1. Figure out what you like: The better education you have, the better collection you’ll have.
Go to museums and art galleries to familiarize yourself with different periods and styles. This is also where the internet, and specifically Santa Fe Exports, can be a wonderful resource in figuring out what your taste is, and discovering artists you didn’t know existed.
2. Determine what you’re buying:Are you buying something that you love and you want purely because you think it’s great? Or are you buying something that you love but you secretly want to be an investment? There are different types of purchases in the art world.If you’re buying it because you love it, it’s much easier. All you have to do is figure out if you can afford it, and if the price is something that you think is worth the passion you have for it. If you’re buying with an eye toward investment and you want it to actually have long-term value in the future, it’s a little bit more tricky. It’s very important for a first-time collector to know that there are various factors that affect the price of the work, for example, a work on canvas is generally more valuable than a work on paper by the same artist; or if it’s an edition versus a one-of-a-kind piece.
3. Set a budget:In your mind, you really need to set a budget in terms of what you can afford and be prepared to spend a little bit more. The things people often regret in purchasing are not any works that are purchased but the works that they didn’t purchase. If there are things just a little outside of your price range but, man, you love it and end up not buying it you will loose the opportunity. If you really love it, trust your instincts. Set a budget and be prepared to spend a little more, A, because there’s shipping and insurance and things like that; but, B, because if it’s something you really love and it’s a little bit over your price range, “stretch”. Life is short and you want to be inspired.
4. Consider works on paper:Contrary to popular belief, great works of art don’t have to cost a fortune. For example, photographs and works on paper tend to be more affordable than paintings on canvas, yet they can still be a great addition to a larger collection. In addition, limited edition prints are often very reasonably priced and can be very valuable if they are signed and have low individual edition numbers - affordable art is important.
5. Do your research:The art world really can be overwhelming, so you should talk to other collectors, appraisers, advisors or consultants. When you learn a few things about the art world, you’ll learn that the listing price is always the sale price. Galleries will sometimes give discounts to collectors because sometimes they’re rewarding a collector who’s been loyal or sometimes they’re trying to build a relationship with a new collector. So do your research.
6. Track your purchase:
There should be a clear, traceable path from artist to owner, and it should be documented: save emails, invoices, and receipts. If you eventually want to valuate or sell a work, it’s important to have this documentation.
7. Keep it up:A good collection represents you. So keep it representative. Edit what doesn’t fit. Build on what does. And keep records! Where you purchased your pieces, from whom, and what you paid, is important information that will add provenance to your pieces.