Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Collector Wanna-be's

When I had collector wanna-be's come into the gallery where I used to work this was the advise I gave them. Buy what you like and buy what you can afford, but always by originals. That always seemed to be a revelation to them. So I'd break it down for them like this:

1. Buy what you like without worrying about quality or how much it's worth. Why wouldn't you buy something you like? You'd be surprised by how many people buy things because they think they should, or because it's popular.
2. Buy what you can afford. Most people don't realize that they can buy a work of art for the same price as a poster. Most posters cost about $30. For that much you can go to a local artist co-op and probably find something you like, something no one else has, and something made by someone in your community.
3. Always buy an original. For one thing, it's unique. No one else has one just like yours when you buy an original. But the really cool thing is that when you buy an original, there is just something better about it than a poster.

I've seen a lot of people who have become collectors by following those three basic steps. Now when I say collectors I'm not talking about the kind of people who have works of art that are worth more than my house. I'm talking about people who buy original art rather than posters because they love art regardless of it's dollar value to the world. Besides, how do you think those people with the seven figure art collections got started?

You'll eventually find, a few years down the road, that a number of things have taken place. You'll have a house full of beautiful art that you love. Your taste in art and your eye for good art has improved. You'll be able to "spot a deal" and often anticipate an artist's "rise to stardom" before their prices go up when they've been discovered. And, last but not least, you'll find that your world has expanded and your appreciation for life is deeper.

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