Ten tips for young art collectors

In an art ecosystem full of different forms of art, being a young collector can get challenging. Here’s some useful advice from gallerists and art experts before you get down to buying your first work.

According to Mandira Lamba, Former Chairperson FICCI YFLO, Delhi, and Founder and Director of two art ventures, Blueprint12 and Tribal Art Form, “it’s been most exhilarating to see the surge of young budding collectors in the art world over the last few years.”

“My advice to these young collectors has always been – follow your own taste! Do not go by ‘what’s selling’. And in order to develop your own aesthetics, please visit, watch and read. Of course in this current scenario, it’s all about online and which is fine as people all over the world are now getting connected through online shows and conversations. This gives one ample opportunity to research and look out for various virtual displays, webinars etc to expand one’s own horizon and finally develop the ‘Art of seeing Art’. Once you have that going trust me you will know which is the work of art that you need to collect,” Lamba told IANSlife.

Sunaina Anand, Director Art Alive Gallery shares a similar view. “Collecting art might seem like a daunting task considering the multitude of artworks that surround us.” She lists her top ten tips to young art collectors.

1. The first step before venturing into collecting art is research. Due to ease of use, the digital medium is the best platform for conducting any art based research. Following trends in the art world, following art news, referring to blogs etc. might be a good start for any young collector to help in establishing their own taste in art with genuine interest.

2. As one delves deeper into the art world, it is essential for any young collector to refer to websites of established art galleries. Reliable galleries mostly have a standing of at least 10 years and their websites are the best sources.

3. It is also suggested that young collectors build ongoing relationships with galleries who have a history of doing important shows and publications for better understanding of art. Not only does this help young collectors to understand art better but also provides them access to works and publications helping them build their own collection.

4. To build a collection over time, it is always a good idea to begin with a wish list. Creating a wish list will help a young collector to gradually build his or her own collection over time.

5. As young collectors, people often have budgetary constraints pertaining to the amount of art they can buy at one go. It is advisable that young collectors begin with investing a smaller amount at first before they move on to bigger investments. The best way to go about this is following updates on the websites of trusted art galleries and have access to a variety of art before they decide to take the plunge.

6. Since young art collectors are very recently venturing into the realm of collecting art, it is always a safer bet to buy art of an established artist who fascinates you. It also helps to consult an art gallery to see works from various artists so that one is guided towards a more wholesome collection.

7. It is always better to research the artist, either on the digital medium or via catalogues or publications produced by art galleries. It is advisable that documentation is in place with regard to any artwork. That is why it is suggested that artworks should only be bought from trusted art galleries.

8. Even though being updated with art trends is important, it is also equally necessary for anyone to trust their instincts. Everyone has a very distinct taste of art which makes every collection unique. In order to develop your own aesthetic, it is important for any collector to trust their instincts and not just blindly follow trends.

9. One mistake a lot of young collectors tend to make is not engaging enough with their art. Knowing the artwork you just purchased is an important part of building the collection. Knowing the artist and their body of work helps a young collector to understand their collection and ways in which they can expand the same.

10. Lastly, even though a distant dream in the times of a pandemic, it is always advisable that young collectors see an artwork they have been willing to purchase, physically. It is preferable that the work is viewed at a gallery so as to place an artwork in a physical space and get a better insight.