Mastering the Art of Collecting: 10 Essential Tips from Lana Evanova for Budding Art Collectors

Embarking on the journey of art collecting can be an enriching and fulfilling experience, but where does one begin? In this guide, we’ll explore six invaluable tips tailored for budding art enthusiasts looking to start their collection on the right foot. From cultivating your personal taste to navigating the complexities of the art market, each tip offers practical advice to help you build a collection that reflects your unique interests and passions. So, whether you’re drawn to traditional masterpieces or cutting-edge contemporary works, let’s dive into the world of art collecting and unlock my secrets to building a collection you’ll treasure for years to come.

1…Cultivate Personal Taste and Start Small: Start your art collection journey by focusing on what resonates with you. Avoid chasing trends or popular artists solely because of their market appeal. Instead, explore what visually, emotionally, and intellectually captivates you. Remember, collecting is a deeply personal endeavor, so trust your instincts and curate a collection that reflects your unique interests and passions.

Building an art collection doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it require immense wealth. Start small by acquiring affordable artworks that align with your interests and budget. Consider purchasing prints, drawings, or small-scale sculptures from emerging artists or local galleries. Look for opportunities to support emerging talent and explore alternative avenues such as art fairs, online platforms, and student exhibitions. Remember, the value of art isn’t solely determined by its price tag—collect what speaks to you and ignites your passion.

2…Invest in Research and Education: Arm yourself with knowledge by immersing yourself in the art world. Attend museum exhibitions, gallery openings, and art fairs to broaden your understanding and refine your eye. Engage with artists and fellow collectors to gain insights and perspectives. Take the time to research pricing and market trends, ensuring informed decision-making when acquiring artworks. Read books, attend lectures, and engage with artists and experts to deepen your understanding of the art world. Familiarize yourself with key artists, significant art movements, and notable galleries. Developing a strong foundation of knowledge will not only enhance your appreciation for art but also empower you to make informed decisions when acquiring pieces for your collection.

3…Care for Your Collection: Owning an art collection comes with responsibilities beyond acquisition. Consider the long-term care and maintenance of your artworks, including conservation, framing, and insurance. Allocate a portion of your budget for ongoing expenses associated with collection management to ensure its preservation and longevity.

4…Navigate New Media with Caution: Embrace advancements in technology and new media art but be mindful of potential challenges they present. Ephemeral nature and technological obsolescence may impact the longevity of certain artworks. Before investing, understand the conservation requirements and implications of new media art. Document the artist’s intent and consider the feasibility of preserving the artwork over time.

5…Leverage Online Platforms: Explore the wealth of resources available through online platforms, like Saatchi Gallery, for instance. Take advantage of virtual viewing rooms and online exhibitions to discover and acquire artworks. Request additional materials such as videos or detailed images to gain a comprehensive understanding of potential acquisitions. Exercise caution and only transact with reputable sellers to mitigate the risk of encountering counterfeit works.

6…Embrace Risk and Adventure: Be bold in your collecting journey and embrace the thrill of discovery. Take calculated risks by exploring emerging artists and genres before they gain widespread recognition. Develop expertise over time through continuous learning and engagement with the art community.

7…Inquire with Galleries about Artworks Stored Away:  Galleries often maintain collections of artworks not currently on display, particularly during themed exhibitions that require only select pieces from each artist.

Reaching out to galleries via social media or email is generally encouraged. Besides uncovering hidden gems, this approach can foster a relationship with the gallery, potentially leading to exclusive passes or invitations to future major art fairs.

In some cases, direct inquiry may be necessary to purchase specific artworks, as many galleries refrain from pricing displayed pieces. This practice aims to prioritize the art’s content and maintain a sense of privacy for buyers. Nevertheless, engaging with the art dealer ensures a comfortable acquisition process and allows for negotiations to secure the best deal.

8…Cultivate Relationships through Ongoing Visits:

Lately I have beed interviewed by a writer from Parnass Magazine and offered him an advice on purchasing art without substantial wealth. I think, the importance is in vigilance against insider trading and price manipulation within the art market, where regulations are lacking compared to other industries. Recognizing the absence of fixed prices, I suggest embracing the potential for deals while navigating the art market landscape.

9…Examine Emerging Trends for Future Art Movements: As technology continues to advance, each generation grapples with unique challenges, attitudes, and societal shifts, which naturally influence trends in art. Anticipating the next significant movement, akin to Impressionism or Maximalism, remains unpredictable. Take, for instance, Takashi Murakami, who coined the term “Superflat” in the 1990s, demonstrating how recent developments can shape artistic genres.

Considering this, it’s beneficial to observe whether emerging artists in your vicinity share common themes in their work. Starting small can be advantageous, as exemplified by Andrew Shapiro, owner of Shapiro Auctioneers and Gallery, who acquired a Henri Matisse print for just $30 in his youth. While this represented a significant portion of his income at the time, it differs from investing in a piece worth several years’ salary.

Fortunately, assistance is available if you encounter a dream painting beyond your budget.

10…Seek Financial Support from Reputable Institutions: I know, that, for instance, Art Money offers a loan repayment period of up to 10 months, with over 900 partner art galleries covering the interest on your payments, significantly alleviating the financial burden of purchasing artwork.

Although payment plans exist to facilitate gradual art payments, they can impose challenges on galleries if the buyer fails to fulfill their obligations on time, placing both the artist and gallery director in an uncomfortable position. Moreover, buyers typically need to settle the full payment before taking the artwork home. Art Money addresses these concerns by allowing you to acquire the piece upon initial deposit and ensuring the gallery receives payment within two weeks.

While it may not be advisable to take such a significant financial leap for your first art purchase, once you’ve honed your taste and identified pieces that resonate with you, investing in a beloved artwork can prove to be a worthwhile endeavor.

Remember, there’s a diverse range of artworks accessible at various price points, so don’t hesitate to embark on your collecting adventure.

LANA Evanova