Basics Of Buying Art: Whether You're A Pro Or Not Buying and collecting art intelligently can be done by anyone. That's right, anyone. You do not need to have experience in collecting art, previous knowledge about the art business, or even a degree in art history. The truth is, all you'll need is love for and appreciation of fine art; plus a yearning to collect; lastly, willingness to learn a some simple techniques that would help you evaluate any kind of art work coming from any period of history, whomever the artist is and whatever his or her nationality is. Anything Goes Although you might read some specific suggestions and recommendations describing specific works of art, you should take note that there is really no right or wrong kind of art and that there's no right or wrong method to collect or buy art. Everyone has the freedom to collect whatever it is that they feel like collecting and buy whatever pieces they feel like buying. It doesn't really matter whenever and wherever you feel like purchasing art, for whatever reason, and for how much you feel like spending on the purchase. As a result, the following tips are not for everyone, but are typically designed for those who want to spend their money wisely on worth it pieces. If you happen to be one of those people, then here are some tips on how you can be a better art collector. Four Way Questions On Buying Art If the time comes that you see a piece that you want, whether it be a painting, sculpture or a print, there are generally four questions that you should ask yourself to start your decision making. Who's The Artist? To answer this, you have 2 reliable sources: spoken and written information. Spoken info usually comes from the artist himself, gallery exhibiting the piece or the dealer. It can also com from other collectors, friends, family, and other people that are familiar about the art or the artist being considered. On the other hand, written info could come in a number of forms like artist career resumes, gallery exhibit catalogues, art reference books and exhibition reviews. How Important Is It? This could be answered by simply looking at as many possible pieces done by the artist. Try to be familiar with the range of the artists' art and see where that particular piece falls. You can start by asking the seller to show you a number of pieces done by the artist, whether original, in print, or in photographs. Also try to see works from all periods of the artist's career; doing this can teach you a lot about the artwork and the artist at hand. Where Has It Been? Third, it's also important to know where that particular piece of art has been. This is done by accumulating all incidental information about the piece. It's similar to making a biography of the piece, from its birth, which is the artists' completion of it, up until the present day. This can be helpful since good provenance and documentation can increase an artwork's desirability, collectability, and market value. Having a good provenance in the art world is analogous to having good pedigree in the pet world. For example, if a painting was exhibited at a notable and important art show, then it is more collectible than a similar painting that wasn't; just the same with awards and prizes. Is The Price Fair? For this question, it doesn't really matter what the piece's value may be in the future, since nobody can really answer that. What you should want to know is whether the piece is fairly priced today or not. This is a very important question, because just like other services or goods, art can sometimes come overpriced. Top Four Tips On Collecting Art Art collection can be a favourable hobby, past-time, or even investment. If you are new to this kind of activity, you can be overwhelmed with the vast number of approaches that you can choose from. So, to make things easier for you, here are some of the best tips you can get in regards to collecting art. Buy Because Of What? First off, you should understand that you should buy an artwork because you like it. Yes, it's just that simple. Although it may be common sense, a lot of people still overlook this important idea. Some buy pieces because other people told them so, or because they saw others buying something similar. If you find a piece that moves you, and you think can enhance your life, then buy it! You do not have to wait for the approval of others to do so since the whole decision is yours. What use is the beauty of an artwork that you bought, if personally, you don't appreciate it or find it disgusting, even? Remember, in collecting art, there is nothing more self-gratifying than seeing a piece that communicates with you and moves your soul, most especially if it's a piece that remains fresh and exciting for you even though you've seen it for hundreds of times. Go Gallery Hopping! Another good thing to do when you're starting a collection is to go gallery hopping. Try to go to as many art galleries that you can visit. Galleries' staff guides can be helpful to you and can add up to your art education. Going to galleries can also be one good way of being exposed to different kinds of art, whether it is a gallery on paintings, sculptures or prints. Galleries provide you with the real thing. Thus, you can examine more of the details of different works of art. Most of the time, galleries showcase some prestigious collections too. Viewing such, can yet be another way of seeing the collections of other people and generating ideas for your own collection. Get Connected Most galleries also have a mailing list that regularly update you on their latest happenings and events. Being connected and up to date with what's happening is another way to help you start with your collection. Sometimes, if there are openings or special events that these galleries hold, they can invite you to go. Once you are invited, try your best to attend such events so that you can be more exposed to the industry. Additionally, events like these can bring you opportunity to know more people within the industry, and find more good deals around. Go Local If there are not much of art galleries in your place, then you can still go local! Try visiting and joining local art museums or non-profit art centers. You may be surprised to see how local talents in your area create masterpieces that seem priceless, yet you can buy at a cheap price. Since probably most of them are still budding artists, then you'll probably spot some good deals around in which the beauty of the piece remains unaltered. Also, the curators of such places sometimes provide lectures for those who are interested in collecting art. Some lectures may have a very cheap fee, while some can come for free, especially if there are big companies sponsoring the event. Art Collecting: A Beginners Guide Art collection is a very stimulating and inspiring hobby for all. It isn't just for the rich and famous, but even regular everyday people too. There are various forms of art that you can choose from, especially since art's definition can greatly vary from one person to another. However, it doesn't really matter whatever its form is, you're the one to make the call on which is attractive and how much are you willing to spend for such piece. To Go For Prints Or Originals? In the art world, some people may look down on others due to their different tastes in picking out art. For instance, there are those people who only buy original works and would never even consider buying prints. However, you should take note that if you're just starting to collect art and is doing this for enjoyment then originals are not really necessary to buy, especially if they're way out of your budget. There is really nothing wrong with buying prints. In fact, these are one superb way to have framed art that would look lovely on your wall, just like how an original would look, but at a way lower price. Although here, you would not be having the same texture as to the original work; since originals usually show dimension and texture, while prints won't. However, well printed artworks are not settling of course. In fact, a lot of art collectors have art prints by different artists, which were fairly bought inexpensively from the Internet, galleries and art fairs. Amazingly, such pieces still look tasteful and classy, instead of cheap looking like what most people expect. All Framed Up Once you spot an original or print that you like, you have the option to frame it by yourself or get somebody else to do it for you. Generally, you can find frames in a vast price range, starting from cheaper metal frames to ornate and hand carved wooden frames costing you a fortune. With regard to using mats, which is another way of framing your picture inside its frame by the use of papers or illustration boards, you should take note that such could detract your print. If you don't know how to frame, then you should get your piece and get it framed first. While doing so, observe how they'd offer you different mats and frame styles. You don't have to hasten up when picking out the mat you want to use. In fact, you should take your time and deliberate on it carefully, since the mat and frame color combinations can have a great effect on how well or bad your artwork would look. You should also consider how the frame would fit-in in whatever place you'll put it, like your home or your office. If you want a clean and contemporary look, it's recommended that you use the Nielsen brushed metal frames, which are not only cheap but are still elegant looking too. These usually come in different colors. Nevertheless, it's safe to go for black or bronze. If you'll be placing them in a gallery, bronze would also do well, especially since it wouldn't cost you too much. After all, most people that buy art from galleries would have the art they bought re-framed in able for it to match their home decor. If more of a wood type of person, you can also get wooden frames that are naturally stained. Cherry and mahogany are the most preferred styles when it comes to wooden frames, since their deep and reddish color bring an elegant look to any artwork. Improving Your Art Collecting Skills Being able to collect good art is one exceptional talent. Although you may think good art collectors are born, this is not the case at all. The truth is, the skill of collecting art can actually be learned! Yes, and that is one good news for you. So, if you want to improve further with your collecting skills, here are some things that you can do to attain such goal. Get Some Exposure Getting some exposure on different disciplines of art is one way to enhance your collecting skills. There are a lot of national and international art expos and art fairs that you can attend to. Try attending such kinds of events to broaden your horizon on different kinds of art disciplines and forms. This is also one way to discover not so well-known aesthetic pieces that have potential on getting a huge value in the future. However, most importantly, it is one way to see artworks that can move you and probably be part of your collection in the near future. Know Your Kind Although collecting art can be a personal endeavour for you, there is nothing wrong with talking to other art collectors and knowing more about them. In fact, doing this can be beneficial to you, since you can learn more about how other collectors started and what other helpful information they can give you. They can also give you recommendations like galleries to visit, events to go to, artists to see works of and other art related things. Some art collectors even have clubs or organizations that you can join in. Read On! Reading in any aspect can take your knowledge another level. Thus, reading books about art history and art collections would definitely improve your skill. There's a lot to learn with collecting that you can actually find not only by looking at pictures, but also through reading texts about so. Reading old published literature on the subject is good, since you can learn the basics of the field and the essentials of collecting. However, it would still be better if you are up-to-date with your reading materials. If you want something fresh and new regularly, then subscribing to some art magazines would do the trick! Magazines, just like books, are helpful resources where you can learn more about collecting and collections. However, these magazines standout since their content are always up to date and new, unlike with books that may contain faced-out and irrelevant data. Playing It Safe With Appraisals Appraising an artwork is one important step especially if you are building a collection. Thus, you should take every precaution there is to appraise your art correctly. If you are new to this kind of trade, it can be really hard on your part. The good thing is, there are resources and appraisal organizations that can help you comprehend appraisal needs that you have. Importance Of Appraisal Not only is having an appraisal important, but also updating it is crucial, so that your insurance coverage on specific artworks or collections can be updated. You are usually obliged to have a current art appraisal, if your art has insurance claims, charitable donations, estate tax, is for equitable distribution or for sale. There are various kinds of art appraisals, such as replacement value and current value. However, you should make sure that you know each and their differences in order to get appraisals that would fit your needs. Here are some of the most established appraisal associations that can help you out with your artwork appraisal needs. American Society Of Appraisers (ASA) -- This is an organization for appraisal professionals and other people who may be interested in the profession of appraising. They have an international status, and are very independent and self-supportive. They' re also the oldest among appraisal orgs and the only major organization that represents all different disciplines of the appraising industry. They started back in 1936 and became incorporated in 1952. You can find ASA's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Appraisal Foundation (AF) -- This foundation is a not-for-profit educational group that is dedicated for the development of professional valuation. It was established back in 1987. Since the foundation started, they have worked hard to promote professionalism in field. Appraisers Association Of America (AAA) -- For the field of personal property appraisal, this is considered to be the oldest non-profit professional organization. They're a recognized authority for determining appraisal standards, setting legal issues and regulating the profession. Their certified members can provide you appraisals for your decorative and fine arts, jewellery, and other household contents. Art Dealers Association Of America Art Appraisals (ADAA) -- This association has been existing for more than forty-five years already. Their service has been appraising different artworks for tax purposes. A lot of collectors and museums have asked their help in determining the value of many important artworks, ranging from contemporary art installations to old master paintings. Their appraisals have exceptional acceptance records with the IRS. They're also well-known because of their professional quality. Chicago Appraisers Association (CAA) -- Don't be fooled by their association's name. They're not just one appraiser with a limited knowledge in a single area, specifically Chicago; instead, they're one whole team of certified experts that are ready to help you with your appraising needs. If you checkout their website, you can find some helpful articles on appraising and some of the frequently asked questions in the field, answered. The International Society of Appraisers (ISA) -- This member-driven and non-profit association was formed to help its member's needs and provide public service by making ethical, highly qualified, recognized appraisers for the field of personal property appraisals. They have a lot of prestigious members who are independent and respected appraisers, estate liquidators, auctioneers, consultants, dealers and gallery owners. So, if you want to make sure that you're getting the right appraisal for your artwork at hand, then try asking for help from such credited institutions!
How To Get Started In The Trade Of Art Being able to sell art is not an easy task. Even those people who are already art collectors are hesitant to be the first buyers from obscure or not so well known artists. Additionally, it is way more difficult to sell to people who are not really art collectors and do not know anything about you. However, once you get to make that first sale of your masterpiece, selling again would be a lot easier than before. Is Your Art Ugly? As an artist, you should not start doubting yourself about your creativity and skill with your art if you are unable to sell them or only sell a couple. There are several reasons on why people who already like art do not buy pieces often. Such reasons are related to their knowledge about art, self-confidence, identity crisis of what their taste really is, and how much it matters to them what other people would say about the pieces they buy. A lot of people in the art industry, whether they are new ones or old, usually worry of what other people would say about their purchase, or that their colleagues and friends would make fun of them. Even though a person likes a certain artwork of yours, they are probably not sure on how well done the piece is, whether it's really worth the price, or whether you as an artist is established enough in your career to warrant such prices. Thus, your job as an artist is to help those people that admire your art feel secure and comfortable with you both, as an artist and a businessperson. As you do this, you help alleviate whatever other fears that they may have and have a higher probability that they'd buy your art. If you don't know where to start, then here are some tips on how you can make admirers of your art buy your piece and hopefully in time, turn them into patrons. Tell Them: It's OK, Really Before you even start off with your sales talking, you should be able to show people that purchasing your artworks is okay. You can try talking about other collectors that have bought your pieces, what kind of people they are and how long you have been transacting with them. Doing this would make your prospective buyer let go of the thought that you're just some bozo trying to sell him a piece of junk and get hold of his cash. However, if you haven't had any collectors, then you should say so honestly. You should tell your prospective buyer that you are open to the possibility of selling your art to them, although you haven't really done this before. How Do You Sell? You should also talk to them about your method of selling your art and in what specific circumstances do people buy it. Additionally, it would be helpful if you tell stories or anecdotes of how other collectors have bought their first artworks from you. You should also talk about your most recent sale, how you were able to sell it, and for how much. The method of how you price your works should be mentioned too, along with which of your work types is the favourite among collectors, and how many have you sold all in all. Exposure Lastly, it would be very helpful to talk about the exposures that you've had in the industry, such as museum or institution exhibits, galleries, trade fairs, and awards or honours that you've received. Extra Tips On Selling Your Art Other than informing your prospective buyers on the basics of your artworks, how much you are selling them, and who are the people who have bought from you, there are still some other things you can do to make the probability of the sale hike up even higher. Here are some of them. Show Pictures Of Your Pictures One way to encourage your prospective buyers to buy your art is by showing them photos of how other art collectors have made use or displayed the pieces they have bought from you. Seeing your pieces in working or living environments can be a great encouraging factor. If you do not have that many collectors yet, you can show them pictures of how you, yourself displayed your art in different kinds of environments. If your prospect is someone who is not really that familiar with art, doing this tip can be very helpful and fruitful. Since they may be having some difficulty in imagining how or where they would display the piece, if ever they bought it from you. It can also be the case that they can't really picture how the piece would look like in their office or home. Be Service Oriented If you really want to make a sale, then your attitude should show that you do so. Try to make time for transactions and meetings regarding your art. Also, try to make yourself available as much as possible to deliver your piece to the collectors' home or office. You should also help them with hanging it, or even make suggestions on where to place it, if they ask you to. If your buyer hasn't made a specific pick of which piece they want from your collection, you can also offer them that you bring a number of your art to their home or office, free of charge. Do this, so that they can see how it would fit in their environment. However, you should also make it clear to them that they are not obliged to buy it if they don't want to. Give Them A Taste Test If you want, you can also offer people to have a piece or two of your works for a trial period of one or two weeks, just to see how they would like the pieces. However, with this kind of deal, you should make sure that you have a written contract about your agreement, get a promissory note, deposit or whatever kind of security for your art's safety. Fish Around You may also want to try fishing around. Try asking people reasons of why they like or dislike a certain piece made by other artists. From their answers, get some ideas of how they would react if it is your art in the hot seat. Of course, you do not do this just to be discouraged, but to be able to think fresh and innovatively for your next pieces. Talk Earth Language One of the most common mistakes of artists that are first time selling their works is that they talk to impress. Yes, it is impressive if you know a lot of techniques, components and factors regarding art. However, not all people that would be interested in buying your work are artists too. Some of them may be everyday people who know nothing about the technical aspect of art, but are just simply captivated by your work. If this is the case, try not to delve into elevated and heated art discussions, especially if they're not really asking for it. Avoid giving them information that would remain undigested. Try to talk in their level, since intimidating your prospective buyer would be the last thing you'd want to do.Great Collections: Making Your Own If you want to build your art collection, you should do so in an intelligent manner. This is so that everything you buy for your collection wouldn't be considered as a waste of money. However, collecting art intelligibly would require you to master two things. First, is to have good research skills, and second the skill of collecting. Starting On The Thought Of Collecting Generally, as most people do, you'd probably have the knowledge of buying art on a piece-per-piece basis, yet still may not be thinking of plans like making multiple achievements as time passes by, or simply, building up a collection. Although it is possible to find artworks that you like anywhere you go, and get to choose from an outstanding diversity of subject matters, mediums, and price ranges; doing so can still be confusing and intimidating, especially if you're still starting. Questions such as: "How exactly do you push your way through and choose which direction to make an entrance?" "How can you relate one buy to the other?"; "How should you group or organize your art?"; "Are there ways of presenting it?"; and lastly "How can you do everything in an excellent manner?"; may come play in your mind. However, once you get these queries off you head then you'll get to understand the real meaning of "collection", which is the crucial case of controlled and purposeful buying. The Great Collections Great collectors are extensively respected and usually as popular as the artworks they collect; such as the Rockefeller collection, the Chrysler collection, and the Phillips collection, to name a few. Such collectors are famous since they demonstrate a great deal of talent when choosing and organizing their art, just like the artists themselves are in making the masterpiece. Similarly, each piece of art in one great collection orders first-class attention as well as a first-rate price not just because the piece is good, but also of the name of the company it bears. How Great Is "Great"? So how exactly do great collectors become great? Well, experts believe that it is this skill of being able to categorize specific artworks from the billions of works existing and assemble them in such a manner aiming to advance or increase other's understanding of such particular art or of art's evolution in general. For any kind of mature collection, the whole thing, as a group, becomes greater than the value of the parts. Thus, the collector becomes accepted to be a respected authority in the matter and in outstanding cases continues until he's the one that sets the standards, establishes the trends, and influences the future of art collecting for all. This is how meaningful and influencing great art collections can be. It all starts from a single piece of art, until the whole collection itself becomes a separate artwork from its components. The First Step To Greatness No matter how you see your collecting, whether recreational or serious, there are methods that you could use to get the most out of not only the value and quality of your art, but also your personal appreciation, enjoyment, and understanding of your art. Thus, you should know that your first step to greatness is being real to your tastes. If you want to be a really great collector someday, then acknowledging and accepting that you like specific types of art without considering what other people say or what is popular in the market, would be the right thing to do. Remember, in collecting, you're making an artwork too which is composed of different specific pieces. How you'll design your artwork is entirely up to you and not what other people think. So if you'll be collecting, be sure to put your heart on it! Reviews: Seeing Another's Perspective Seeing art in the perspective of another person is bad at all. Remember that art is relative, thus, something may be beautiful in your eyes, yet ugly for another's and vice versa. That is why you should learn to utilize reviews done by international or local art critics and channel them into something positive. Instead of being too much influenced by what they say, try learning from them and see if what they say about the artwork is true. You should also learn some points on how they critic a piece, since being able to critic is yet an important skill to develop collecting skills. Get Some Help A little bit of guidance would not hurt if you are really interested on learning how to make a great art collection. You can work with a professional art consultant / art advisor, if you please since for sure they know what they are doing. They can also teach you about collecting and even guide you to the whole process of buying art.Misconceptions With Your Art's Value Knowing the value of art can require some skill and experience. If you're starting on a collection and do not know how to value art, then lucky you, since you can always get the help of an art appraiser. However, if you decide on pursuing the value for yourself, then be sure that you avoid making some of the common mistakes regarding the matter. Most people seeking the value of a piece tend to simply look at the price list and from there on, conclude the value of the work in consideration. However, there is much to value than simple market prices. Pricelists can be very misleading, since artworks' values are not only determined by its price; here are some of the reasons why, and some other overlooked factors when valuating an art. It's A Bargain! Sometimes, if an auction is poorly publicized, they hold sales or bargains in order to sell. Thus, you can find great art that are priced way low from their real value in this kind of auctions. There are also instances in which only single bidders are able to recognize the significance of the art at hand. During this kind of situations, the piece can also be sold at a low price if there are no other bidders who want to pursue the piece. No Auction Records There are instances too in which the significant works of a certain artist have never been sold in any kind of auction. It's quite normal for the finest and popular pieces by an artist to sell for huge amounts of money, approximately tens of thousands or even more, at galleries. However, that same artist can have high auction records only in level of low or mid-thousands of bucks. Thus, if your artist has not had any significant work of his through any auction, then you can also value the work extremely low. Great Continuums It can also be hard for you to value the piece if the price range of the artist is too great. For example, an artist can have hundreds or even thousands of auction records, ranging for instance in between $1000-$200,000. If you are not a competent professional appraiser, for sure you'll probable have little or even no idea where the piece would fit in with a continuum that is vast as that. Significance Is The Key For an artwork to be accurately valued, its significance should be determined. Thus, you should get to know how the piece would level in respect to how excellent, well, or bad it is done, compared to the other works of the same artist. Techniques used in the piece and its overall aesthetics play a role here. So, if your piece at hand is really good, yet you're not able to know or see how good it is, then for sure you're going to value it way low from its justified value. Unearthing History Matters Additionally, historical significance would also matter in valuing your art. The more it is historically significant, the higher its value is. Factors like the piece being able to transcend its artist due to what it represents, when it was created, where it was done, and other similar mitigating aspects, play a role with its history significance. Thus, if you haven't uncovered the historical significance of your art, then it would probably have a low value for you. The Essentials On Authenticating And Attributing Art You can find art for sale almost anywhere, most of it coupled with a variety of forms of certification, documentation, authentication, provenance, attribution, and all other claims that the piece is by this artist, etc. But guess what? None of these papers, claims, certificates of authenticity, documents or even tall tales mean a thing if they're not stated, authored, or else traceable to or directly associated with accepted, recognized, and qualified authorities about the art in question, and also the artist themselves. So here are some of the essentials to know on attributing and authenticating art, how it works and who the people to be trusted are. They're All Connected -- Not! One of the most pervasive problems in selling art deals with "attributed" art. It's so common that every kind of unqualified individual would attribute artworks to different kinds of artists, sad to say 100% of these attributions are considered to be worthless. How come? Simply because in the art industry, legitimate attributions are only made by known and recognized authority figures that have legitimate authority on the attributed artists' names. Defining "Attributed" Officially and technically speaking, "attributed" means a specific work of art, which is most likely an original, is at the hand and is certified by a qualified authority on the matter. Take note that your keywords here are "qualified authority". Thus, if the attribution is done by an unqualified person, then it would be meaningless. Who Are The Qualified Authority? A qualified authority is someone who really knows what he/she is talking about and has the proof to anything he/she says. Qualified authorities are those people that have deliberately studied the artist under consideration, have already published papers about the artist, and have curated major gallery shows or museums catering the works of the artist. They can also be someone who have taught courses about the artist; bought or sold at least dozens or even hundreds of artworks by the artist; have written magazine articles, books, or catalogue essays about the artist, and the like. The artist him/herself can also be a qualified authority, along with his relatives, employees, direct descendants, and heirs. Also, people who have formal, legal, or estate-granted sanctions or entitlements in able to pass judgment the artist's works are considered to be qualified authorities. Most importantly, they should be recognized throughout the whole art community to the people in charge when it comes to the matter of dealing with works by that artist. Who Are Not Qualified? The list of people whom are not qualified could take forever to complete. However, here are some of the general characteristics of those unqualified people who most likely say that they are qualified. First off, you should watch out for those who think that the piece they are selling is by this certain artist just because the work "looks like' it is done by that artist; also, those who think that the piece is by that artist because they saw some illustrations from art books that are similar to the piece at hand. Additionally, sellers that answer you with "that is what the previous owner told me" kind of questions are not to be trusted. You really can't rely on tattle-tailing to very if the work is an original or not. This is just the same if they say that the work is by such artist because the previous owner is rich and famous. You should also watch out for art appraisers, since they only appraise and not authenticate; unless they have qualifications to do so. Take note that appraisal and authentication are two different things. So, if you're planning on buying a so-called original, then you must make sure that the person you're talking to is a qualified authority, or better yet, the artist himself!
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