Becoming an art collector, especially when you are new to the art world can seem overwhelming at first. What artists do I collect? How do I know if this artist if any good? Will the artworks I collected be worth anything in the future? How do I find good emerging artists? What is the best place to find art? How do i build a good art collection?
Most of these questions are answered with first had experience that has been built up over years of trial and error, networking and having your foot in the door of the art world. Some collectors have resorted to spending large amounts on art advisors and curators that source artwork on their behalf. This would be great if everyone had a large budget at hand, but for the most of us just starting out this is not the case, we have one thing in mind – buy the works cheap, sell the works for more in the future.
We sat down with some of the most notable collectors within are network, here ae their top tips for starting an envious collection:
Visit art fairs that focus on individual artists
There are plenty of art shows year on year that display a vast amount of new talent, the only issue with these are the artists have already been snapped up by the galleries who have added a mark up on the value of each work. So rather than it becoming a place to discover the next best thing, it ends up becoming a day of being bombarded by sales executives where every artist being represented is considered the ‘next best thing’. Whilst a lot of galleries know what they are talking about, this still leaves you to wonder if your truly getting art from a young aspiring artist or just being sold on the galleries gamble.
Where you want to be headed are art pop up shows and art school foundation shows where all interactions is between you and the artist directly. This way you can talk to the artist and understand first hand their passion and ambition. You get to see the man or woman behind the painting. Which will help you determine if whether this person is worth investing and adding to your collection. Sometimes it is the person you are investing into and not the artwork itself. This approach also helps you to gain more of an understanding about the depth and character of artist. Which will help build a solid collection.
Talk to other collectors and see who they are interested in.
”If you don’t know, ask”. Build your network within the artworld with collectors and curators to find out which artists they are looking into. Who they have bought in the past and what motivates them to invest in a particular artists. Knowledge does not always have to be bought. It goes a long way talking to someone with experience in building a collection already.
Research, the internet is your friend.
Sometimes one does not have the time to attend every art show. Our schedules are busy enough without having to fit in every exhibition that is emailed to us. Take some time out of your day when possible to research on the internet. On new artist or artists you have come across. Check out their past exhibitions. Who has represented them? Which collectors have bought their works? Have they been featured in any media? Won any prizes? Etc. You will want to go with artists that have a track record. Or at least is attempting one. It shows they are serious about making a career as an artist.
You wont always get it right, be prepared and gamble small.
Don’t always expect that every artist you buy into is going to be a hit. A lot of the time you will find it is the exact opposite. Gamble small, don’t spend everything on a few pieces but rather buy small at first then gradually increase once you are sure the artist is going places.
Buy what you like, Buy who you like and have fun
Art is subjective, everyone has different tastes. Buy what you like, what you would hang on your wall. Don be afraid to explore beyond your comfort zone. Most importantly have fun with it, building a collection is not a job, it is a passion project.