Published August 1, 2022

How to Start Collecting Art in Your 20s

By The Testudo Team

Collecting art in your 20s is possible and deeply rewarding.

If you start collecting art in your 20s, you will have a transformative impact on your ability to think, see, and feel. Not only is it enriching to learn about artists and their work, but living with artwork in your home is life changing. Collecting art rather than simply viewing it within a gallery or museum is a uniquely separate experience. We consistently hear from potential collectors that they think they’re too young to start collecting art. We believe you can collect art at any age and want to share some considerations for how to start collecting art in your 20s.

Many people have the misconception that buying original artworks is exclusively for the super wealthy, but collecting art in your 20s is a very achievable goal. There’s a wide variety of artwork in terms of scale, price point, and themes that’s available to purchase even if you're working with a smaller budget.

To start collecting art, you should begin with a basic education of art to help you understand what your preferences are. Art is not only limited to paintings - there is an incredible variety of different art in the world, including sculpture, installation, photography, just to name a few. Many collectors find visiting museums helpful to begin their journey of collecting. Art museums are a great way to see a wide variety of art in quick succession. Museums also enable you to shape your personal preferences in terms of movements and styles. Always remember that many exhibitions within most museums throughout the US started as personal art collections before opening to the public.

Once you better understand your preferences, you next need to understand where you can buy work to truly start collecting art. Collectors typically begin with visits to galleries, either online or physical. Galleries work with artists to organize shows of work and facilitate sales. Many galleries (both online and physical!) won’t list the price of works they’re showing. This allows them to act as gatekeepers for which collectors are able to buy works. Unfortunately, this is often the first roadblock that people hit when they start collecting art. While Testudo showcases artwork like a gallery, we invite everyone to start collecting works on our platform. Our prices, like our values, are always visible for everyone to see.

The next step is to determine the type of art you want to collect. Often, collectors will determine a theme that allows them to curate a cohesive collection. They may start collecting art around a specific medium (paintings, sculptures), artistic style (abstract expressionism, surrealism), artist demographics (queer artists, female artists), or simply collect as many works as possible by a single artist. At Testudo, we feature a broad array of emerging artists working across different mediums, styles, and price-points to allow collectors to build their collections.

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Now that you have a sense of what work you want to collect and where you can acquire it, you need to decide on a budget. The world of art has a huge variety of price points for collecting art, with small pieces for less than $100 to the most important works selling to collectors for hundreds of millions. Although you may have a price in mind, art dealers are often very reluctant to share prices and even the availability of works with collectors. Fortunately, Testudo shares the pricing of all the artwork we have available with all collectors. This allows you to make an informed decision regarding how much you can spend on a work you love.

Another challenge revolving around collecting art in your 20s is that you frequently move. Your career and personal life often aren’t settled yet. This may make you weary to start collecting art. Moving art can be expensive and you may not always have the same amount of space to fit your collection. Testudo seeks to alleviate some of this burden by allowing collectors to resell work to other collectors. After a year of ownership, all artwork collected on Testudo is available to resell. If you have to move and won’t have space for a large painting you own, you can sell the work to another Testudo collector, who loves the artwork as much as you do. We’ll even facilitate pickup and delivery to the next collector as we realize collectors are passionate about art and not shipping and handling!

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Finally, when you start collecting art, you need to consider collection management. If you start collecting art from emerging artists, you want to easily access the price paid, purchase date, and the artist. This information will be helpful if you want to insure the work, which is always something you should consider when you start collecting art. Testudo makes collection management easy - we maintain all records of your purchase in one handy place.

Hopefully this has helped you understand how to start collecting art in your 20s. We want to remove the intimidation and exclusion that is often a common occurrence within the art world. Many who may want to collect art are turned off by the lack of transparency and perception that this is a pursuit only for the very rich. At Testudo, we believe that we’ve created an ecosystem where anyone, regardless of age, can start collecting art. We firmly believe that living with art in your home is transformative. Just because you’re still in your 20s doesn’t mean you can’t have this experience. In fact, your 20s is one of the best times to start your collection.

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