Art Collecting 101


Art Collecting 101 | Colorful Living xx Ashley

Whether you’re adding to an existing art collection, or just starting out with bare walls and an empty home, knowing what piece of artwork to acquire can be intimidating and overwhelming. Fear not – and read on!

Personally, I think the process of collecting art for your home should be a fun, evolving journey. Your home and your artwork is a reflection of who you are! Some people choose to replicate style based on what’s trending or what their neighbors are doing. I think if you look inward and figure out what you’re really into and why you’re collecting, you can’t go wrong.

I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll say it again. There are so many ways to get inspired, collect art, and meet artists. Old-school style, the art scene has been perplexing and stuffy, and that still exists, but with Instagram and more art-based apps emerging so is the process for collecting.

As an artist receiving a message like this:

Art Collecting 101 | Colorful Living xx Ashley

is AMAZING! It’s great knowing there are people that dig what you create and want to support you. Being able to do what you love and create artwork for a living can be so satisfying, but also really difficult. A message like that can make all the difference to an artist.

One of my favorite pastimes is learning about collectors, artists, and new galleries. As an artist I’m constantly looking for new ways to be involved in the art community, and as a collector I’m always looking for a new art piece that gets my heart rate going.

Art Collecting 101 | Colorful Living xx Ashley

Larry’s List has some of the best interviews with collectors from all over the world. The amount of knowledge on their site is incredible and totally user friendly. Hours can easy slip away while reading their insightful articles! Here are some of the most inspirational and memorable quotes about collecting art from articles I’ve read on Larry’s List.

Art was just as important as having a bed. – Sara Lysgaard

I want to taste as many flavors as possible, in all aspects of life. – Sara Lysgaard

I don’t really have a strict plan or focus when it comes to my collection or how I collect. Diversity is really the key. I have all sorts of mediums from both upcoming and established artists. I don’t really include or exclude anything in particular, but what I am really doing is chasing a feeling! – Sara Lysgaard

I found my “Never Never Land” in contemporary art. This is a place I can escape to and where nothing makes sense. A place where my soul could find peace and a place that could challenge the way I see things. Life became art and art became life. – Louis Kotze

If there’s one characteristic that unites the work I collect, it’s probably a sense of playfulness. I struggle with work that’s too austere. – Victor Benady

For me art and everything that comes with it, is a sense of belonging and purpose, something I feel we need as humans. – Freddy Insinger

I like to think that the works in my collection will all move you one way or another and break with conventional ideas about art. I like works that challenge and kick-start a dialogue. – Freddy Insinger

Firstly, innovation – we, as young buyers, are more open to new ways of finding and buying art, and we expect galleries with a strong heritage to innovate. Secondly, buyers’ empowerment – the internet has given art connoisseurs a voice . Collectors are now experts and highly influential in helping to promote artists. Thirdly, people have less time, and are less focused and patient. We are the scroll-and-swipe generation, we try to reduce the amount of decisions we need to make and want to make our lives as efficient as we can. – Freddy Insinger

We love works that create a visceral reaction within us – humorous, sexy, and arresting. – Amy Phelan

We really live and breathe “buy what you love and can’t live without.” It’s so important to acquire works that you truly love and want to be around and live with. – Amy Phelan

One of the amazing things about collecting contemporary art, and especially collecting living artists, is the opportunity to meet them, and if you’re lucky enough, to be friends with them and have the opportunity to talk to them about their work. It really adds such a priceless value. – Amy Phelan

Art Collecting 101 | Colorful Living xx Ashley

Architectural Digest is another great spot to get inspired and find artists! My style of voyeurism is being able to peak in on homes room by room and on various lifestyles. I used to walk through random homes being built in their wood frame stage, (totally trespassing now that I think about it) and imagined how I would finish and decorate the undone home. AD is like in-depth trespassing without the fear of getting caught.

I did not want the house to be just a house, but an art project as well, an extension of the experience that I try to create in my galleries. I always loved how the space where I worked in the 1970s also functioned as an artist clubhouse. In recent years, with the professionalization of the art world, most galleries are no longer conducive to that kind of discourse. In my home, I tried to create an artistic atmosphere that would be inviting but not intimidating, a place where friends could enjoy a stimulating art encounter and not worry about spilling wine on the rug. – Jeffrey Deitche

I don’t buy art to put in specific places. I just collect what I love and hope to find a place for it. – KAWS Artist Brian Donnelly

We mix things people have seen with pieces they will discover by talking to us—sometimes there’s no designer; sometimes it’s broken, so we pull it apart and take it to our woodworker or upholstery team and make it fluffy and pink. – Ike Udechuku and Kathryn Smith

I’m a young artist myself, and it’s fun to live with work created by my friends and fellow artists. – Jwan Yosef

Art Collecting 101 | Colorful Living xx Ashley

For more, quick, colorful inspiration check out these accounts on Instagram:

If you like pop-art, or surrealism, or renaissance, or if you have no clue what any of that means, have fun with the things you collect to put on your walls and include in your home! Most importantly, do it for you. You might just learn something about yourself.




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