Starting a private art collection, whether as an investment or simply due to a genuine interest in art, may feel like an altogether daunting task if you have little to no working knowledge of this market. However, there’s no need to feel intimidated – anyone can experience the joy of buying and owning original art, irrespective of budget. The key is to do your research, be discerning, and trust your instinct. You may also wish to consider consulting a professional art advisor if you’re unsure of your decision or planning to invest a great deal of money.

Art collecting or art investment?

Whilst art collecting and art investment often go hand in hand, determining the purpose of your acquisition is crucial to ensure that you are spending your money wisely. If you are planning to start a private art collection simply to enrich your life, as opposed to choosing works purely for investment purposes, it’s important to choose art that you love. It’s likely going to be on your wall for a long period of time!

However, due the unpredictable nature of the art market, investing in a work of art that doesn’t appeal to you isn’t always wise either, because you may be stuck with it for some time if the market takes a downturn. This is why it is so important to consult a professional if you want to make a smart and considerable investment in art as a commodity.

Improving your knowledge of the art market

Before purchasing original works for your private art collection, it’s important to explore your personal taste and do your research. Start following commercial galleries and art centres online, visit your local galleries and talk to the curators, attend exhibitions and art fairs, and discover emerging and established artists whose work may appeal to you. Instagram is a great platform for staying abreast of what’s happening in the art world, with an increasing number of buyers finding new and emerging artists and buying original works through this forum.

The Open Exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) in Edinburgh, which is taking place between 23rd June – 25th July, is an ideal event for art collectors and first-time buyers of art. Showcasing small and medium sized collectible works from artists across Scotland and beyond, this exhibition presents the perfect opportunity to view and purchase a wide variety of art, including paintings, drawings, prints, photography and sculptures. There’s something for all budgets, whether you’re hoping to spend £100 or many thousands, making it easier than ever for anyone to invest in contemporary art.

Visiting auction houses – such as Lyon & Turnbull, Bonhams, and Sotheby’s – should also be on your to-do list when starting a private art collection. Dealing in fine art and antiquities, these renowned auction houses have a deep understanding of the complex world of art, providing expert advice and services to anyone who wishes to start or add to a collection, whether for investment purposes or the simple appreciation of art.

Irrespective of one’s level of knowledge or budget, buying and owning original art can be enjoyed by everyone. We all have to start somewhere, and it is an exciting process during which you will explore your personal tastes, discover new artists and styles, and increase your knowledge of the art market – leading you to a place where you can make calculated decisions and start your private art collection with confidence.

Clyde Property is a leading independent, multiple award winning estate and letting agent with 30 years’ experience in selling and letting property in Scotland. Just call your local Clyde Property branch today, for friendly, impartial advice on finding your next dream home.