How to start an art collection for under $1000

Starting an art collection can be an intimidating and overwhelming process due to the huge amount of art on offer. Here at Bluethumb we have formulated a few easy steps to help you start the foundations of your individual art collection.


Airtight by Jacquie Hughes

Go with your first instinct.

“The first commitment to a work of art will probably be the most daunting, but the best time to start collecting art is always now. As in love – hesitation is loss.” – Anna Johnson, The Guardian

Buy what you love. Sounds corny but no truer words have ever been spoken, the best personal art collections are built from love. As this is your art collection, make sure it reflects you and your individual tastes, passions and style.


The Hanging of Alex Pearce by Stephen Homewood

Don’t collect to invest. We collect art to enrich our lives not our bank accounts. If your art collection does go up in value that’s just and added bonus! 

Start Small. Look at younger and emerging artists. They are going to be more affordable. If you love an artwork by a more well established artist, look for their smaller or early work. Prints and drawings are a great start.


My Heart’s Desire by Ben Tankard

Do your research. Found an artwork you love? Learn about the artist, where they are from, what stage in their career they’re at. What are their influences? This can be helpful in the future to know what you are buying and who you are buying.

Buy good quality. After taking a class in art conservation, I know that a lot can go wrong and destroy artworks. Poor quality paper and other support materials can destroy an artwork quickly. To ensure that your collection can last for years to come, buy art you know has been produced with quality materials.


Unstabilisationalism by Benjamin Eckersley

Now to put words into practice. I’m going to begin my own art collection with a budget of $1000 on art from Bluethumb.

I like illustration and minimal design over landscapes, still life or abstraction. I love blues and pinks, nature documentaries and femininity. I like circles over squares. My favourite artists include Brett Whiteley, Richard Bell and Beci Orpin.

Going on these parameters I searched Bluethumb to find 4 artworks to start my collection.

Beginning my search I looked at the new art section on the site. I immediately fell in love with this:


Untitled by Natalie Wright

The colours and heavy paint texture really appeal to me. Using the high definition view on the website I was able to inspect the condition and paint quality.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 1.02.50 pm

The artist Natalie Wright is of Indigenous ancestry, living in country Victoria. She studied studio arts at RMIT in 2007 and has only been exhibiting since 2014, as she has stated in her About selection on Bluethumb.

From this first painting I searched Bluethumb using different search tools and strategies: Category, Mediums, Keywords, in the suggested ‘art you might like’ section and under the Popular art category.
For the not so grand total of $980, I have uncovered 4 great original artworks ready in the checkout cart:


Untitled by Natalie Wright


Watermelon Loveheart by Soo Beng Lim


Fresh Deadly Roses by Jeremy Elkington


Once in a Blue Moon by Jacquie Hughes












Being able to see them next to each other I couldn’t be happier. Each piece looks great and unique on its own. Looking through each artists profile it is interesting to see that I have chosen a mix of artwork from different stage artists. Displayed together the colours and shapes work well together.

Now to work on my budget to get an extra $1,000 to spend on art!



What makes an artist: Llael McDonald

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