The Beginners Guide to Collecting Art

You love art. But the good stuff can be expensive. Starting your collection now may seem like an irrational move. But in fact, buying art is an excellent investment. Buying today could  bring you a substantial chunk of change a few years down the line.

But where to start? You know what you like, and you think you probably can’t afford it. You may not be able nab an original masterpiece, but there is another way. Buy a limited edition print.

Le Repas Frugal, Pablo Picasso

Le Repas Frugal, Pablo Picasso. Etching, 1904. Available at David Tunick Inc.

I was recenlty at the IFPDA Print Fair in New York, organized by the International Association of Fine Print Dealers.  I found out more about the next-best way to own art. Prints of well known art can be pretty pricey themselves. I admit the above Picasso is probably pretty up there, though I didn’t inquire.

But prints by emerging artists are affordable. And if they’re at a reputable collaborative exhibit, you know the collecting community has its eye on this artist.

IFPDA Print Fair. Collaborative Art Exhibit. New York 2011

Beginners Art Collection Guide, 5 Tips

1. Buy What You Like

Why waste time and space collecting a piece you don’t actually like? Because you think it will be worth something twenty years from now? You’ll be stuck with a monstrosity in your living room while you wait for the day you can finally make a profit from it’s sale.

2. Make a list of your favorites.

To start off, when you’re at an art exhibit, write down the names of the artists and pieces that really turn you on. Research your list later. I like to use my smartphone to snap a photo of the description beside the piece.

Nerd out time: Galleries and exhibits of the future may use QR codes for this like Artlarking did at the Neon Nature show. Just snap a photo or input a number and you’ll be directed to a web page with full information on the piece.

3. Always bargain.

Tell the seller that you’re just starting your collection. They may come down on the price. It’s worth a shot. Go low and they’ll come up a bit from the price you quote.

4. Check out Group Exhibits, Art Trade Shows, and Collaborative Art Projects.

They’re a great  place to get exposed to a lot of art. If it’s a big show, you know galleries are bringing out their best work. You can also bet that the piece your interested in is collectable and will go up in value.

5. Buy prints.

Buying a print is the only way for many of us to get our hands on the work of well known artist. Original prints are signed by the artists themselves.

*Any other advice for the would-be collector? Any tips specifically about buying Prints?

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This entry was posted in Collaboration, Visual Art on by .

About doncadora

Don Cadora is a Co-Founder of Artlarking, collaborative networking for artists of all kinds. He consults in marketing and social media strategy for creative businesses including Fashion Designers, Design Firms, and Arts Organizations. A Journalist and Producer, Don's passions include Travel, Surfing, and Collaborative Technology.

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