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What to Consider When Purchasing Artwork | Karen Usborne

purchasing artwork

There’s a lot of thought processing that takes place before a person invests their hard-earned money in a piece of art. This is the case for both first timers and expert collectors.

They each can be so fixated on various aspects which can make this experience that’s meant to be exciting, feel so overwhelming that it even seems right to keep pushing it off for another day. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Today, I will break down the three most important things to always look out for before committing to purchasing any artwork.

Know Your Preference

Starting an art collection can be a very exciting quest, however it’s important to not get caught up in the hype of it all, as it may lead you astray.

The number one most important thing to always consider before an art purchase is your own personal preference. You can explore your personal style by learning more about the basic art movements (which influence many of the work we see today), the different art styles and mediums. This can be done by visiting art galleries, museums and browsing different artworks online.

Don’t allow things like trends, prices and people’s recommendations lead you in a direction opposite to that of your own taste. Take the time you need to really think about the things that make you feel connected to a piece of art, the kind of art you love and one that you wouldn’t grow tired of looking at. Another great way to understand your own personal preferences is to look at your home’s interior décor, this can help you figure out which type of artwork is a great fit for your home.

Don’t Rush Into Purchasing Art

In my opinion, buying a piece of art is like committing to a new relationship, that’s why committing to a purchase is never something you should allow yourself to be impulsive about.

If you see artwork that evokes certain emotions in you, art that makes you feel like it’s something you’d wanna take home but you also feel a little hesitant, consider why this is. Give yourself as much time to think as you can afford and never allow the artist or the salesman to rush you into making a purchase you’re not ready for. Conduct proper research on the artist (if it’s someone new to you) and on the art piece — it’s history, the condition it’s in and it’s authenticity.

Just like getting a new tattoo, think about whether this is something you’d look at years later and still feel a sense of fulfillment. Always bear in mind that great collections are not something that can be rushed but are rather done with patience and careful consideration.

Set a Budget And Stick To It

When purchasing artwork, set a budget and stick to it — and this goes for any purchase you make in life. But this is more so when you’re purchasing artwork. There are multiple amazing pieces that will allure you into thinking they’re worth the sacrifice but don’t fall for that temptation. Set a reasonable budget and teach yourself to stick to it, no matter the emotional connection you might’ve made with one piece. In your budget, take into consideration the hidden costs, these include shipping, installation and packaging.


My bonus tip is to choose wisely. More often darker themes appear to be more powerful and more enticing. And if you choose to go with art of a darker theme, always consider how it will impact the mood and atmosphere of your home. If it’s something you’d love to see everyday, then there you have it! Lastly, if you are considering commissioning an original piece of artwork, contact me directly at enquiries@karenusborneartist.co.uk. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date!

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