Golden Rules

You can find a myriad of reasons why art lovers end up being ardent and passionate art collectors. There is something for everyone in the world of art. Some people are fond of the beauty of antique art, while others are crazy about the metaphors of contemporary abstract art. Don’t forget about people who take an enormous aesthetic pleasure when simply looking at all sorts of paintings. As they say, so many men, so many minds.

When it comes to collecting art and antiques, things get more complicated. The reason is that art collectors are not just those who enjoy the existence of art but those who foster its continuation by buying, storing, and selling artworks. In such a way, art is being shared, and it won’t cease to exist in the centuries to come.

That’s why being an art collector implies both personal and shared responsibility. If you have decided to embark on a collector career path, you are at the right place because now you have a fair chance to know about several golden rules for collecting art & antiques. But before that, let’s answer the question of why collecting art is more than just a hobby or a job.

The purpose & benefits of collecting art

There is nothing wrong with being skeptical of investing in art. After all, it’s hardly the most profitable investment that you can make. At the same time, if you think it through, revenue is not the main purpose of holding an art collection. The purpose is, in fact, much more abstract and complex. Not only does the personal collection enrich your life with second-to-none experience, but it is also a huge factor influencing your understanding of the world around you and your personality in particular. It’s food for thought, so think about it!

7 golden rules for collecting art & antiques

Rule #1. Always start with yourself

There is not a degree making you an art collector. It all begins with you and your inner drive. Before you start setting your budget and doing market research, you have to understand what you are aiming at. It’s all about the personal appeal and your perception of art in general. Defining your taste not only helps you stay motivated but also builds a realistic, decent strategy. Turn off your mind, let the feelings take control, meditate a little, and decide what is close to your heart.

Rule #2. Knowledge is power

When you know what makes your inner collector thrilled, there comes another question, “Where should I invest my money?” That’s where you start taking a more practical approach to art collecting. First off, you set a realistic budget. Based on how much financial muscle you have, you decide where your place is: on the primary or secondary art market. It is needless to say that there is a stark contradiction between original works and, for example, art prints. The same applies to antiques.

Rule #3. Money is not equivalent to art, it’s a tool to buy it

The price of artwork may seem like a whole world of wondrous mathematics. However, if you dig a little bit deeper, you will see that there is nothing magical about it at all. Instead, there are quite concrete factors and aspects making art valuable and expensive. To know all of them is to learn how to predict price fluctuations, which is an indispensable skill for every investor. What is more, you have to study trends, as the social (people) factor is overwhelmingly important. This knowledge will help you allocate your money wisely but don’t forget that real collectors buy with their hearts and eyes, not ears.

Rule #4. Community is a boon

Art collectors usually work single-handedly. However, it doesn’t mean that each of them is a lone wolf. Your career will grow much more exponentially if you have reliable colleagues and partners. You will also have to work with art dealers, art curators, and artists on a regular basis. Mutual experience, interest, and benefit are what make the community flourish. At first glance, it appears to be a bit foreign and faraway, but when you get to know people better, you start to realize its vibe. Moreover, it is also a perfect chance to make new friends.

Rule #5. Older isn’t always better

This rule mostly concerns antiquities and vintage, though it refers to old artworks as well. The fact is that many beginner art collectors tend to think that the older a piece of art is, the more expensive it will become with time. While there is truth in this, it is a mere generalization and thus may be misleading. Sometimes, artifacts and ancient relics, such as pottery vessels, articles of furniture, or religious icons, become even more valuable. Meanwhile, many other items remain historical junk. That’s why you should collect carefully.

Rule #6. Everyone needs help

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Apart from colleagues, you could consider turning to art & antique experts who can help you with appraisal, restoration, preservation, advisory, and management. These are essential services for art collectors, and it’s simply impossible to build an extensive and meaningful collection without professional help.

Rule #7. Mistakes are inevitable

You cannot make progress without mistakes because they educate you. While you should avoid dumb and common blunders, you are not insured against failures. This rule doesn’t mean that the more mistakes you make, the more you develop. No! Basically, what it means is that you need to strive for success and learn from your past mistakes. That’s how you will grow as a professional art collector. Every person should find a key to success because there are no ultimate recipes for prosperity, as well as there are no identical lives.

In closing

The first step is always the hardest. Collecting art & antiques may seem like a huge challenge. Yes, it definitely is, but just think for a moment of how much knowledge and fascinating experience you get in return. Let these golden rules guide your way, and, hopefully, you will find your collector’s equilibrium. In the years ahead, your personal art collection will become your highest prosperity, and your investment in happiness will pay off.