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This article was written by Ken Joslin and has been edited and published with permission of the author.

Collecting fine art isn’t all that hard. For example, you don’t have to be an art history expert or art critic to become an art collector. Anyone can collect art.

And yes, buying art for fun can occasionally be much more costly than other hobbies—but then again, it doesn’t always have to be.

Here are just a few suggestions for new art collectors.

1. Love the art you collect

The first, and most important step to becoming a collector, is to love what you collect. Make sure that the work of art touches you. If you see a painting and your heart begins to race, or you get chills up and down your spine, don’t panic. It just means that this may be the piece for you.

2. Buy art for the long term

Take into consideration that the art you buy will most likely hang in your home for a long time. Find pieces that you will never tire of. . . choose works of art that will bring a smile to your face on the gloomiest of Mondays.

3. Look for art in a specific theme

If you’re not sure where to start, you may want to decide upon a theme and then collect images in that genre, such as music, family, romance, etc. This will also make it easier to display multiple works of art in your home since they’ll all “go together.”

4. Expand your knowledge of art

Visit your local library or browse the internet to find out about different styles of art, mediums, and techniques. This will help you know what you really like.

5. Get comfortable around art

Even if you’re not ready to buy anything, start visiting your local gallery or museum on a regular basis. Find a painting that captivates you and soak it in. Examine the meaning of the piece. Put yourself in the artist’s shoes and imagine his or her muse. You’ll find that most art goes deeper than the canvas.

6. Talk to gallery owners and artists

Art galleries are an excellent venue for shaping your collection. Gallery owners often know about up and coming artists, events, and trends; and can also educate you on art terminology or give you tips on protecting your investments.

Never feel embarrassed to ask an artist or gallery owner questions about the art on display. Most artists love the opportunity to speak about their work, so feel free to ask them what their inspiration is, what techniques were used, or how long it takes to finish a piece. You can even ask why one painting costs more than another.

In the end, the more you know about your favorite works of art, the more you’ll enjoy hanging those pieces in your own home.

Visit the author’s website, www.KenJoslinArt.com, to learn more.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Art for art's sake, money for God's sake. . . The old 10cc song played in my head as the annual Sparx in the City art event kicked off in Cleveland. Over 500 regional artists put out their wares and the city turned out to art walk at a number of locations. I was stationed at the Galleria doing a live painting demo when a group of. . . read more

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