Where to look first?

It’s often said that that the hardest yoga move is stepping onto the mat, and in the same sense the hardest part of finding new and original art for the home or workplace is knowing where to start, knowing where to look for that initial spark of inspiration.

Whilst every situation is different, our recommendation for people not already familiar with their artistic preferences is to begin the search using online galleries such as Artsy, Saatchi Art and Art Finder. These websites are free to browse and contain a plethora of original art from all around the world spanning every medium and style imaginable, making it an ideal way of getting to grips with what’s out there, honing your artistic preferences and building an initial flow of inspiration.

Artsy is a good starting point for new collectors

Artsy is a good starting point for new collectors

Start off your search by clicking on any piece of work on the home page of an online gallery that catches your eye, or by searching for terms that relate to subjects that mean a lot to you or by established names that you like.

As you’re scrolling through the different works, make a mental note of your reactions to the various pieces and try to unearth why you’re having those reactions. If you love something, why? If you hate something, why? The more often you do this the better you will fine tune your artistic radar and your confidence will begin to grow.

Most online galleries also enable you to follow the progress of artists you like and will provide new recommendations based upon your likes and the artists you’re following, so within a short space of time you will be able to build up a digital collection of pieces which resonate with you.

Further to online galleries, Social media platforms such as Instagram can also provide an interesting interactive way of discovering new art, although the quality can be a little more hit and miss here. Start off by following some artists that you like or by using the search bar to look for works in a certain style, colour, medium or theme, or follow hashtags such as #contemporaryart or #artcollector. The more artists you follow the more the social media platform will do to recommend new artists who might catch your eye. (Don’t forget to follow our social media channels too for bold recommendations!)

Follow us @statementartuk

Follow us @statementartuk

In addition to online galleries and social media platforms, printed magazines such as Aesthetica and frieze can provide an invigorating source of inspiration, as well as offering a worthwhile insight into the new and emerging artists who are currently making waves in the industry.

However, whilst these various online and printed options provide a very good first step to discovering your preferences, and may even lead you to discovering a dream piece of work, they don’t always give you the full picture, literally. There’s just so much more detail, texture and impact to discover when encountering original art in the flesh. Therefore, once you’re beginning to get a handle on the type of art and artists that you’re drawn to and why you’re drawn to them, the next step is to get out into the real world by visiting galleries, open studios and art fairs in order to further hone your artistic eye.

Furthermore, if you’re looking to buy original art partly as a financial investment, then there are some crucial additional considerations to bear in mind before taking the plunge. These topics and more will be covered in future articles, so make sure to subscribe to our newsletter below to never miss a beat!

In the mean time, enjoy exploring the diverse treasures of online art to spark that initial inspiration and get to grips with your preferences.


Oliver Squirrell