To a certain extent, it feels like nonsense to even advise anyone on collecting art. It's absolutely true the art you love is a reflection of very distinctive tastes which would never be replicated in any other person, so why would you want us to lecture you on 'how' to do it?
The answer to the question is effective art collecting does, like everything else, come with certain loose guidelines or 'ground rules', even if exactly what you buy is always up to you. In this piece, we look at some of the things you might want to think about - but not be bound by - when you are only just getting into art collecting.
Don't Just Buy What You 'Should' Buy...
If there's such a thing at all as a 'wrong' way to collect art, it's probably to wander straight into your nearest art fair, shell out half of your life savings for the most expensive piece or the one by the biggest 'name' artist, and then pray it gathers in value.
I Heart You...
We don't know where to even start in picking faults with this approach, but here's one: where's the joy? First of all, if you want to derive any real warm and fuzzy feelings from art collecting, you really do need to love what you collect. This is the kind of stuff you will constantly see adorning your walls, and even any decline in value over the years will be compensated for by a genuine love of the artwork.
The temptation to plough all of your funds into an artwork you feel you 'should' buy, but actually hate gives you all the more reason to put a tight budget on your early art collecting. That'll force you to tread off the art-world beaten track - to obscure markets and lesser-known online art portals - in search of new and unsung talent.
Remember, researching artists and hunting for artwork can be great fun and a fine learning experience in and of itself, which will then assist you with your future collecting.
Other Factors To Be Guided By...
If I Knock Down This Wall?
Some potential influences on your early art collecting will be more obvious than others. Where, for example, will you be able to physically put the work if you buy it? Space restrictions are why smaller prints and posters are so popular among beginner collectors.
You should also consider your ability to look after the art well, with any damage likely to significantly compromise its longer-term value.
I Don’t Know Much, But I Know I Love You!
Above all else, though, have confidence in your taste - and make buying decisions that are genuinely your own. So many people are deterred from art collecting by thoughts they "know nothing about art" - but art is subjective in nature, with no particular taste being right or wrong.
Good luck collecting whatever type of art catches your eye and makes your heart flutter. Go forth and conquer!