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First Time Buyers: Robertson Fine Art's Guide To Starting Your Art Collection

So the time has come, you have just become a first time home owner.. you have purchased everything you could possibly need (right down to the matching crockery) you have unpacked every box, redecorated and got everything exactly where you want it. You look around in awe at all you have achieved, but then something strikes you.. all those bare walls staring back at you! Art is one of the best finishing touches to any room, actually it can even make a room - and if that's what you are looking for then you have come to the right place! But maybe you just have no idea where to start? Or no idea what you like? Today's contemporary art world is such a vast place -  it is bursting with choice, but try not to let this scare you as this can actually be a blessing... if you have the right set of guidelines. We have adapted this post to allow you to ask yourself some simple questions and give you a few pointers that we hope will help the process be a little less daunting for first time buyers, or even those of who have been buying for a while, whatever you budget may be.
Look Around
The first thing we recommend is to do your research! Take a long look through our website, where you will find every artwork by every artist we currently stock and you will be able to see all the information including sizes, prices etc of each one. If you are local to our Edinburgh or Glenrothes galleries then the best idea is to visit us as the internet really does not do any works of art as much justice it does to see them in the flesh. You will also be able to speak with one of our trained members of staff who can give you all the relevant information regarding the work and the artist, and help to guide you on your art buying journey. 
Get To Know What You Like
So this one might seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but if you are newer to the art scene it can be difficult to know exactly what you would like to look at in the comfort of your own home everyday. There are such a range of mediums - maybe you find you are more drawn to the traditional use of oils paints or acrylics, or you might possibly want something that is a bit more 'quirky' or ultramodern like digital art or even the use of spray paint. Another question to ask yourself is what kind of subject matter appeals to you? Whether it be figurative, wildlife, icons, landscape or cityscapes, there are an abundance of choices. You might even be partial to more than one of these categories which is of course not an issue as it's great to mix it up in your home with different styles, but it is good to know what you definitely don't like to rule any of these out. 
Our artists also use all sorts of colour palettes, some like artist Katy Jade Dobson, is partial to the use of bright and bold colours in her wildlife works - whereas artists like James Klinge will use a range of muted tones to create his figuratives - you don't have to let this completely lead your choices, but if something vibrant doesn't evoke feelings in you the same way something neutral speaks to you then it's something you will sense pretty early on. You may also want to consider whether it will be a limited edition print or an original work you would be looking for? Sometimes this will all be dependent on the type of budget you have as there can be considerable difference in price point between an artists original works and their prints. We would stress that it is important not to get too caught up on all of this or have a rigid check list planned out before you come to see us - it's great to have a vague idea of what would appeal to you as this makes our job to steer you in the right direction a lot easier, but I also can't even begin to count the number of people who have come to the gallery with an outline of what they are looking for and walked out with a piece of work which ticks none of those required boxes! Sometimes you just see something and it speaks to you and you can't say why... and just rolling with it really is the best part of it all.
Get All The Information
Have questions? Ask away! We are here to help with everything you might need to know when purchasing artwork. If you like to know the background of the artist when making your choice or why they have chosen a particular subject matter or colour scheme, then just ask. If you aren't sure on the frame and would like it changed or you need help getting it delivered or even if you aren't completely sure and want to see it in situ then, ask away!  We want you to be informed as possible about your new piece of work as most of the time you aren't just buying the piece in front of you - you are buying into the artist and their career so it is important to us that you feel as comfortable as possible taking that first step.
 Purchase For The Work, Not The Value
 It is no surprise that, with the art market the way it stands -  and with the added factor that it is one of the only markets to remain steady over such a long period of time, some of you might be considering investing in art - which is by all means a very smart decision if your choice pays off in the long run! However, we would always advise you to buy a piece of art first and foremost because you love it, and not because of how much money it is possibly going to make you in the future. Remember this is going to be a piece of art that will be in view every day, and possibly something you might even pass down to the next generation, so its essential that you like what's looking back at you. If you do it this way and the price does increase over time, then it's an added bonus to a piece of art you probably would struggle to part with anyway - and even if the artist happens to fall off the face of the earth, well you know what? Who cares, because before they fell they created this stunning piece that has given you so much joy for such a long time. Art is made to be looked at and to be appreciated so make your purchase for that reason alone and we promise you will never be disappointed with whatever artist or artwork you choose at the end of the day. 
Do It For The 'Buzz'
It's difficult to successfully describe what it feels like to purchase your first piece of art, or your second, or your third and so on... the great sense of satisfaction that comes with each purchase is probably all the same! During my time as an adviser I have witnessed it over and over, and I can tell you it never gets tiring seeing the sheer excitement on the faces of those who have made the decision to buy their first piece of serious art. After all, this isn't your ordinary purchase - this is an experience and we want to make it just that for you. It also really doesn't matter if you are the impulse buyer or more of the 'mull it over' type - the tremendous rush you feel isn't much like anything else. 
Don't Miss Out
In all our time working in this industry we rarely hear of people who regret the art they did buy, but all too often we hear about the regret of the ones they didn't (let's call them 'the ones that got away') and they will spend the rest of their days hoping to see something just like it, or something that will give them that same feeling they got when they first laid eyes on it. Our advise on this one? If you love it, and there is nothing stopping you from purchasing it - then just do it! It may be a daunting prospect and the feeling of making that initial leap into the art market may be scary, but we can promise that the feeling when you walk into the gallery a month later to see some lucky soul has picked it up for themselves is so much worse! Even if it's a limited edition you are interested in we suggest you just do it. Seeing the 'Editions of 95' mark can make you think you've got more time to spare but with artists like JJ Adams or Jack Vettriano's for instance... 95 copies can go extremely fast. 
But Most Importantly, Trust Your Gut...
Buying art and surrounding yourself with it is such an enriching experience and just like we choose the furnishings in our home or the clothes we wear based purely on personal taste - this should also be a rule of thumb when it comes to  buying art. Try not to to worry too much about the opinions of others, or get bogged down with whether or not it it's going to match the sofa. Art is one of the most personal things on the market today and if it conjures up something in you then you really don't need to justify that... our best advice is to always trust your gut and if it feels right, then it probably is!
So you feel ready to start your art collection this year? Well we hope that our words will help you to feel more at ease with this process - so relax, enjoy the experience and give us a call or an email today to see how that we can help you begin your journey!


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