Arts

How to start art collecting as a broke student

Art collecting is often perceived to be reserved for millionaires and not an accessible task for the young, broke student. However, there are ways to get into this elusive and seemingly elitist hobby. 

Saatchi Art’s Chief Curator, Rebecca Wilson, has made some very helpful suggestions for the first-time art collector on a student budget. Unsurprisingly, originals are more expensive. However, Wilson suggests looking to photography and limited edition prints for buying on a budget. These pieces are often created in multiples, significantly reducing the cost of production and their consequent selling price. 

Wilson states that “photography is a great medium for first-time buyers to focus on. Often, prices for photographs are lower than for paintings or sculpture, and photography can be an especially striking medium that is endlessly enjoyable to live with.”

Another tip from Wilson is shopping online. This cuts out the typical 50% gallery commission and allows you to browse at a more relaxed pace. In the current COVID climate, online shopping has improved no end, which doesn’t only benefit your weekly grocery shop. Sites like Saatchi Art, Minted, and Society6 boast an array of working artists’ pieces under £50.

Try to buy works by under-the-radar, emerging artists. Famous YBA works sell for tens of millions, but these aren’t the only pieces worth collecting. Shopping for art from local, emergent artists not only starts up your collection for a fraction of the price, but also supports the growth and development of the arts community and culture in your area, which is so important in these trying times.Most importantly of all, buy what you like. Buying art can be a practice in investment, and has its monetary profits, but the art you buy should be hung proudly on your walls and in your space. It’s no good having a piece you hate, when you could just as easily (and cheaply) purchase and enjoy an artwork you love. 


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23/03/2021

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Bea Prutton


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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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