‘Buy what you love. The in­vest­ment is the plea­sure it will give you’

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from a young age: her mother and sis­ter are both artists, while her fa­ther col­lects mod­ern Bri­tish art. She stud­ied his­tory of art at Bris­tol, be­fore work­ing at the White Cube gallery, Christie’s and an on­line auc­tion house start-up founded by an ex-di­rec­tor at Sotheby’s. Af­ter that she branched out to be an art con­sul­tant for wealthy clients.

“It was a cut-throat world; we were all chas­ing the same col­lec­tors and it wasn’t par­tic­u­larly ful­fill­ing. I wanted to sell art to peo­ple like me, who wanted it in their homes rather than as in­vest­ment pieces stored in a vault.”

At the same time her friends, who were just buy­ing their first flats, were ask­ing her where they could buy art for their new, bare walls. “They had rela- feed @part­ner­shipedi­tions – Spray hosts pop-ups in gal­leries, co-work­ing spa­ces, and with fash­ion brands.

Her own home func­tions as a gallery of the pieces she most loves: a vi­brant con­tem­po­rary in­ter­pre­ta­tion of a Khoisan cave paint­ing hangs above her fire­place by South African artist Lady Skolly (£380 on the site); be­hind the sofa she has hung pieces by In­dia De­war (£200), the In­sta­gram­mer’s favourite Jonathan Schofield (£550), and Ju­lianna Byrne (£380); while the snug and her bed­room hold even more.

The works con­stantly ro­tate. “I re­cently put up a piece by Jonathan Schofield in my lounge, which had large sec­tions of red; then I re­alised that the red lit­tle steplad­der I keep near the sofa worked re­ally well with it. They spoke to each other.”

There are more ways than ever to find well­priced orig­i­nal pieces for your walls: the Af­ford­able Art Fair, which takes place across the world, is pitch­ing up at Bat­tersea on Oct 18. If you ar­rive early ( and look hard) Frieze Lon­don also has some pieces from emerg­ing artists that could fit the bill. A tour around some of the UK’s best art schools, from Slade and Gold­smith to the Glas­gow School of Art dur­ing de­gree shows, is an ex­cel­lent way to pick up a bar­gain from an as-yet-un­known artist.

An­other way to find more af­ford­able pieces is to buy etch­ings or screen prints, adds Spray, who is pas­sion­ate about only sell­ing orig­i­nal pieces of work rather than dig­i­tal re­pro­duc­tions. Her cus­tomers gen­er­ally pay about £200 to £350.

“I find many of them will quickly make a sec­ond, more ex­pen­sive, pur­chase once they re­ceive the piece and can ap­pre­ci­ate the time and skill that has gone into mak­ing it,” she says. She will also be in­tro­duc­ing the op­tion for peo­ple to pay in in­stal­ments soon.

Arts Coun­cil Eng­land runs a lit­tle­known scheme that pro­vides in­ter­est­free loans of be­tween £100 and £2,500 for the pur­chase of works of art by liv­ing artists. The pro­gramme, Own Art, means the loans can be paid back over 10 months, and the art can be bought through a net­work of gal­leries.

Spray says it’s im­por­tant to go with your own in­stincts and tastes when de­cid­ing what to buy, and ig­nore what might be cur­rently in fash­ion.

“This could be one or a com­bi­na­tion of el­e­ments, from great com­po­si­tion, use of colour, and con­cept or their tal­ent for cap­tur­ing a mo­ment or an essence of some­thing, of­ten only in a few marks. Per­son­ally, I like to col­lect art that is aes­thet­i­cally sat­is­fy­ing and at the same time chal­lenges me or has a deeper nar­ra­tive be­neath the sur­face.”

For Spray, buy­ing art should not be ap­proached as a get-rich-quick scheme. “There’s no real way to tell if an artist is go­ing to be a good in­vest­ment,” she says.

“You should just buy what you love. The in­vest­ment is the plea­sure that it will give you over your life.”

Geor­gia Spray at her home in Hack­ney, east Lon­don, where her walls are cov­ered with art, main and be­low; bot­tom, her Jonathan Schofield next to the red steplad­der

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