I am asked quite frequently how someone can start an art collection, if there are any rules to follow and how do you find out about what art to collect, so I thought I'd share some of my insights.

Firstly, start going to galleries in and around the city you live. Gallery owners love people who are interested in art, even if they are just starting out. They’re more than happy to talk with people about the exhibition and artists they are showing, so don’t be intimidated. It’s a bit like learning a new sport or language. Everyone has to start.

Go to openings of artists you see reviewed in the newspaper or magazines. You don’t need an invitation to turn up and it might be more a more comfortable setting if there’s a lot of people milling around. You also might get to meet the artist and get to know a bit more about them and what inspires them.

Secondly, find a gallery owner you like and start a relationship with them. Even if they don’t have a particular artist you are interested in, they’ll know how to locate them, who to speak to and where their art can be acquired.

Thirdly, keep looking…keep going to galleries so that you develop a sense of what you like and what you don’t. It's a very personal journey you’re on and if you acquire an artwork or limited edition chances are you’ll be looking at it for a long time.

Fourth, don’t be deterred by the price. Most art dealers are only too willing to arrange part payments over and agreed period of time . . . a bit like layby for art.

Fifth, it's a good time to buy art now as prices are quite low comparatively and you can, sometimes, negotiate the price.

Finally, talk to the artist if they are at an opening or show. Don’t be shy . . . artists really enjoy the fact that people are interested in their work and them and want to understand more about their work.

At Berkeley Editions we’re starting a series of Meet the artist evenings for a small group of people. So if you’re interested in meeting one of the artists we represent join our Facebook page (Berkeley Editions Fine Art) or send us an email to join our newsletter, robyn@berkeleyeditions.com.au

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