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In starting an art collection, it might seem like a daunting challenge. How much should I invest in works? Where do I find great works? How can I tell if an artwork is good or not? These are questions that come across the mind of almost every beginning collector. However, these concerns all arise from the one overarching question when it comes to art patronage: what makes a good art collector? In this post, we will explore what characteristics make an art collector achieve financial and aesthetic success with a collection that will not only be a source of lifelong self-satisfaction, but will be admired by both family and peers.

Visit and Tour Art Galleries

A discerning art collector doesn’t become that way overnight. Touring a variety of art galleries is a good way to start to gain exposure with a variety of different art styles and artists. By exploring new forms of art, you can build up artistic knowledge and expand your interests in different types of art. Moreover, art galleries are a great place for discovering what kind of art is available. By visiting and comparing a broad range of art from various galleries, the opportunities for finding unique and memorable pieces are ever more likely, and you will be able to pick out the artworks that stand out from the rest. Every individual is different, so being exposed to different types of art is the quickest way to discover what kind of art speaks to you.

Get to Know Artists

It is as important to get to know the people who create the artworks that you purchase as it is to examine the artworks themselves. Artists’ diverse personalities and backgrounds have a direct effect on their artistic expression. ­Becoming familiar with both local and more popular artists in an important step to becoming familiar with art. Building a relationship with local artists will help you gain deeper access and influence within the art community. These artists can also give advice on art galleries, art exhibitions, and local art events. In addition, being aware of more popular artists is helpful for those looking to expand their art knowledge. The activity of these larger artists can help determine trends in the current art scene.

Know the Value of Art

An art collector should always act with a respect for the craft of art. An understanding of the time, dedication and creativity that is required to create a range of beautiful and impactful artworks is essential to truly excel at art collection. Creating a piece often takes an intense level of planning, from material to design to execution, a single artwork is a representation of a long process of trained skill. An art collector cannot begin to collect valuable pieces without first being aware of their value. Practices such as haggling or underpaying artists are only detrimental to your goal as an art collector. By purchasing works at their value, the artworks remain that valuable. Likewise, other art buyers and art critics will identify the artist as a person in-demand and that their work is one that should be respected.

Pay Attention to Unknown or New Artists

Although larger artists usually receive that status through the quality and ingenuity of their work, a good art collector will always keep an eye out for new faces within the industry. Styles and ideas among artists and art collectors are constantly changing, so with the right combination of resourcefulness and industry, a new artist can quickly become the forefront of the art scene. As art collectors, we are in the unique position of being able to obtain a piece from these rising artists even before they become reach ground-breaking heights. Therefore, it is smart to gain works from even the smaller artists on your radar that show originality and potential.

Keep Up-to-Date on Art News

It can be helpful to make sure to keep tabs on news in the art world and know what is trending within the ever-fluctuating community. Taking the time to question what exactly about a piece makes it popular or unpopular can help develop a perceptive eye for good and bad characteristics within works. The occurrences that make art news are good opportunities to learn more about what is happening in the global art world. There are many ways to stay informed such as subscribing to art newspapers or news sites, communicating with artists, and ­visiting art venues such as museums or pop-up events.

Develop Your Own Aesthetic Interests

Most important of all, art collection is about you. By becoming more involved with the art community, you will start to develop an eye for what is favored at any time. However, you will also be able to more clearly identify your own personal aesthetic tastes, and what sort of art is truly meaningful for you. And, if you find a work that sparks something in you, then it surely will have that effect on someone else as well. As always, the most important part of art collecting is bringing home something that you can appreciate and enjoy for a lifetime.

If you keep these traits in mind, you are on your way to building an art collection rich in character and value. As the art market continues to fluctuate with new and clashing artistic styles, the core qualities of a good collector will guarantee a collection always one step ahead of its time. You’re ready to start building the collection of your dreams!