degas paintings photo

Degas, Two Dancers

So You Want To Be An Art Collector – How Do I Do That?

Be an art collector – follow your dream. Have you always wanted to collect art? If you are just beginning to be an art collector, then the best thing to do is start with an open mind. You need to develop your aesthetic sensibilities, learn how to read a work of art and be curious. Take some time to initially decide what area of art interests you, then search out the places where you might find that. Visit galleries and ask questions about the art and artists that have been showing there. If you come across an artist that appeals to you, check out more of their work.


You need to understand the difference between buying art and collecting it. On the surface, it might seem to be the same thing. However what often happens when you are an art buyer is that you tend to collect random works that you like and your collection doesn’t necessarily have a cohesion to it. Collecting art, on the other hand, is more of a considered and controlled activity. People have all different kinds of collections, everything from dolls to stamps, butterflies and plants. The one thing that these collections all have in common is that the collector is passionate about the subject and will often limit their selection to a particular branch of it, for example, a stamp collector might collect only 20th-century first day covers. Collectors also, usually self-educate and become quite knowledgeable about their chosen collectables. We find the same principles apply when collecting art.

Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup

Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup

For instance, if you wished to collect 60s pop art, then you would need to learn who the most famous artists of the period were.  How many works they produced, were they prolific artists, and are there still many paintings available to be bought. These and other questions like them, will help you understand the popularity of the artists.


Another way you might develop your collection if you want to be an art collector is by collecting landscapes of a particular period, or art movement.  As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Many collectors go to exhibitions which include emerging artists and begin following ones they like.  The might then buy a couple of smaller early works, to test the waters and follow the artist’s progress. As the artist gains in popularity, they will perhaps invest in the purchase of a major work, and then search around for artists who paint in a similar genre.  In this way, they can add to and develop their collection, so it maintains continuity.

Photo by oddsock

Photo by Prof. Mortel

Buying art comes in many forms. 

This is something that we can begin with a few dollars or thousands of dollars. However the process, whether we spend a large amount or a small one is essentially the same. There are four main steps to buying art, and there are two main ways of going about it that you might consider. The first way is  that of buying randomly, whatever takes your fancy.  The second is that you spend some time, do some research and take an ordered approach, so that you end up with the best possible outcome.

Step 1: The first thing you need to think about is what kind of art you like and whether or not you are only collecting art for your own personal enjoyment or whether you are investing with a view to buying and selling the works and make you a profit. You also need to put some thought into what kind of art really speaks to your soul, particularly if you are following the first approach to collecting. You don’t want to invest in something you will get tired of quickly.   There are so many different types of art these days, from paintings and sculpture to digital artwork and installations. On top of that there are all the different artistic styles – do you like contemporary abstract painting, or are you a fan of photo realism?
Another thing to think about is whether or not you want to spread your investment over a range of different types of artworks, as suggested above. Some collectors take this approach as they feel they are not putting all their eggs in one basket so to speak.

Buying Art,Girl With A Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer

Girl With A Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer

Other collectors, ones that have an open bank account, may specialize in collecting a particular art genre like Old Masters.

Step 2: This step involves a lot more. When you have decided what kind of art you wish to collect you now have to search for and select the individual artworks that you would like to add to your collection, that are aligned with the guidelines that you established in Step 1. To be able to do this you will need to dip your toe into the mysterious and fascinating world of art dealers, art galleries, artists and the art community in general. You will need to familiarise yourself with the buyer’s role in purchasing art, if you are looking at putting together a serious collection which will grow in value over time.

In a future blog post I will go into steps three and four and look at steps one and two in more depth.  However you have enough information to begin the process with steps one and two.

This Weeks Question: How much thought have you put into establishing or growing your art collection?

Look For Next Week’s Post: What is the biggest colour challenge for  artists? Colour workshops coming up.

Art Collector,art galleries photo

So you want to be an art collector. Perhaps you think the life of an art collector is something glamorous and to be aspired to.  Well of course it is you know.  Where would we artists be without people like you to collect our art!

Collecting art is not as easy as it might seem however. There are many different kinds of collectors. Let’s have a look at some of them.

The Money Is No Object Art Collector
  • Collectors in this category well to them to them money is no obstacle.
  • However that does not mean that collecting is a breeze for them either. After all what is their taste in art – or perhaps that doesn’t matter to them. Some choices any collector might consider are :
    • Do I want to collect emerging artists in the hope that careers will Blossom and we will both do well.
    • Or should I just collect the tried and true Old Masters for instance. A 50-100 million or so for a Van Gogh these days – no sweat.

If you are a newbie at collecting art there are many things to think about.

The Newbie Collector.
  • Again has the –
    • Do I want to collect emerging artists in the hope that careers will Blossom and we will both do well.
    • What can I afford?
    • What do I like?
    • What will go with my decor?
The Rich Collector’s Wife

Here we see a different kind of art collector.

  • She often likes to follow emerging artists become friends with them and help launch their careers.
  • She likes to attend all social openings and art functions. She may belong to charities that promote emerging art and support emerging artists.
  • She knows what she likes and often has a sophisticated eye as to what will suit Modern decor and yet still be cutting edge and a noteworthy curatorial selection.
  • She enjoys her new status  within the Inner Circle of the art world. It adds meaning to her life and allows her to feel useful and a contributor to the better side of society and human development.


Art Collector



To answer the question   ‘How do I begin an art collection? ‘ Check back next month for the continuation of this series.

This Weeks Question: Have you begun a collection of original art works and if so what are you choosing to collect?  Please share your insights in the comment section below.

Look For Next Week’s Post: Follow the development of my latest artworks – there is a new direction happening – some fresh beginnings.




Photo Credits : Photo by eschipul

                           Photo by VIPevent

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