If you thought the art world was only for rich people, think again. There are tons of ways you can dip your toe in the water without having to invest much. Here is how to become an art collector at a young age.
Most people see fine art as a playground for the rich, and there’s some truth in that, especially if you want to start your collection with a Picasso, but it’s also true that the art world has grown so much that these days anybody can become an art collector without having to get a mortgage on an imaginary house. That would be great, wouldn't it? But before we jump into specifics, we should visualize it and put in perspective. Just think about your income and how much of it you spend on things you don’t really need; say a night out for drinks, a new phone, the latest fashion trend, or even going to the movies (it's so expensive to go to the movies these days!). That money could be easily invested in your plans to become an art collector, and in the future you could even make a profit from it or turn it into a real business. So, let’s see how you can do it.
Look for rising artists
The best advice is not to aim too high and focus instead on talented rising artists. Since they’re just getting started in the art world, they won’t be selling their pieces at ridiculous prices, allowing you to get several works in a very good deal. These days, most of them sell their work on social media, which has become the best gallery out there, so it’s also easy to reach them.
Photography is a great option
One alternative is to check out what's going on in the photography field. When most people think about art, they don’t really think about photography, even though it’s one of the art forms with the biggest impact in our everyday lives. Since photography is easier to produce and reproduce, it's a very accessible field for art collector beginners. Do some research, see which artists are being valued, and go for it. In some cases, a simple photo can be even more valuable than a painting.
Hit the charity auctions
One of the first things people ask when they're trying to get into art collecting is where to buy art that’s valuable, and some of the best places are charity auctions. The great thing about auctions (especially charity ones) is that the works aren't all crazy expensive, so you can very easily go home with a nice work.
Always check the databases before buying
As I mentioned before, it’s important that you do your research before buying anything, and I'm not just talking about art theory and history: I'm talking about the market value of certain works. This way, you can make sure you're getting the best deal.
Check the local galleries
Galleries have been showcasing and selling art for centuries, and it’s not that different today. So, visit your local galleries and see what they have to offer. Local galleries are also great to find and even meet up-and-coming artists.
Attend as many exhibitions as you can
If you really want to get into art collection, you have to keep yourself up to date on what’s happening in the art world. To do so, it’s important that you visit as many exhibitions as you can not only to spot those pieces that can complement your collection, but also develop your own taste.
Buy only the things you like
This is the golden rule for aspiring art collectors: buy pieces because you like them, not because they might be able to give you a profit. We wouldn’t call it a business, if it weren’t profitable. But if you’re just starting out, it’s best to start by looking for pieces you’d like to have at your place, since it'll help you focus on a particular aesthetic or style. Let’s be honest, at first, you won’t be getting million-dollar pieces, but if your choices are coherent, perhaps in the future you can actually think of making a good profit.
Learn the art of negotiation
You will meet many art dealers that will want to overprice what they have. That’s why it’s also important to do a lot of research and master the business so that you only pay for what you’re getting.
If you think about it, after going through these points, it’s not that hard nor that expensive to start investing in art. As I said before, you obviously won’t be getting super high-profile pieces, but you can get started on the right foot, if you have a good idea of what you're doing.
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