Starting Your Art Collection {part 1}

Hi there! Welcome to my new art blog, where I'll be sharing the stories behind some of my pieces, as well as things, people, and places that have inspired me along the way. Before I was an artist though, I was a collector of art and pretty things - so I thought it would make sense for the first post to be about my thoughts on starting or building your own art collection :)

{if you're looking for my past blog posts from wedding and portrait sessions over the years, click here. If you're interested in my artwork, you're in the right place already ;) }

There's a lot of information and advice out there with various opinions about what you should be collecting. I'm not an expert on anything (haha), but I'm happy to share my own ideas and personal experience with collecting art over the years.

Here's how my own personal art "origin story" goes: I was about 25 years old when I bought my first serious piece of art. It cost me a month's rent, and I stalked it in the framing store down the street from my apartment for a few months. I would go visit it every few weeks, just to see if I still loved it. One day when I walked in, it was gone - I felt sick to my stomach that I'd hesitated and lost it. Luckily for me, the owner had just moved it to a different location, and - not wanting to lose it again, I bought it that day. That was 3 homes and over 15 years ago, and I still love that piece every time I look at it. I notice different colours and textures in the piece depending on the wall colour behind it, the direction of the light in the room in which it's hanging, and even depending on my own current favourite colours or shapes. I don't just love how it looks (although that's a big part of it), now I also love the "me" it represents: young, unsure, starting out, optimistic. I feel like I have a small time capsule of that "me" on my kitchen wall. And the other part of that is having a constant and visible reminder of how far I've come since then. Even though at the time it felt like a huge amount of money, a quick calculation just informed me that over the past 15 years, that piece of art has cost me about $30 a year. I can't think of anything else that would have given me so much for such a relatively small cost.

Since that gateway piece of art, I've collected dozens more pieces and have now made hundreds of my own pieces as well. The pieces on our walls represent lots of different things - as I've done art fairs and shows over the past 6 years, I've bought and traded many pieces with the artists I've met and become friends with at those shows. Each one of those pieces is also a piece of that show, and the friendship I have with that artist now because of it. There are a couple of pieces that represent specific life moments (like the painting I commissioned by artist Noelle Feodora Mok of the lunch we had after our wedding, as a gift to my husband on our anniversary.). One piece in particular - a colourful, joyous image by Mark Jeremy Gleberzon - was a gift to myself for achieving a seemingly impossible goal. Every time I look at that piece, it not only makes me happy, but reminds me that I'm capable of way more than I think I am. And of course, pieces from our travels. We have small artworks from Mexico, Cuba, Spain, Japan, France, and Italy, as well as pieces bought from local artists here in Ontario that remind us of places we've been. As we live through the years, the art on our walls grows to tell the stories of those years.

So that's why I collect art, and I can't imagine my life or home without it. I'd love to hear your own personal "art origin story" or your favourite reason to collect art, so please feel free to share in the comments below :)

Next post: overcoming a few common myths about buying art.