Beginners guide to collecting art

Background:

Different people collect art for different reasons. While some people collect art for decoration, some do it as an investment. And then some people do it purely due to the love and passion for the art. Whatever may be the reason, the art collection is something that cannot be done overnight. It requires patience and willingness to learn. 

So, if you are a beginner in the field of the art collection, then this blog is for you. This blog will give you art collecting tips, which will help you as a beginner.

Art Collection | NB: This is not an original name, I know ne… | Flickr

Doing homework:

So, you are planning to start your art collection. But before you do that, you need to do some homework. Some of the things you need to do are given below:

  • Identify your objective: Before you begin collecting art, be clear in your objective. The clarity of thoughts in your mind will go a long way in deciding what you buy, how you buy, and from where you buy. After all, your art collection is a reflection of your personality.
  • Set your budget: Once you identify your object, the next step is to fix a budget. This will help you decide what to buy and from where? A good idea will be to start small and then grow with your collection, confidence, and understanding of art.
  • Visit art fairs: Art fairs are a good place to learn about art. They are as good as museums when it comes to the quality and quantity of art. Any outsider can become an insider soon. Also, you get to witness a lot of work from different galleries and by different artists in one place. The dealers are very eager to help you, both as a seller and as a teacher. Though they like educated art lovers, if you are curious to learn about art, they do not mind expanding their clientele.
  • Browse art books: Many people treat art books as a virtual art collection. An art book is a great way to live with a body of work. These art books could be in the form of the history of an individual artist’s work (monograph), museums and galleries catalogues, and artists' books, which reflect the passion projects of an artist in a book form. These books will help you learn a lot about various types of artworks, mediums, and styles.
  • Browse Online: Another way to learn about art and find artwork for your art collection is to browse reputed websites. On the websites, you can sort and search artworks according to medium, size, theme, orientation and colour, and even country of origin.

Quick tips:

Once you have done with your homework, the next step is to actually go out and buy the art. One common tip is to make a slow and cautious start. 

  • Do your homework: First learn about art through books, websites, and by visiting art fairs. There are many bargains of art, which one can find at charity auctions or various auction houses.
  • Never accept a dealer's price: Before paying for the artwork, check what similar works are being sold for. And an art collector expecting and getting a 10% discount is very common.
  • Do not buy for short gains: Buy the art that you like, and not for short gains. Treat your collection and your hard-earned property. Buy to keep for the long term.
  • Buy from small editions: Do not buy prints, which are available in mass. If at all, you are buying a copy, buy it where the edition size is less. Make sure, it is signed by the artist.
  • Ask for a Certificate of authenticity: While buying an artwork, the Certificate of Authenticity proves that it is authentic work. This document will be very useful while selling the artwork or even insuring it. And it’s important to keep these documents safely, as losing them may prove very expensive.

What Should I Purchase?

After doing a thorough homework, you would be in a better position to find out what kind of art would you like to collect and the themes, genres and artists that attract you. If still in doubt, go through the following list to find out possible art forms that you could choose from:

  • Photography and limited-edition Prints: Paintings made by famous artists are often one-off and hence they can be very expensive. On the other hand, photographs and limited-edition artworks are available in multiple units. Hence, they are a little cheaper.
  • Sculpture & Design Objects: Most beginners prefer to start an art collection with framed artworks, and tend to ignore sculptures and design objects. However, these 3-D art pieces make their presence feel both in your home and in your art collection. It is always suggested to have a decent mix of these as well.
  • Paintings: But, if you still want to go for paintings only, there are ways by which you can buy good paintings at a lower price. While there are paintings available in all price range, we recommend you to start with investing in paintings of little lesser-known artists, as they are less expensive.  
  • Printmaking and works on paper: You can also invest in etching, monoprint or drypoint (a product of an extensive process called printmaking). These are original artworks, manually drawn and printed using a press. Works on paper are always a great point of starting out on a collection since they fit all the requirements of being within your budget and being original works of art.

Conclusion:

The art collection is a great way to not only show your passion for art but also a way to make decent money. However, before you begin the art collection, you need to get the homework done so that you do not end up on the losing side.