Everybody collects something, be it holiday souvenirs, stamps or works of art. For most of us, collecting is pure enjoyment but it can also be much more than that – a lifelong purposeful project with the value. Whether you are buying works of art to decorate your living space or you plan to make money from your passion, it is important, as in any other project, to figure out your own motives at the very beginning. Why? Because this will define your future steps in achieving the ultimate goal.
Collecting art is always personal. If you have already decided to embark on this exciting adventure, define your tastes and buy what you like. Personal preference will help you separate out specific works of art from the millions of pieces already in existence and eventually build a valuable and comprehensive collection. The experts in the field say that the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts.
Once you have defined what you want to collect, do your research. Know as much as everything you can about what you want to collect, about the market and the art scene. Educate yourself because as an informed buyer you’ll be able to find good art and more importantly you’ll not overpay it. Every purchase involves risk, of course. Therefore, a balanced way to start collecting art is to invest in small works by both established and lesser-known names. They are more affordable, as simple as that, plus, it is a less expensive way to get acquainted with the artist's oeuvre for, possibly, a much bolder purchase in financial terms in the future. Leave big names and large works of art for big collectors, at least for a while. Ultimately, the value is found not only in the artist, but in the quality of a given work so always buy the best you can afford.
No less important is to know that buying a piece of art is not the only cost that awaits you. Many collectors, especially new ones, often forget that there are financial implications of owning and maintaining art. Therefore, take into account future expenditures for maintaining your collection.
And finally, buy. Buy what you like looking at and choose well because one day you may be able to sell it for a profit. So have a plan, start small, and learn, learn, learn along the way. Both in terms of money as well as the experience, collecting is an evolutionary process. Some collectors believe that it takes a lifetime to master.