Starting An Art Collection: What You Should Know

August 29, 2018

Hey, hey, hey! It’s my birthday today and there’s nothing that excites me more than sharing great design inspiration and knowledge with YOU, so it’s a win-win for both of us today! Make sure to read on to the end of this post for a special bday giveaway too. Today’s post is a Q+A all about starting an art collection and what you should know.

Friend and artist, Kristi Kohut, of Hapi Art was named one of the “7 Next-Big-Thing” artists by Elle Decor and she’s giving us the inside scoop on art collecting. Kristi and I have also listed several artists in our own personal collections for you to check out as well. I hope the interview helps you or your clients feel more decisive and ready to invest in creating an art collection. The opening image above is Kristi’s work in one of my client’s homes!


Question: When buying prints versus original art, what should clients or buyers understand?

Answer: The power of art is its ability to feel different to everyone, to transform over time and carve a place in your life even if you weren’t expecting it to. Buy art that makes you smile from the inside out. Go with your gut. Invest in art for you and you have nothing to be afraid of. The piece that brings joy to your life and lifts you out of your every day is priceless!

An original work is a one of a kind piece made by hand by the artist. There will only ever be one of its kind. You will own something no one else has and often it will increase in value (my work has increased in value 25% each year since I opened by studio in 2014!). It is not just this one creation it is the culmination of years of an artists work, the love, sweat, tears and joy in creating art. You are literally making an investment in an artist’s future and becoming a part of art in itself, a cause that is really something special. You are showing the world that you believe in it and believe in something so important.

Carly Berlin Studio Artworks

There’s also a level of detail that just can’t be captured by a reproduction. The texture, the variance in light, a shimmer here, a glossiness there…the chalkiness of a pastel. All signs of an artist’s hand in the process. My original work is often multi-dimensional. I love incorporating an array of materials. From layers of iridescent acrylic, to the glitter of cut glass crystals, to a collection of hand-cut-collaged flowers, making the piece shimmer and change as the view transforms around them. There’s so much magic that happens when they all mix together, it really brings these pieces to life and lifts you out of your everyday.

A fine art print is a reproduction of an original work. Prints are created through high resolution scans or photographs of the original art. Printing technology is pretty amazing today and the quality of prints and paper have really reached a beautiful point. My prints are all made with archival quality inks and paper using top notch giclee printing. I also like to add options to make the prints a bit more special, such as offering all natural fine art papers and hand-torn edges. The other great thing about prints is the ability to customize…they can be reproduced in a variety of sizes and framing so you can make them just right for your space, how cool is that?

When purchasing an art print, pay attention to the quality of the print itself as there is a lot of variance in the marketplace. Make sure that high quality fine art paper is being used, preferably 100% natural paper. Ensure that the printing process is archival. Also pay special care to the framing of the piece. I really like the look of having the prints “floated” over a mat, makes it feel more like an original. Limited editions prints are more valuable than open editions (meaning an unlimited number of prints can be produced).

NG Collective artwork

Question: Can you recommend local or online galleries with affordable art?

Answer: I’m an artist, but I’m also a collector. Hands-down my favorite way to buy art is directly from the artist themselves. This is the hottest new way to buy art. What can be better than connecting with the person that made the work and hearing their story! And by doing so you are also supporting the artist and investing in the work itself rather than the middle man. There’s really something about personally knowing the artist and following their journey that makes the work all the more special.

How to find those artists? This is the fun part! Get online and start exploring. The beauty is you are no longer limited to the galleries that happen to be in your neighborhood and the art they happen to carry. The sky is the limit now. My collectors are literally all over the world…from Los Angeles to Dallas to New York to London to Hong Kong. Instagram is such an incredible tool for seeing a snapshot of an artists work and process and getting to know them and their work. From here I recommend visiting the artist’s websites to learn more about them and available work. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the artist to ask more…I love it when collector’s reach out and say hi.

Petros Koublis Photography

Question: How can one justify expensive framing costs, or explain why framing may cost more than a print?

I know, this is such a tough one! But I really cannot stress the importance of good framing! You really do get what you pay for on this one. In addition to protecting the artwork, a frame has the power to elevate a piece and really let the work of art shine. I recommend using Simply Framed for framing prints and original works on paper. They offer a curated selection of beautiful frames and will handle every detail. Their framing is gallery/museum quality at an affordable price. I’ve had collectors go to take a print to their local framer and end up coming back to us for framing because you just can’t compete with the pricing and quality.

For my originals, I do most in a custom lucite shadow box. These frames are not cheap, but they really are a work of art in themselves. This is my favorite and most popular frame. It just adds a level of glamour to the work.


Petros Koublis

J Young Design House

NG Collective

Relativity Textiles

Zoe Pawlak

Angela Chrusciaki Blehm

Bethany Mabee

Jamie Tubbs Studio

William McLure

Logan Ledford

Ashley Longshore

Gee Gee Collins

Naomi Ernest

Carly Berlin Studio

Don’t miss ENTERING TO WIN one of Kristi’s amazing prints (pictured above), “Hot Stripes 2.” At 37″x57″ this piece will make a STATEMENT!

Thanks for reading along, please leave your favorite up-and-coming or established artist in the comments. Would love for this post to become an amazing resource for discovering new artists!


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Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

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