Buying art for your home is always an exciting project. Artwork not only adds character to your home, but is also a major investment. Here’s how to go about starting your own collection.

1. If I would like to buy art, where should I start?

Always do your research. Get an idea of the artist’s work that you intend on purchasing, and what the current market price is. This will help to distinguish whether you are paying a good price or not.

2. Is all art the same?

Know your art forms. Art can come in a variety of forms including paintings, photographic images, prints, sculptures and mixed media. Each form has its own renowned artists so bear that in mind when doing your research.

3. Who can I approach if I would like to buy art?

Know who you are buying from. Unfortunately there are a lot of devious art dealers who will take you for a ride. Do a background check on the art dealer to find out how long they have been in business, and whether their business premises actually exist. Look out for a professional-looking website, this is often a good indicator that the art dealer is legit.

4. How do I know which art piece to buy?

Buy an art piece you really like. Since art pieces are an investment, it’s wise to buy something that will continue to bring you viewing pleasure.

5. What should I consider before I make a purchase?

Don’t be in a hurry to make the purchase. Spend time thinking about it, and look into whether the art piece you are interested in is authentic or not, so you can see whether it is worth the purchase. Also take into consideration whether you connect with the work.

6. What do I need to do after I’ve purchased a piece I like?

Artworks require quite a bit of care. Prepare yourself to keep the piece in great condition and keep it from being damaged.

7. What influences the pieces people buy? Most people seem to buy the same thing…

Don’t follow the crowd and believe the stereotypes. Art has moved from just folk art and paintings to include works by photographers, digital and even graffiti artists. The art space has become bigger and allows for more alternative artworks to become investment pieces.

8. If I buy an art piece today, how long should I wait before I see a return on investment?

Understand that the art market is often fluctuating. Your investment wont necessarily be short term, but rather long term. If you are solely interested in being an art investor, don’t get too emotionally attached to your items, so that you can let them go when the time is right.

9. If I want to become a serious art buyer, who can help me?

If you really want to take art buying seriously, find an expert art advisor to assist you. An art advisor will be able to assist you with bargains on artworks and help you spot artworks with the potential of becoming very valuable.

10. Is it better to shop at a gallery or directly from the artist?

Rather buy from the artist. Meeting the artists behind the work and finding out what inspired their work adds more significance to the art piece than just buying from a gallery that doesn’t take the time to know the individual behind the piece. Attend regular art exhibitions to stay abreast of what’s hot and happening within the art space.