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Art Collecting Tips

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The first and most important of all art collecting tips that I could give you is…buy art that you like. Don't buy art just because you think its good art from a critic's point of view.


Another thing you should try to avoid is getting caught up in the, "Gee… this painting must be worth a mint, I'm going to buy it and present it to the valuers on that Antique Road Show program" illusion. Doing this is like throwing all your money on the horse that every bookie knows will run last.  

Good art achieves its title for being good art simply through its ability to stimulate interest, intrigue, inspiration and pleasure - that applies to any style of art you choose. 

So in essence…buy art that appeals to you. The art you choose to buy should be an extension of your personality. Additionally, your appreciation for the artwork will be richer if you have a greater understanding or passion for the subject.


Get Familiar With Your Art Market

If you are looking to build your art collection for pleasure as well as investment, then another of my art collecting tips would be to encourage you to do some homework.

Make your art buying decisions based on reasonable research of the art market and by simply using common sense - particularly if you are planning to outlay a considerable amount of money.

Believe me, you don't need to be a art hobnob or professional critic in order to make wise buying decisions. All you need to do in order to assess the intrinsic value of the artwork is:

  • Inquire and get familiar with the artist (i.e.: status, credentials). How well does the artist represent his or her work? 
  • Consider asking yourself, "What makes his or her work so great? Is he/she a good modern day artist that produces art that really connects with me?"
  • Sign up for gallery or artist mailing lists, that way you'll begin to build confidence and knowledge about the artist and his or her artwork.

  • Keep an eye on art reviews, what's happening in the art scene and consider reading art magazines.


Artwork Documentation

Like any major purchase, its a good idea to ensure that you get appropriate documentation associated with the artist and the artwork itself. 

If you are just a casual collector then this may not be one of the more important art collecting tips to be mindful of. But if you are collecting paintings as a serious art collector, then all gallery or artist documentation associated to your purchased works is something you should (request) keep a copy of. 

Here are some examples:

  • "Certificate of Authenticity" - If the painting you have purchased is an original or limited edition, a certificate of authenticity is your proof. 

  • Protection and care instructions - not only is this helpful for you in knowing how to look after your artwork, but also it shows the integrity and consideration of the artist or gallery from which you bought the painting from.

  • Mailing List Information - This is a great way for you to keep in contact with the artist or gallery. If you are serious about your art collection, then it may be a good idea to keep an eye on your chosen artists career.

  • Proof of Purchase Receipt - While this is not ranked high on my art collecting tips list, you should consider keeping a record of your purchase to keep with your artwork. 

Another of my art collecting tips for art documentation is: Keep a personal record of your artworks size dimensions, any special identification markings on the back of canvas or frame. 

Also, keep a record of the paintings title and the date it was produced. All these little things help to keep a tight focus on your art collection and help to retain the "intrinsic value" or your artwork.


Consider a Little Art Collection Planning 

Planning your art collection helps to keep an even flow...or rather a nice progression and purpose to your collection. It doesn't matter if your purchases have been made simply to fulfil decor requirements within your home, or if you are genuinely trying to capture an artist in a certain period of his or her career. 

The main factor is to work on knowing in advance what your game plan will be in terms of purchasing to build your art collection. This will help give your artwork a storyline or show that each piece intertwines well with the next. 

Although this may seem like one of the more trivial art collecting tips I have to offer, like anything in life, good planning helps to eliminate confusion, hesitation and costly mistakes.


Looking After Your Art Collection

This is one of the most important of all my art collection tips. It goes without saying that if you have invested a lot of time and money into building your art collection then you'll certainly want to provide the best care and protection to avoid your artwork from depreciating. 

  • Ensure that you hang your artwork securely - Hanging a painting might seem a like a simple task, but its a good idea to make sure that your artwork is hung for visual appeal and most importantly for stability.

  • Lighting - While natural light is the best for your artwork, keep in mind that direct UV sunlight can damage and fade your paintings. If you are framing your artwork then consider having a UV protection glass incorporated into your framework.

  • Humidity - If for instance you have a gallery wrapped canvas painting on your wall, the paintwork will gather dust as gallery wrapped canvases quite often do not require a (glass) frame. The problem is that if you have your painting in a humid environment, the dust actually absorbs the moisture from the humidity and as result creates mould.

    This in turn creates those ugly brown marks on your artwork. So...its a good idea to avoid hanging your art in areas of humidity. But if this is somewhat of a challenge due to your location, then at least ensure that your room has good ventilation to help keep the air slightly dry. 

  • Heat - Art really needs to be in a consistent temperature environment. If there are too many variations in temperature, the artwork expands and contracts continually, which essentially causes the artwork to become frail. So try to keep your artwork out of extreme fluctuating temperatures.

Finally, another of my art collecting tips would be to start slow. Take your time doing some research, getting to know a few artists and assessing as to whether their work appeals to you.

Art collecting should be fun. It's a journey of learning, discovery and inspiration so plan to enjoy every moment of it. 

More Art Collecting Tips

Buying Art By Commission
Buying your canvas wall art by commission is a fantastic opportunity to add your personal input in order to suit your taste of art.

Identifying Artist Signatures
Identifying artist signatures is certainly a lot easier these days thanks to our ability to easily access information over the Internet.

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