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  • Sara Breslin

Art Collecting for Millennials - Where do I Start?

As many of you know, I am also an Art Consultant! I help collectors from all walks of life add artwork to their homes, offices, and boats. In many cases, I help people start their art collection, and I can help you too!



Our generation is known for their lack of funds and love for avocados. So why should you care about buying artwork when you can't even afford to pay your student load payments? Well, I will start by saying this, collecting art can be one of the most rewarding things you do! Not only are you making your space more beautiful, you are also supporting your local businesses and artists (and you don't have to break the bank).


I know most of you (not all) get your artwork and posters from places like, TJ Maxx or Target, places where the pieces are in your budget. I can tell you this, as an artist and a consultant, you can get better quality of work for the same or better prices at your local stores. It takes a bit of searching but I promise it is worth it!


I suggest starting with instagram - I am sure you follow a ton of artists that you love. Reach-out to them! A lot of artists do payment plans and will work on a better price should you ask. After all most artists want to sell their work. If you run into a situation where an artist can't get the perfect price for you, that's okay! Think of it as something to work up too. I have a full list of artists that I want to collect once I am in another tax bracket! So start small and work your way up.


Curious about collecting for investment reasons? It's a great thing to do! But where do you even start? My suggestion is to start by finding an artist or painting you LOVE. Buying or investing in something that you don't truly love can make the experience unpleasant and you may run into issues with seeing a return in the future. Though, like the stock market, you can't always predict everything. If you have a connection to the work, that is the perfect place to start.


How do you know if an artist is worth investing in? Well! there can be a few reasons why, but it boils down to an artist's CV. Who represents them? If its a well known gallery who represents other high-end artists thats a good sign! Are they in any Museums? If yes, great! If no, they might be soon.


One big thing to look for, in my professional opinion, is how active the artist is. Do they constantly have new shows and exhibitions? Are they working on new projects all the time? It basically comes down to, how active are they in their career. You can't always expect an artist who never put their work out there, and very rarely takes on a new project, to get any traction in the primary or secondary markets. As an artist, you have to be active in your career to keep moving forward. If you are standing still there will be no movement.


What does investing in art even mean? To put is plainly, it means buying artwork in the hopes of selling it for more money later on. A lot of people will buy on the primary market (art galleries, artists, etc.) and after a few years, try to sell the works, either at another gallery or at auction. Then, you have those who buy from the secondary market, which is auction houses and private collectors. It's like the second tire of the market. Instead of buying right form the source, you are buying form someone who already has. This is a great way to get things at a low price, so that you can make a profit off it later. When it comes to auctions, items or artwork can sell for much less or much more than they are valued at. So, it is a great place to look for steals and deals, you just have to get the right piece of art, at the right price.


Another great place to look are your local galleries! Not every gallery is high-end, and full of untouchable artwork (either way, please don't touch the art!). There are tons of galleries out there (close to you!) that are co-ops, full of local artists just starting out. In providence we have a fantastic gallery AS220 - if you are local, I highly recommend checking them out. They have a great selection of local talents, ranging in price. Check out there next exhibition, September Gallery Opening!





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