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Where to Start Your Art Collection?

By: Mike Watson - Updated: 21 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Art Collection Where To Start Selling

Those wishing to start an art collection, who have no previous experience of the area, may well feel overwhelmed when confronted with the myriad possibilities that art collecting presents. From choosing which medium to focus your collection on, to choosing which period of art to collect, one may find themselves beset with difficult decisions from the very start.

In actual fact, there are no hard and fast rules governing how to start a collection, and the novice collector need not make any hard and fast choices, other than those concerning which particular works they wish to buy. There is no need to choose one specific genre or type of artwork to focus your attention upon, because the chances are that your collection will gain coherence purely because you have formed it around your own tastes.

Whilst for the purposes of selling works it may help to have a trademark interest or field of expertise, purely so buyers know what to expect from you, you are most likely to impress upon contacts (both buyers and sellers) if they can discern a genuine passion behind your collection. If anything the most important thing to do before starting a collection is to make sure your motives are strong, and that you really have a desire to collect. As with anything, success and gratification will surely follow from there on.

Area of Expertise

If you have a real love of art, the likelihood is that you will have a knowledge of one or two areas that is stronger than your knowledge of other fields of interest. Letting this come through naturally will ultimately be far more rewarding than deliberately narrowing your focus. The truth is, whilst expertise proves invaluable, nobody wants to see a collection that is over rigid and comprises completely of samey works.

When beginning, therefore, it should suffice merely to choose one work that really matters to you. As you build around this work a pattern will emerge, but never shy away from choosing the occasional joker in the pack. Whilst a work that you really like may seem to sit awkwardly in your collection initially, over time it will probably become a choice favourite, adding another dimension to your collection. If you want your collection to stand out amongst others involve an element of risk. There are few good artworks, exhibitions, or collections that have had any success from being run-of-the-mill.

Self Belief

The art world is full of jargon, pomposity and arrogance. Don’t be put off by this, or by people who claim to know more than you. If you suffer criticisms for you choices, merely back them up with your own beliefs – everyone has a right to be a collector, and no one has the monopoly on taste. By being confident and assertive people will soon give you the credit that you will deserve. When starting out, start from the position that you want to collect art because you like art, and you want to collect art that you like! This simple approach should suffice to inspire confidence in those around you.

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