The broke art collector: How (and when) to start collecting


This is the first in a series of posts about why and how to collect art -- even when you don't have a lot of extra money.

I don't know if this counts, but the first piece of "art" I "collected" was one of those Paper Moon art-deco greeting cards that were popular in the '70s. Yes, I was a little kid then with nothing more than babysitting money to spend at the mall, but I couldn't keep away from the fantastic images. I started buying them just so I could study them, enjoy them, and display them on my bedroom wall. I planned on being an illustrator or comic book artist when I grew up.

Alas, in college I discovered that I am more nimble with turn of phrase than I am with a Rapidograph pen (this is pre-computer, remember),so I opted for journalism instead. But imagery and color continued to lure me.

My first job out of college was for a weekly paper in an affluent community. Wealthy, urbane people lived there, and I was sent out to interview many of them. I got to into their lavish homes and oggle their fine furnishings and beautiful artwork. And it is here, gentle reader, that my story really begins.