I can remember the first piece of original art I ever owned. I was in my early teens and one of my friends was taking a drawing course in school. She showed me a pencil drawing that she had done of – all things – death. It was the classic figure of the hooded skeleton with the sickle. It wasn’t so much that I loved the image itself. But I remember being captivated by the pencil work, the shading, and the look of the graphite on the paper. When I admired it, she offered it to me as a gift, and from then on I was hooked – not only on art in general but on owning original pieces.
Once you cross that line of having original art rather than prints and reproductions on your walls, you can never go back. And the nice thing is that there are all kinds of original affordable art pieces out there. Some of my favorite pieces in my collection are just simple student works that artistically are not all that outstanding, and that I bought for next to nothing. They just spoke to me for some reason. Art is personal that way. If I am going to hang something on my walls and have to look at it every day, I want it to mean something to me. Of course, a good collection like this can take a lifetime. But what a joy to walk through rooms full of meaning and memories rather than rooms full of stuff.
Many times people have hired me to help buy art for their homes. And while I point them and prod them, I never choose for them. They often say “which do you think is the prettiest?” or “which one works better?” and I always say “Pick the one that reaches out to you, and you can’t go wrong.” Art doesn’t have to match the drapes of course. But I’ll bet you this, if the art matches you it will match with your home automatically.
My biggest piece of advice on collecting art is to DO IT and to start early.
There is a big difference between owning a collection of art and owning things that merely collect dust…