Uprise on Twitter.