Other than your basic research and appraising skills and just general taste, you need to find pieces that go well together. Many people tend to know how to buy work on a piece-by-piece basis, but starting a collection is a whole different story. In a lot of ways, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that is what makes the craft special.
Formulating a plan to building the collection is a completely different animal than just buying what you think looks pretty. How do you relate one purchase to the next? What takes priority? How do you organize the group together? And most importantly, how do you do all these things well?
It’s tough. And when it comes to displaying your art, even the pieces in your own home, no price is too high to have your collection be displayed for as long as possible and stay as healthy as possible.
You want to be an informed and prepared buyer. Your home or storage facility must be ready for your new piece, and you need to know the right way to display the piece.
If you want to be an art collector, learn as much as you can about how to preserve your investments. I live in eastern Virginia, so when I find a room suitable for a new art piece, I get Solar Film window tinting to control the fading of the artwork, even if I am only using it as temporary storage. The film will ensure that the sun’s rays will be suitable for display in a room with windows.
You want to be able to show your work off in any setting, whether public or personal. Your work can take a tour even if it’s full of pieces from garage sales and secondhand stores if it’s put together and displayed effectively.
This is also not something you want to rush. Just because you see a good deal doesn’t mean it’s time to make the buy. Make sure you research and effectively price out your piece if it’s not in your collection goals.
When building your collection, it’s also important to actually be happy with the pieces you choose. Buy what’s comfortable for you, not what is trending. Those are for people who have already built satisfying collections. You will have your own time in the sun.