Anyone Can Be An Art Collector

To the younger generations, the art world can seem daunting. However with an open mind, honesty about your tastes and by asking lots of questions, you can finally (and easily) start an art collection.

Where to get started? We’ve pulled a few great tips for you.

1 >>”Dispense with the idea of making a fortune from identifying the next big thing.”
Elaine Ronson, The Observer

According to art economist Don Thompson inThe $12 Million Stuffed Shark (Palgrave Macmillan), even Charles Saatchi “loses money on two purchases out of five, earns a moderate profit on two and makes a large profit only on the fifth.” If this is the best that the world’s most noted collector can do, what hope is there for the rest of us?

With those expectations out of the way, start looking at as much art as possible. Focus on a style that you enjoy, and suspend the skepticism, anxiety and fear triggered by something new or hard to understand—this is the first step to falling in love with an artwork.

2 >>”You don’t need to spend a bundle to display beautiful, inspiring works of art in your home” – Hollie Desse, USA Today Home Magazine

“Knowing which artists do have staying power can be incredibly intimidating for buyers on any level. But original art can be bought online for as little as $50—framed and ready to hang.

“Don’t devalue something just because it is priced at less than what you think ‘good’ art should be priced at,” says Ginger Porcella, founder of Big Deal Arts Advisory in New York. “I always tell people that if you really like it, buy it, whether it is $50 or $500.”


A few of our favorite websites to browse original pieces?

3 >>Find artists via platforms you’re already familiar with

“By scrolling through my Instagram feed I first discovered the work of Kasper Sonne and Sofia Leiby. My interest in the two grew, eventually leading to their work being added to my collection” says Scott Friedman (@sfriedz), a young New York collector.

“According to a recent survey of collectors on Instagram, an incredible 51.5% have purchased works from artists they originally discovered through Instagram. More importantly, this discovery led to an average of 5 purchased works by artists originally found on the app!” –

Scrolling through hashtags or searching artist instagrams can help you find artists you love. Plus by following them you get a small glimpse of their daily life.

Best artists to follow? put together the 50 Artists You Need to Follow on Instagram.

4 >>Do your research, and get involved

This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT tip and according to ArtNet, millennials are already pretty good at this!

They [Millennial collectors] understand in order to do their own research, they have to connect with the right people.” Schlencker says. This includes connecting with them via social media as well as in-person. “Following the right people, checking out what they have, most of the time its on Instagram,” he explains.

“First thing they do is follow the people they look up to, collectors or celebrities in the art world. You end up discovering new artists, then you look for the hashtag, and then if you’re really interested you’ll look for articles and prices,” he says.

“Young collectors don’t just want to buy art, they also want to know more about the art world. Many institutions have programs that get Millennial collectors involved early.

Depending on the level you’re in, these young collectors councils include you on museum acquisitions, special events, VIP access to fairs, and artist studio visits. Members can range from bankers, financiers, art world denizens to all kinds of creative types. These councils are a sure way to access the “exclusive” art world, while gaining some cultural education along the way… – Christie Chu, ArtNet


Whatever you chose, make sure it’s something you LOVE

If there’s anything we’ve learned during our research, it’s that there are LOTS of different types of art to collect, and you don’t necessarily have to stay within the lines when it comes to collecting. Understanding the market and getting involved in local art organizations will set you up for success. The next step? Find an original piece you love and go from there.

Hey, your wall could look like this one day:

1381768129277_become-an-art-collector-gq-magazine-october-2013-art-01 (1)
Architectural designer Reinaldo Leandro (pictured above) got in early on several rising artists before their prices went stratospheric. 1. Eighteenth-century Peruvian painting gifted by his mother; 2. Helmut Newton print; 3. Ocean painting by his business partner, Ariel Ashe; 4. Karl Haendel drawing; 5. Painting from Dan Colen’s Trash series; 6. Wax piece by Rashid Johnson.

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