ART COLLECTING 101

Desiree Ruiz Velazquez, April 5, 2022


Although at first intimidating, collecting art is such a one-of-kind experience that is also incredibly easy and thrilling.


Upon giving it much thought, I've decided to share the ins and outs of collecting art based on my perspective and experience as a former art consultant inside the art gallery industry, as an art collector, and as an artist in hopes of making this information accessible to artists and future art collectors alike.



Yes, It's Intimidating, But Don't Get Discouraged


A situation I've come across with quite often was that people were intimidated by art.


They didn't consider themselves worthy of owning artwork simply because they didn't know anything about art itself; they didn't know about its history, about the artist, about artistic techniques or terminology, and honestly, you really don't need to know any of it.


Most of my collectors, as both an art consultant and as an artist, don't know much about art; they just like what they see, and if you ask me, that's a reason good enough.


It's more about what the work makes you feel like, what it makes you think about. It's such a personal and intimate experience that has little to do with being an art connoisseur.



The Value of Art and its Benefits


Another huge factor that contributes to people feeling intimated by it, is the monetary value of art.


The value of art always increases throughout the years, doesn't matter if the work is coming from an emerging or an established artist.


Something I loved telling my clients, as an art consultant, regarding the monetary value of a piece, is that they will be enjoying their new acquisition in the comfort of their homes for years and generations to come as the art piece goes up in value in the art market, which is the reason why some people collect art, as a form of investment.



Reasons for Collecting: The Art Connoisseur


Let's say you are indeed an art connoisseur; you've been wanting to build your own collection, whether to form your own legacy, to support the arts, to decorate your home and establishments perhaps, yet you don't know where to start.


Ask yourself if you want to base your collection around a specific time period or art movement, a specific color palette or subject matter, or if you want to solely support and collect the works of emerging artists and/or established artists. That should give you a guide on where to start. Also explore what's out there, visit your local art galleries, artist residencies, events such as farmers markets, art fairs and expos, just to mention a few. This will get you started on discovering artists and artwork you never knew existed. You might not know what you are looking for, but I assure you, once you see it, you'll know.



Reasons for Collecting: "I Just Buy What I Like"


"I just buy what I like" was often times the most recurrent and the number one answer I would get from buyers/art collectors.


Let's say, maybe none of the previously mentioned before about the "art connoisseur" is of much importance to you specifically. Perhaps you're someone that wants to acquire works of art that simply resonate with you regardless of whether or not they look cohesive as a collection.


Maybe you don't even want to build a collection; you just want pieces you come across with that you happen to like.


It's that plain and simple.


You don't need to have a big collection in order to be an art collector.


I once collected a piece by an artist I knew nothing about, whose artistic technique I also knew nothing about. I simply just fell in love with it and I knew right then and there that I wanted to see it everyday.


And yes, it was such a scary and intimidating yet thrilling purchase, but now, every time I look at it, all I can think about is the way it makes me feel and how worth it it was.


Like they say, art has a way of finding you, it's not the other way around.



Art Financing


Anybody can own a work of art regardless of their income.


Collecting art is not something exclusively reserved for wealthy people.


Many artists and galleries are willing to work with you on financing the piece you've been eyeing, whether the piece is an original work of art or a giclée (aka print).


And by financing I mean, a payment plan option.


So next time you're interested in getting a work of art, don't be afraid to ask about the possibility of a payment plan.



The Importance of Collecting


Whatever your reason is to collect art, at the end of the day, whether you do it consciously or subconsciously, you are supporting people to make a living by doing what they're passionate about. Because yes, people in the art scene are so incredibly passionate, to the point where it can be contagious. Don't be afraid to ask them questions; believe me, you're not bothering them. On the contrary, engage with them, get to know their work, get to know their background if you're interested. From this connection you get to personalize your living spaces, obtaining from it a long-term investment. You get to form and create your own legacy, making the works you acquire a family heirloom. Now that you know this, I hope you feel less intimidated the next time you see yourself surrounded by art. I hope to have inspired in you curiosity as I also hope to have encouraged you to dive into the thrills and benefits of art collecting.