How do I start an art collection?

The joy of building an art collection is no longer reserved for those with the time and resources to scour art galleries across the globe. With today’s technology, anyone with a computer can access thousands of artists’ works across the full spectrum of mediums, simply by visiting websites like Varbo Art. The key is knowing what to look for when you get here. While there is no set formula for building an art collection, we can offer a few tips to make your collection the best it can be, regardless of your budget.

1. Trust Your Instincts

Fill your collection with pieces you love – not pieces that feel like a good investment opportunity or a "good deal". Your collection should be a reflection of you. If you’re not sure what you like, spend some time just looking. Begin by browsing Varbo Art, or going to your local bookstore and reading up on art basics, paying attention to the subject matter, color palettes or styles that capture your interest.

2. Stick with Original Art

Much of the magic of an art collection is in the subtle nuance and energy of the artwork itself – how the work makes you feel when you look at it, what it says to each individual. Original art is unique, one-of-a-kind piece and allows you to make an exclusive statement about who you are and what you like.

3. Choose the Right Mix

You may wish to build your collection around a common element (style, color, theme), but selecting works of different size, shapes and mediums will help diversify the overall collection. 

How do I know if I’m buying "good" art?

Buying art should be about trusting your instincts and selecting pieces you love. Purchasing art as an investment, or because it might be a "good deal", or represents the latest trend is generally something to avoid. Be passionate about your purchases, and pick work that you really enjoy - you’ll be living with them for years to come.

Should I only buy from famous artists?

While owning a work from a famous artist can be exciting and help build out your art collection, it is typically not a practical option for the majority of art buyers. Purchasing art from known artists is a nice way to broaden your collection. However, as a new buyer, you may also focus on buying original artwork from emerging or lesser-known artists. Selecting work from artists that are up-and-coming gives you the excitement of being a part of their growth and, in most cases, will give you access to a steady stream of vibrant new works as the artist continues to evolve and grow. 

How do I know the artwork is authentic?

Authentic artworks are usually signed and in the case of photographic images, numbered by the artists. In cases where signing the actual work is impossible, ask for a signed artist authenticity statement. All work sold on Varbo Art must be original and come with a certificate of authenticity from the artist or gallery representing an artist. The statement may include, besides the signature of the artist, the date of creation and the title of the piece, its dimensions, and any other detail you wish to include. Generally speaking, authenticity is something that should always be considered carefully. If the work looks too good to be true, then it probably is. 

What is the difference between an original work of art and a reproduction?

Original artworks are unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. Reproductions, which are generally mass-produced copies of original artworks, tend to dilute the impact of the original work with widespread distribution of the image. At Varbo Art, we sell only original art. You won’t find reproductions for sale on our site. Please see our policy on prints as some mediums such as digital photography, woodcuts, or silk-screened prints are allowed to be sold in limited edition, signed and number prints of 100 on the site and are not considered reproductions. 

What is the difference between a print and a reproduction?

A true print for the purpose of our site is a work that the artist has created by hand, and is created in such a way as to preserve the intention of the original work, such as with an etching, a woodcut, a linocut, or a silk-screened image. A reproduction is where the intent and purpose of the original work has been altered to the extent that the image becomes mass-produced and which loses all connection to the original. 

How can I be sure of the colors in the artwork when viewing it online?

Representations of artwork on Varbo Art are digital images. These can look very different from monitor to monitor and computer to computer. If the precise color shade or degree of lightness or darkness is critical to the piece you select, you may want to use the "ask seller a question" feature to get more information.

How are art prices decided?

Pricing artwork is not a science. Many factors can influence how a piece of art is priced – one of the most important of which is demand. Just like any other product on the market, the more competition there is for a piece of work by an artist, the more people are willing to pay. The size and medium of the piece can also influence the price, as well as how well known the artist and their work is. 

Is art a good financial investment?

Buying a piece of art as a financial investment is similar to playing the stock market – with varying degrees of risk and unpredictability. While there are some factors that contribute to a successful art investment - understanding market trends, tracking new artists, being able to spot the winners early – there is no secret formula to knowing what future prices for a piece of art will be. The bottom line is that you should collect art because you love it and because it will enhance your life and your living space. After that, the investment potential becomes incidental and merely a potential bonus to your overall enjoyment of the work.

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