When you attend the Affordable Art Fair this weekend:

1. Repeat after me: I’m not an art idiot. “We live in such a visual world, with magazines galore; we see beautifully composed photographs in adverts, TV shots, film shots. Everyone is visually tuned in and ready to buy art.”

2. Get lost. “It’s so much easier to lose yourself in the crowd of an art fair than in a single gallery, where you’re nervous and they can hear your footsteps, and you think you’re going to be asked a scary question.”

3. Take a little notepad. “Jot down the things you like. Make a note of which stand they’re on so you can find them again, and then have a drink.”

4. Buying art is like dating. “There’s an initial attraction and then you delve deeper and discover what’s below the surface. Buying a piece of art is forming a relationship with an artist, in effect, because you both appreciate the same things, be it a mood or a landscape.”

5. Measure twice, cut once. “If you’re looking for a specific piece for a specific wall, then measure the space beforehand and take a photo of it.”

6. Keep an eye out for diamonds. “I bought a Louise Bourgeois at an affordable art fair eight, 10 years ago. A sculpture or unique piece by her would be far too expensive, but it was a small editioned piece, so I could afford that.”

7. Gang up. Do as Jacobs does: “I have collector friends in Seattle who will buy pieces together and rotate them.”

8. Don’t spend the rent money. “You shouldn’t be afraid to ask gallerists if you can pay in installments. They’re there to help you buy art; they’re going to be very open and helpful.”

9. Relax. “Over half our visitors are people who already go to galleries and buy art. They come to see young artists they might not have come across before, and maybe do a bit more relaxed art buying—something that doesn’t require a big budget or decision.”

10. Leave the bike, take the car. “We have a wrapping service; that’s very much part of the game. You can take your art straight home.”

Affordable Art Fair
Nov 8–11, $10–$12, preview party $65
Exhibition Hall, 305 Harrison St, Seattle Center, affordableartfair.com/seattle