To make the most of the Affordable Art Fair, whether visiting to browse, buy, take part or learn, you can separate the worthwhile experience into various stages to get the most out of it.

If you’re looking to buy, it’s important to think about your space before you arrive.

Consider what you are looking for and what might work in that space. Similarly, it’s important to think about your budget – there’s something to suit all at the fair with art priced between £40 and £4,000 – and with a bit of planning you can take away a piece of art on the day without making too big a dent in the bank balance… but be prepared to blow the budget if you see a piece that you just can’t live without. You’ll only regret what you don’t buy, not what you do!

When you get to the fair pick up a free fair guide and map. Take your time to look around, making notes on galleries, pieces that you like, and the essentials, including artist, size and price. The most important thing when looking at a work of art is your own individual response.

Picking out the perfect piece is something that shouldn’t be rushed. Viewing art should be fun and visiting the Affordable Art Fair is all about having an enriching experience. The important thing is to feel comfortable and gain knowledge. Ask the gallery representatives questions about the artwork you’re interested in and take in some of our informal guided talks. Once you’ve had a look round, take a break to refresh your senses. Have a glass of wine, chat to friends and then have another gander to absorb the variety of art on offer before committing to a purchase.

A good way to kick start your art collection is to buy original prints or work by emerging artists. The Affordable Art Fair Hampstead has thousands of original artwork for sale and has long been a hunting ground for collectors looking to spot the next rising star as well as a perfect place for picking up household names including Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Marc Quinn, Anish Kapoor and David Hockney – all of which provide great investment potential.

As a general rule you only get one chance at buying original art so if there’s something you have your heart set on, then go for it! Collecting art is a lot easier than you might think – you don’t need to be an art expert or a millionaire. Art is a reflection of you and your personality, and purchasing a piece of work you feel a connection with means you’re likely to appreciate and enjoy it just as thoroughly many years down the line.