- Find an Artist You Like: This means doing your homework. Don't just find a piece of art that you like, but find an artist who consistently produces what you like. In fact, find about four or five of them so that you can track their work, prices, and so you won't get left out when that one piece you really like gets sold before you're able to afford it.
- When Doing Your Homework, Be You: When searching for an artist to follow, be yourself. Don't find someone who's trendy or you think will impress your friends. Yes, that's an age-old tactic used by artists to sell, and it works for many of them. Hey, if you like the trendy artist or art, then have at it. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you don't then don't be afraid to find what you like. You'll be happier for this in the long run. The important thing is that you buy what you like. There are a lot of benefits to this and I lay them out below. But in short, if you're being you when you buy art then everything else will come together. That means both your own pleasure of being an art owner as well as the decorative planning of your house or apartment.
- Be Prepared to Save Money Before Buying: This is where things get a little tricky for some, and I'll explain this more below, but there will always be cheap art to be found, and that's great if that's what you're looking for. In fact, some cheap art is fantastic while expensive art can be terrible. That's why you need to do your homework first. Find the artist(s) you like and then find out how you can afford that artist. Don't do it the other way around (again, see below for why). If this means dropping a check down the moment you see the art, then fine, but that's not likely to be the case most of the time. In fact, you may find that the artist you like sells in the thousands. Not everyone has $3,000 to drop at a moment's notice, but this doesn't mean it's out of reach for you. Find the artist you like, find the pieces you like, and save up for those pieces.
- Be Disciplined: This is for your future, not for your instant gratification. If you're saving for art then save for it. If you just want to decorate your house then you're doing something different. Buying art has a much longer and stronger relationship than buying decorations does. Save for art that you like, not decorations you think your friends will pretend to notice.
- Be Patient: If you're saving for a particular piece then that piece may get sold before you save enough to buy it. Don't worry. Remember, you're buying the artist and not the art, so to speak. Yes, you'll find some pieces from an artist you like more than other pieces. But if you're patient and disciplined in your savings, and if you've found what you really enjoy, then you'll be able to buy that new piece that pops up when it happens.
- Buy the Art, Not the Decoration: This is the most important step. Again, if you simply want to decorate your house then this article isn't for you. Yes, art decorates, but it's also much more than that. Art can actually help you make better decisions in your life just by being in the same room as you. That's not a joke or a sales pitch. Scientists have actually studied how seeing art changes our mindset. And it's different when it comes to a painting versus a photograph. Landscape paintings create a different reaction than a photo of the same landscape does, for example.
When I first became an artist I was all over the map when it came to style, or at least it seemed that way. If one looked at my work as individual pieces then one would see what appears to be very different pieces of art. However, if you put them all up on a wall together then it quickly becomes apparent that they were all created by me. The same thing happens to people who buy art. Don't buy to match the couch. Instead, buy to match you. It doesn't matter if you buy what appears to be 15 completely different pieces of art. It doesn't matter if those 15 pieces seemingly don't fit together. If you're buying from the heart, if you're buying the art and that artist that you like, and if you're putting in the time to think and save money, then they'll all fit. Why? Because they're you. Your personality will be on the walls. You'll be able to change furniture however and whenever you like. It will be your collection, and your friends will take notice because you'll be showing them what they like about you in the first place, you.