How to Get Started as an Art Collector?

Building your very first art collection should be a labor of love, and it can also grow into a lifelong commitment that could come with a handsome payback, one way or another. The easiest way to start is by doing research, which you can do from the comfort of your home. The more you know, the faster you can accomplish your goal and build confidence to build on your collection. 

From afar, the art world can seem intimidating and impenetrable. Longstanding members of the art community across the globe are not exactly making newcomers to the scene feel welcome because it has that air of elitist exclusivity, especially when it comes to brick-and-mortar galleries which are often non-transparent about the prices and seem to be reserved for VIP clients. All of this may deter you from even attempting to embark on the process of starting your very own art collection. But as overwhelming as all this may appear, it is worth the risk. If you want to build an art collection, you have to take the plunge and start somewhere.

Absorb All You Can, Everywhere You Go

Novice collectors are often at a loss for where to start. Take it all in, whether you are visiting actual exhibitions or virtual ones. There are art fairs, artist-led events, museums, and galleries nation and worldwide. Granted, avid travelers are in a better position to gain hands-on experience, but that is nothing to worry about if you are ready to dive in and explore pieces online. Social media can serve as another informative and inspiring source of information. And then there is the amazing world of NFTs to focus on. There are so many ways to get insight into collectible NFTs that do not require you to have physical access to a location.

Do Your Homework as Methodically as You Can

Everything you do requires time and patience, along with other requirements you may need to meet. Becoming an art collector takes a lot of dedication, so you need to do your research in order to make the right decisions at the right time. When it comes to collecting NFTs, at least you don’t have to worry about being at the right place physically, as long as your timing is right.

Don’t Fall For Fads

Trends come and go. Although some are here to stay, it might be too early in the game for you to be able to tell which is which. A pitfall to be mindful of concerns artists and artwork that come with a lot of hype, as you may be tempted to invest just because you expect to unlock its lucrative potential at some point. This, however, may never happen.

Just because something or someone in the art world is generating buzz does not mean it is worth your time and money. Once you begin to understand the ins and outs of that world, you’ll be more comfortable and more confident making decisions regarding your first purchase, as your initial step toward a museum-worthy collection.

Are you hoping to cash in on your investments someday, discover art for art’s sake, do what you can within your means to support new artists, or even aim higher in the grand scheme of things, which is international art history? To do any of this, you have to learn to identify works with lasting value and socially impactful artists who have the power to bring about change.

The last thing you want to do is allow yourself to become overwhelmed with frustration, which may be inevitable if you are yet to learn the first thing about the art world. Give it time and you’ll get there eventually.

Get Art That Speaks To You

Do you see some intrinsic value in an artwork, traditional or NFT? If not, move along. Art should be meaningful. Yes, it is amazing if it also has the potential to pay dividends eventually, but the first thing to focus on is whether a piece of art speaks to you, and do not let yourself be blinded by the bling-bling: possibly empty promises of lavish returns in the future.

Collectors and investors often have different ambitions and goals. The same goes for first-time buyers who make buying decisions depending on what their endgame is, keeping a work of art or an entire collection for themselves or reselling it at some point in the future. If you’re an entry-level collector, it may be wise to pursue artwork that speaks to you directly.

If you think you have formed a personal, lasting connection with a piece of art, you’re already on the right track. That way, even if you fail to make a profit, you will find the experience rewarding, although it will be a different kind of fulfillment.

Build a Network

Like in any vibrant community, artists, art enthusiasts, and art collectors are interconnected. The more people you know, the better your chances of making things work out in your favor. Do your best to meet and make connections with fellow enthusiasts, curators, gallery owners, and managers. Worst case scenario: you’ll gain better insight into new artists and trends.

Building your own network within the NFT collectors’ community may even be slightly easier because you are not limited to the physical, geographical confines of your neck of the woods. That is one barrier you won’t need to worry about overcoming.

Enjoy the Process

This one sounds like stating the obvious (and may also sound downright corny), everything you do should be because you derive some pleasure from it. (If you derive pleasure from the prospect of making the big bucks, so be it.) 

But the truth is, collectors often develop an obsession. One pitfall that can be difficult to avoid is overthinking. It happens to the best of us. We are so concerned about getting it right that we are completely incapable of making up our minds when the decision time comes.

Perhaps the single most important thing to do is as simple as they come: take the plunge and go for it. Make that first step and buy that initial artwork. It gets easier from that point on. Being frugal but forward-thinking takes practice. 

It’s important to focus on what matters, which is to enjoy the ride while gradually approaching your goal. It’s not uncommon for newcomers to the scene to be susceptible to impulse purchases, and some of these may actually pay off eventually. Cautious beginners will likely try to stay within budget which may make some artwork out of reach. This is where connections come in handy. Many art dealers may be able to negotiate and offer a better deal. When it comes to NFTs, things are much more linear. 

The Incentive of NFT Collectibles

Being able to start an NFT collection instead of having to purchase tangible artwork, which traditionally comes with a hefty price tag, makes things easier. If you’re feeling like you’re entering uncharted territory, that is partially true. The world of NFT is evolving constantly, and the fact that NFTs are evolving and their applications are multiplying (case in point: NFT fractionalization), goes to show that we are yet to see where they go from here, but they’re not likely to go away any time soon.

But the good news is that it is never too late to start the learning process. After all, you have the resources at your disposal. The information you need to thrive as a first-time art collector is readily available and easily accessible. You can learn from other people’s mistakes instead of your own. After all, the very first NFT was minted in 2014 and we’ve come a long way since then. Blockchain is now a legitimate medium. And if you are new to NFTs, worry not, you’re not late to the party. In fact, one of the most compelling arguments in favor of NFTs is that everybody is welcome to join in. On top of that, the digital form gives these works the power to revolutionize art, with an obvious impact on the inner workings of the growing art community, both creatively and financially.