How to Start Collecting Art with Amy Wiggin

After artist and printmaker, Amy Wiggin purchased a work by Katy Binks on our site, she took to social media to discuss the importance of supporting emerging artists. We spoke to Amy more about her own collecting journey and what the pieces in her home mean to her. It only felt right to get Amy’s tips at the same time as we launch new works by Katy, the artist who inspired the start of this conversation.
This year I made a commitment to start collecting emerging artists because:

1. It makes my home more beautiful
2. I want to invest in artist’s careers because I know from personal experience that every sale matters especially for early career artists
Art collecting isn’t as expensive as you may think - and there are many ways to do it… 
Amy Wiggin Home, Katy Binks Artwork, Art School Prints, How to Start Collecting
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can find art through many different avenues, you can even message artists directly via Instagram for a studio visit. This is such a great way to see pieces in the flesh and meet the artist in person. I think that meeting an artist can often inform the work more. I recently bought a work from Holly Mills after falling in love with it online. After I purchased it, I asked her to tell me what it was about, she wrote me a handwritten letter about the piece which made me love the piece infinitely more, and I’ve enclosed it in the back of the frame.
Holly Mills etching, Amy Wiggin How to Collect Art fro Art School Prints.      Holly Mills letter, Amy Wiggin How to Collect Art fro Art School Prints
I find art in lots of different places – most commonly via artist friends. I’m sometimes lucky enough to be able to do swops if we are collaborating on a show together but this isn’t something I’d suggest to another artist as I think it’s important to be paid for your work.
I also find art through attending private views. Recently I attended the PV of artist, Nettle Grellier at Soho Revue. I started following her on Instagram and saw she had more work via @wondering.people. Galleries and online platforms, like Art School, tend to show artists with similar aesthetics, so it’s a good way to discover many more artists who suit your taste. It was through them that I discovered Holly Mills.
If you’re unsure what you like, then getting out and seeing shows is a great way to put your own personal inner art critic to the test. Sign up to @campbell.hector newsletter to be informed of the best exhibitions coming up that month.
 Amy Wiggin, Art School Prints, How to Collect Art .      Amy Wiggin, Art School Prints, How to Collect Art, Royal Academy
I’m personally drawn to many different aesthetics – but both colour and printmaking are massive pulls for me when it comes to buying art. I’m yet to buy a big statement piece (as my London flat is teeny weeny) but I’m saving up for a big painting by one of my favourite artists currently..
I have different pieces in my home I’ve collected throughout the years, one that stands out is a gorgeous two-colour screen print from my art college classmate Lydia Brownlee that was rescued from the bin after a rainstorm at her degree show, which leaked through the ceiling and saturated her piece! With her permission, I pulled it out the bin, dried and ironed it and it remains one of my favourite pieces. The colours and narrative are so uniquely quirky and it is a constant reminder of my glorious time at art college.
 Another treasure piece is by my friend Nancy Haslam Chance, a tiny (under 15cm!) black and white etching of men showering naked. We were sketching buddies at art college and still sketch together when we get the chance. Nancy has such a beautiful and unique way of drawing.
I’m also fond of a RA Summer Exhibition poster from 2018 – when one of my lithographs was exhibited there. It was one of the first times I took myself seriously as an artist and I thought that the world might want to see more of what I could make.
My relationships with my collection have changed over time, particularly the piece by Lydia which has moved to many homes with me, it reminds me of different phases and tastes in my life, and that my art is always a companion along the way.

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