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First Time Buyer?

Woman with Octopus on her back

Joanna Lyczko & Seila Susberg, 'Octopi' (detail). Image © the artist.

Courtesy of Royal Scottish Academy, New Contemporaries 2012.

Origami shelter in Scottish landscape.

Hannah Imlach, 'Origami Shelter at Rannoch Moor', 2011. Image © the artist.

Courtesy of Royal Scottish Academy, New Contemporaries 2012.

Sarah R Key, 'Our Lips Are Sealed', Acrylic on canvas, 2010 80 x 59 cm.

Courtesy of the artist and Tarpey Gallery.

Buying art for the first time, or even negotiating the vast area of contemporary art, can be a daunting prospect. But with a little time spent getting to know the ropes, buying the art you love can be an exciting and rewarding experience.

Something for everyone

With over 250 Own Art galleries and many thousands of artists' work to choose from, we believe that there is something for everyone out there. The piece that will be your first purchase is just waiting to be discovered!


Take a look at our Find a Gallery page where you can search for a gallery in your area or an area you're planning to visit. You can also search by the type of work you might be interested in be it prints, paintings, sculpture or jewellery.

For further information on the type of work you can buy with an Own Art loan see our section on exploring different art forms.

Find out more

If something has caught your eye, ask the gallery to give you more information about the artist, what inspired them and how they created the work. Knowing more about how and why the work has been made will develop your understanding of the artist, and maybe make you love it all the more!

If you are interested in a particular artist, or have just seen something by an artist you really like, try using Google to see if you can find out more about them. You might be surprised to find that a gallery nearby has their work.

Putting things in perspective

In order to get a sense of where a particular artist or type of work sits within the context of the wider contemporary art or craft scene, you may want to do a bit of background research before deciding to buy. Take a look at our Art Intelligence section, or sign up to our mailing list for the latest news and opportunities to see and buy straight to your inbox.

Buy the art you love

Despite many people buying art which will lead to a great investment, the majority of people will buy just because they have fallen in love with a piece of work. Follow your instincts - you want make sure that you are going home with something that you will continue to enjoy for years to come.


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Hang-Up Pictures Launch. Courtesy of the Gallery.

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