Build an art collection [8 Decision-making steps]

Choose what resonates with you and don't follow trends. True collectors are passionate. Do your research and develop an eye for the extraordinary. Beginners and veterans of the art market benefit emotionally and financially from their collections. You too can play an essential role in the art ecosystem.

Monkey and little boy in abstract pop art painting
Monkey Crown | 120cm x 89cm | Jans Bock-Schroeder 2020

Are you thinking about becoming an art collector but don't know where to start? The suggestions and recommendations that follow provide oversight to those in search of best practices to start an amazing art collection.

Six questions to answer when building your collection

  1. What attracts you about the work? Which emotional feeling does the work trigger in you?
  2. Does the composition inspire you?
  3. Do you appreciate the historical context of the work?
  4. Is there an underlying element to your collection? Have you specified a focus?
  5. Do the artworks in your collection complement each other?
  6. Where will you display the work?

Collectors and Connoisseurs

If you purchase one or two works of art for their visual appeal but without any broader context, you are acting as an art buyer.

Becoming a serious art collector, on the other hand, requires time, strategy and consideration. Art experts buy with a long-term goal.

It takes discipline and insight to develop a unique style. As you build your collection, your focus begins to unfold.

Care should be taken to ensure that the artworks complement each other and, as an ensemble, tell an overarching story of their own.

Abstract Silkscreenprint displayed at Gallery
Golden Playboy of Shanghai | 140cm x 150cm Edition 3/3

Identify your Style

Get a sense for what is compelling to you and learn to articulate why.

Successful connoisseurs develop a signature style and a set of visual preferences that shape their collection to make it relevant and meaningful.

Explore all different aspects of art. Identify what themes, mediums, and styles appeal to you.

Is your focus on a particular era or movements such as Modern Art, Contemporary Art, Cubism, Pop Art, Abstract Art, Surrealism, Minimalism, Expressionism, art generated by an algorithm, or on a particular subject such as portraits, landscapes or abstract works.

Do you prefer a particular medium such as paintings, installation art, photography, graphic prints, screen printing, etc.?

Ask yourself whether you're drawn to rare works by old masters, to well-known and famous stars of the contemporary art scene, or to developing artists.

There is no pressure to narrow down your choice. The important factor is to find your own'leitmotif' and to follow-up on it.

Study the art market

Abstract Acrylic Painting displayed at Gallery
White Dog Blues, Likewolf - SOLD

After you've outlined your focus, the next step is to do your online art research. Find out about prices, history, and origins.

Discover artists, their backgrounds, and the narratives behind works of art. Inform yourself about the latest trends in the art world.

Which artists are the up-and-coming talents? Track which artworks are currently traded.

Refine your search for offers and artists. Monitor auctions and their performances.

To locate objects, value and authenticate them, negotiate prices, understand legal issues, and finally add works to your collection, it is necessary to use all available resources.

With knowledge comes understanding, and with it deep satisfaction.

It takes patience and understanding when a chance to buy is missed.

Spotting items before others do, taking risks, exploring untraditional avenues, skilled instinct, and a spirit of adventure are essential to being a successful collector.

Works of art are a popular capital investment. In addition to its monetary value, return on investment increases the quality of life and gives the satisfaction of contribution to the safeguarding of culture.

5 good reasons to collect art:

  1. The pleasure of a work of art and the high prestige factor distinguishes art investments from other forms of investment.
  2. Collecting art and establishing a collection makes you part of a global legacy.
  3. Art broadens the horizon and can be compared to learning a new language.
  4. Owning art increases your dopamine levels and makes you a happier person.
  5. Art has proven to be a valuable investment.

Focus on quality

Nude Abstract Art on Silkscreen by Multimedia Artist Likewolf
Aphrodite 1, 2020, 100cm x 128cm | Likewolf

The interpretation of the price of a work of art is invariably a subjective matter. Every collection must be well thought out and needs awesome pieces.

Include only the highest quality works in your collection. Make sure that the items in your collection interact with each other.

The impact of a collection is more significant and powerful than its individual items.

Being creative about your collection means having a clear vision of your individual tastes.

The most famous collections are those that show one' s unique signature style.

If you want to build a private collection, don't look for artworks that promise you a quick financial return.

Buy with your heart and make sure you purchase quality art that you can live with for the long term.

Take your collection to another level

Yellow and gold digital painting with coupkle kissing
The Kiss | 100cm x 102cm Unique

The pleasure of sharing a collection can take many different forms. Take your assembled artwork to another level by not only sharing it with family and friends but also hosting private tours and inviting groups and students to your home.

Discuss and engage with questions and thoughts from people who approach art in a different way, it will broaden your personal experience.

Other forms of sharing with the public include lending to museums and public buildings, creating publications, and publishing a catalogue raisonné.

All efforts are rewarding and will increase your reputation.

The life cycle of an art collection

Many famous collections begin with acquisition and end with the transfer. Strategies for parting with a collection include its sale, donation or public and private partnerships.

Creating one's own private museum is the ultimate way to showcase a collection.

Dedicated collectors are mindful of the social capital and benefits they receive when purchasing new artworks if they operate a museum.

Having a private collection that is open to the public also yields tremendous tax benefits.

Art collecting best practices

Abstract Silkscreenprint by Likewolf
Buying back my Image | 150cm x 100cm Edition 1/3

Choose art that will enrich your collection into a consistent unit. Develop your taste, knowledge and connections in the art world.

Having your own visual identity will allow you to find and buy art with ease.

One desirable aspect of building a collection is the opportunity to gain the reputation of a serious collector.

As you progress and delve deeper into the art, you will select items based not only on your taste but also on your understanding of significance and foresight.

The question of whether one must understand art remains unanswered. The most important key to an interpretation of art is which emotions the work triggers in a person.

Do I want to own this work, can I afford it, can I afford not to buy it. These are the thoughts of every art collector.

Before paying for a work of art, verify originality and provenance to rule out stolen property and ensure the work is genuine.

Be serious, have fun, and expand your horizon.

Caring for your collection

Familiarise yourself about the long term care of artworks. There is a unique responsibility to be the custodian of something that has this kind of profound value.

It is important to know the costs and work involved in maintaining works of art.

Be prepared to spend up to 5% of the value of a collection on maintenance and conservation.

There are additional expenses associated with insurance and inventory. If your collection is large enough, you may have staff and additional major responsibilities.

Art collector's insight - what's trending

Contemporary art Beyonce Knowles Painting
Jans Bock-Schroeder

80cm x 88cm
Analog Silkscreen Print
Edition 1/2
Contemporary Art

This work is part of a limited edition set.


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