Kick-starting a collection
We believe anyone can buy art and so it follows that we also believe anyone can collect art too. It is not the sole preserve of the rich and famous. And starting a collection is a lot easier and a whole lot more affordable than you might think. However, there is a difference between buying art to simply fill your home and with truly collecting art. Becoming a collector requires investment, it is an investment in yourself: your personality and your time. Building a collection needs patience and instruction, but it is also a fun way to express yourself and support the arts!
A good way to start is to start small. As with most commodities in life, the bigger it is, the more expensive it will be. Smaller artworks make for the perfect beginning to any collection. Not only are the price tags more modest, but being able to buy more lets you explore your tastes and experiment with different artists and different artworks. But don’t be tempted to rush a collection. Take time to build an incredible collection, as opposed to simply a large one.
To build a collection, it really helps to learn more about the art world. That way you can start to train your eye and coming to understand different techniques will help you choose quality pieces. As well as flicking through some art, or art history, books, it is also worth doing some online research about contemporary art and artists: their training, their trajectory, their typical price points. Invaluable resources include artinfo and artnet. You can also find great insight in art magazines and newspaper reviews too.
Discover your tastes
As well as learning about the art world to start a collection, you also need to learn about your own likes and dislikes. Collecting is usually thought of as a more methodical approach to acquiring art. Within a collection, it is expected that there will be a certain amount of cohesion: whether that is defining what resonates with you, or building round a loose theme e.g. subject matter, style, artists or medium. Having said that though, as long as you have a sense of what you can afford and you pick pieces that you connect with, then you can’t get much wrong. Art should be an emotional experience, so the biggest mistake you could make is buying something you don’t love.
Going to see as much art as you possibly can is another great way to develop that budding collector’s eye. Visit museums, galleries, art fairs of course, and any other art happenings you come across. And speak to people! Pick the brains of gallery owners, museum curators and even the artists themselves. They are there to help and eager to share their expertise. You could also follow the careers of artists you like. Sign yourself up to artist, gallery, and museum mailing lists for invites to special events, peruse blogs, visit studio openings…basically, just get involved!