Friday, February 4, 2011

The Fun of Building Your Own Art Collection

Artist Linnea Heide shared her tips for starting an art collection with Melissa Tevere in her Buying Original Art Blog and Mary C. Nasser in her BlogI'd like to share these with you. The majority of this blog is Linnea's, with a little editing and the addition of my (Melissa Tevere) two cents (in italic).

Linnea writes:
The joy of building an art collection is no longer reserved for those with the time and resources to scour art galleries across the globe. With today’s technology, anyone with a computer can access thousands of artists’ works across the full spectrum of mediums (and prices). While there is no set formula for building an art collection, I can offer a few tips to make your collection the best it can be, regardless of your budget.
1. Trust Your Instincts
Fill your collection with pieces you LOVE – not with pieces that you think might be a  good investment opportunity or a “good deal.” Your collection is a reflection of you. If you’re not sure what you like, spend some time just looking. Begin by visiting art museums, attending local art shows, and paying attention to the subject matter, color palettes or styles that capture your interest.
2. Stick with Original Art: Original art is unique and one of a kind.  Reproductions are mass-produced copies of an  original piece of art. 
(B.R. Not all reproductions are mass produced. Look for Limited Editions of the work you love, as well*.)
3.  Make an exclusive statement about who you are and what you like.
Much of the magic of an art collection is in the subtle nuance and energy of the artwork itself: how the work makes you feel when you look at it, what it says to each individual. 
4. Choose the Right Mix
You may wish to build your collection around a common element (style, color, theme), but selecting works of different size, shapes and mediums will help diversify the overall collection.  F.A.Q.
How do I know if I’m buying “good” art?
Buying art is about trusting your instincts and selecting pieces you love. Purchasing art as an investment, or because it represents the latest trend, is generally something to avoid. Be passionate about your purchases, and pick work that you really enjoy – you’ll be living with them for years to come.
Should I only buy from famous artists?
While owning a work from a famous artist can be exciting and help build your art collection, it is typically not a practical option for the majority of art buyers.  As a new buyer, you may want to focus on buying original artwork from emerging or lesser-known artists. Selecting work from artists that are up-and-coming gives you the excitement of being a part of their growth and will give you access to a steady stream of vibrant new works as the artist continues to evolve and grow.  (And there will be more money in your wallet!)
How do I know the artwork is authentic?
Authentic artworks are usually signed and in the case of photographic images, numbered by the artists. In cases where signing the actual work is impossible, ask for a signed artist authenticity statement.
What is the difference between an original work of art and a reproduction?
Original artworks are unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. Reproductions or giclee prints, which are mass-produced copies of original artworks, tend to dilute the impact of the original work with widespread distribution of the image. 
How can I be sure of the colors in the artwork when viewing it online?
Representations of artwork online are digital images. These can look very different from monitor to monitor and computer to computer.  However, most professional artists will color correct their work so that it’s screen image is as close as possible to the original. 
How are art prices decided?
Pricing artwork is not a science. Many factors can influence how a piece of art is priced – one of the most important of which is demand. Just like any other product on the market, the more competition there is for a piece of work by an artist, the more people are willing to pay. The size and medium of the piece can also influence the price, as well as how well known the artist and their work is. 
Is art a good financial investment?
Buying a piece of art as a financial investment is similar to playing the stock market – with varying degrees of risk and unpredictability. While there are some factors that contribute to a successful art investment – understanding market trends, tracking new artists, being able to spot the winners early – there is no secret formula to knowing the future price of a work of art. The bottom line is that you should collect art because you LOVE it and because it will enhance your life and your living space. After that, the investment potential becomes incidental and merely a potential bonus to your overall enjoyment of the work.

*Note from me, Barbara Rosenzweig: It is wonderful to fill your art collection with original works. However, for some buyers costs may be prohibitive. In that case, good reproductions by artists whose work you admire may be an answer. Look for Limited Editions where you are guaranteed that the work is not being mass produced. This can be a great start to a wonderful art collection that you love and will always enjoy!


  1. Love the vibrant colors in this work and wonderful article. Thanks for sharing

  2. So glad that you enjoy this. I strive to bring sunshine into my paintings and important information to my readers.


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