Starting an art collection can be a daunting venture for many. Isn’t art collecting expensive? How do you know which art is good? Where do you start? These are questions I am asked regularly by art enthusiasts at every level. But the reality is, that above all, it should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

So here are my top 5 suggestions on how to successfully navigate the art world:

EDUCATE YOURSELF
Visit museums, auction viewings, read art magazines and blogs – expose yourself to the emporium of choice that is out there and figure out what draws you in. If you attempt to set out to start a collection with no sense of what you want to build, you’ll find yourself feeling exhausted amongst the plethora of options.

DON’T FOCUS TOO HEAVILY ON THE $
Collecting art doesn’t need to be expensive, nor should it be all about money. Whether you choose to spend a little bit of money on art every now and again, or save up to buy a big piece, the motivation should be enjoyment. And remember, all major artists started somewhere so you may find yourself supporting the art world’s next big thing! Which leads me to my next tip…

BUY WHAT YOU LOVE!
Art is highly subjective so build a collection that you love and it can’t help but be a ‘good’ art collection. Purchase with your heart, and make sure it is something you can live with every day. The art market can change, just like stocks, so what is ‘hot’ one day may not be the next and visa versa. If there is a genuine appreciation for the work you will not only feel enriched by your collection but this will translate if your collection is ever to be measured by the public. In the case of the James Fairfax Collection and The Studio of Mirka Mora sold at Leonard Joel, the public were allowed an insight into the artistic minds and homes of these recognised Australians. Their collections showed a true passion for the arts, with record prices achieved and a lasting legacy that atests to their collecting habits.

LOVE WHAT YOU BUY
Take care of all your art purchases no matter how much it is worth. Not only will this allow you to enjoy them fully for longer, but if there comes a time that you wish to sell your collection the value will not be affected by any condition issues.

TAKE THE LEAP
There comes a point when you have to have confidence in the knowledge you’ve attained so far. You don’t want to find yourself regretting an unmade acquisition, so if all signs are pointing to ‘yes’ then trust your instincts.

OLIVIA FULLER / Head of Art

Illustrated: Joy Hester (1920-1960) | Girl with Cocky c.1957 | Sold for $260,000, Leonard Joel, 5 June 2018