7 Affordable Ways to Start Your Art Collection

A big turn off for people getting into collecting art is the cost. It's hard to get into art if you can never afford to own any of it. I mean, at least for fashion there are outlets like Century 21 that can get you those Prada labels for a fraction of the original costs. Well, the same theory can be applied in collecting art, especially when you first start out. My home is filled with art and when people come over they are blown away, mainly because they probably think I dropped my whole life savings into making my home look like a gallery. So to further CMB's mission of bringing an appreciation of art back to the masses I am going to reveal to you the "no shame in my game" secrets of starting your very own art collection.

1. Thrift Stores.

So many people flock to thrift stores for clothes either because they are strapped for cash or they want to find something different from whats in the stores catering to the masses. Typically most of us overlook the house ware section where they keep the paintings, mirrors etc. Don't skip over this section! Keep your eye out because you can find stuff like my painting below. It is an original acrylic painting on canvass that is signed by the artists. It's interesting, colorful, and most of all I like it. Dope ass part is that I paid $10 for it at Salvation Army.

2. Hole in the Wall Antique Stores.

Now a price step above thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army are little antique thrift stores. They are over ran with very cool pieces that you just can't find anywhere else, not even in galleries. The paintings will either be on canvass or in antique frames which would cost a pretty penny on their own. Added bonus is that they have sculptures and other old timey items to pimp your place out with. When you go to these places you are looking at a price range from $50-$250, but most likely they will say stuff is half-off or negotiate a lower price. This little gem is in my Astoria neighborhood but they are all around the city.

3. Trade with Other Artists.

You would not believe how many creative people there are out in this world that do various type of art as a hobby. If you are also one of those people, make a connection and see if they would be down to trade with you. Before CMB was this amazing art platform, we did custom sunglasses, and I swapped two pairs of sunglasses for this dope ass original piece on wood from a fellow artist. Honestly, he approached me about this over Face Book and thank the good lord he did, because this thought would never have crossed my mind! I guess game recognize game homie. Since then I've definitely traded art for well..... other stuff.

4. Craigslist.

In a world where people are constantly moving and changing their lives, it is only natural that they need to unload their worldly possessions for a bit of coin. Believe me it's not just for couches ladies and gentleman. Now if you think CL is full of weirdo's and killers, I can't help you. For you brave bad asses out there you to can score something like my painting below. This young artists was moving back home from NYC and her childhood room didn't have space for it. She painted this incredible 6ft painting herself and it is flawless. When I read the ad that she only wanted $70 I was blown away and clearly convinced a friend to be my taxi to pick up stat.

5. Artist Collectives.

There are galleries and then there are galleries that are also artist collectives. Most of the time collectives are incubators for up and coming artists who display their work, offering them at an incredible price. In NYC my favorite is ConArtist Collective because their talent pool is diverse and they have shows where everyday people can leave with someone's art work without spending that New York rent money. And think about it, if an artist you supported while at a collective because the next big thing, the value of the piece you swooped up naturally increases. Can we say retirement plan or at least a rainy day fund? I picked up these up dollar bills at ConArtist Super Dollar Bill show awhile ago, each priced differently depending on the artist. These are from some of my favorite NYC street artists like SacSix, Leaf8K, Gazoo, and Shark Eye. Now is that the dopest ATM you've ever seen! Bonus story CMB contributing writer Kayla Heisler picked up her first ever art piece at ConArtist.

6. Support Artists.

If you are moved by an artist's work then follow them on social media. They will let you know when they are showing in galleries, or even better, hosting their own show. Go to the show if you can, see how it makes you feel in person. Then buy their art just like you would buy your favorite designers clothes. Art is not cheap to make, the materials cost money and it's their talent that allows the creation to come alive. Each piece is one of a kind and special, so if you want them to keep working and not be homeless, buy their work. If you can't get a big piece, most of them create smaller works that are more affordable. I dropped some extra coin on this Anne-Valerie Dupond sculpture when Decorazon Gallery was at the NYC Affordable Art Fair . Hint hint homies the fair is back in September. Find out which one of your favorite artist will be showing. Below is Max, my quirky unicorn Anne-Valerie made from recycled material, her work is just my jam!

7. Create.

The most simplest way to get original, one of kind art in your place is to make it. Go to Michaels, pick up supplies, and let out whatever you have going on in your soul out! Don't be ashamed to display it in your space no matter what, because that came from you and you are beautiful. I made this little thing at a girls craft night, was it the best one out of my crew? Hell no. But it's mine and I love it.

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