3 Steps Towards Becoming a Top Collector
Between all the art fairs and online galleries, buying art can be an overwhelming experience. Before you get bogged down with all the art choices out there, follow the 3 steps below to get yourself ready and be on top of your collecting game.
1. UNDERSTAND QUALITY. In order to identify great art, you must first develop your eye to truly know the difference between good and lesser works. Focusing on quality is easier said than done though. It requires tireless touring of art fairs and galleries, hours of looking at art in person, in books, and even on online. Understanding the criteria of a quality work of art is essential to connoisseurship and collecting art and it involves a lot more than knowing what you like.
Ask questions, and lots of them. Is there buzz around the artist (ie. are critics and curators are talking or writing about him/her?). Have they been featured in any shows recently? Does the object illustrate the artistic intent of the creator? Does the piece have an energetic power to it? Constantly test your level of connoisseurship but don’t worry–it doesn’t have to be that technical. By visiting galleries in your local neighborhood and when you go away on holiday so you can casually talk with the art dealers and learn about an artist and their overall body of work. Art fairs are also great because they offer the widest curated selection of art around and filter out the bad works for you already. And as a rule of thumb, practice prudence and apply common sense–if it’s too good to be true, it usually is! The more you see, the more you learn to trust your gut, and the better your collecting decisions will be.
2. CONNECT. The art world is a social place due to a lifestyle filled with travel, cocktail parties and of course, art. The social aspect allows for an easy exchange of ideas, tips and art stories. By interacting with other art lovers and surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals, you are sure to learn about current trends, up and coming artists,or even, a great artwork available for sale. Meeting other collectors also feeds your own infectious desire for art, and they usually like to share their latest acquisitions by opening their homes, sometimes to perfect strangers especially during art fair weeks. Join museums groups or support an art non-profit to really become part of the art community. In this social media age, it really pays to be outgoing or social, even if it’s through Twitter.
3. PULL THE TRIGGER. Don’t over think it! If an artwork moves you the right way, it’s got staying power. If it moves you the wrong way, it still has staying power. A sign of a bad work of art is one that leaves the viewer apathetic so if it doesn’t cause a response in you, walk away from it immediately. Set a budget for yourself from the beginning as a guide, but have the understanding that if you love it and absolutely must have it, then it’s quite okay to take the plunge and dive right in. Buyers remorse is a real thing, so don’t let paralysis by analysis set it. No regrets!
Want more tips on how to start collecting? Contact me at email@example.com