What do my art collectors have to say about their art collecting experiences? I had a lot of response from my last email - 5 Benefits to Building Your Art Collection. I was surprised that a lot of you feel that you need to KNOW something about art, have an art education, or some such art knowledge to collect art. The reality is - you don't! You need absolutely no knowledge about art to become an art collector. All you need to know is what you like! Does the art speak to you? Do you like the colors? Does the subject matter remind you of someone or something? There are no art industry rules or any art knowledge you need to have to start buying art. You just need to know what YOU like. That's it! And here's the deal, if you buy art, you're an art collector. Period. Now granted, there are plenty of art collectors in the art industry who do know a lot about art and collect art as an investment but even with these folks, they are collecting what they like. If you love a piece of art, buy it. It doesn't matter if it's by a known artist or an unknown artist, if you buy it off the street or in a fancy gallery, if it cost 50 dollars or 5,000 dollars - buying art is about you, what you like, how it makes you feel, and your budget. With that said, I have invited two of my biggest collectors to share their art collecting stories. First up is my dear friend Lourdes Lee. We've known each other since the 1990's. Ever since then, Lourdes has regularly purchased art from me and other artists she loves, including art from my daughter Mona Rae who she has recently started collecting. Here is Lourdes' story:
Hi Linda, I enjoyed reading your blog post, "5 Benefits of Collecting Art". You begin by asking if you've ever been on vacation and bought a piece of art. Yes, yes, and yes! Milton (her husband) and I were in Croatia and I purchased a necklace, choker, and purse from a local artisan. As it turns out, she was also a painter and showed us some of her work. Milton bought a watercolor from her and it has been hanging in our dining room ever since reminding us of that wonderful vacation. I never considered myself an art collector. I have zero serious art education. But, I do think I've purchased art for each of the five reasons you listed. 1. TO ADORN YOUR HOME Milton and I both like mid-century modern design and I've purchased several art pieces because it had the same qualities. 2. TO EXPRESS YOURSELF I got a tattoo from the tattoo artist Gunnar Gaylord and purchased one of his oil paintings. It is very much in the style of my right arm half-sleeve tattoo and I love that.
3. ART MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD One of my most recent purchases is your watercolor of flamingos because my mother loved flamingos and I love watercolor paintings. I also purchased one of Mona's wire sculptures, the Weight Lifter, because it reminds me of my own days lifting at Gold's gym in San Francisco. I've also purchased art from local artists in the different countries we've visited. These purchases are wonderful reminders of our travel adventures.
4. BUYING ART HAS GROWTH POTENTIAL FOR ALL INVOLVED We're both fans of Alexander Calder's work and while traveling in Poland we were browsing in an antique store and were lucky enough to find a January 1973 catalog of Derriere Le Miroir which contained five lithographs by Calder! What a joy to wake up every morning and see these primary colors splashed on our bedroom wall. Although I'm pretty sure someone would love to take these off our hands for a decent price, I can't imagine ever selling these lithographs. They bring us so much joy.
5. YOU SUPPORT THE ARTS And finally, I am always thrilled when I fall in love with an artwork created by a close friend. I've purchased photography, relief prints, watercolors, bronze sculptures, acrylic, and oil paintings from friends. I purchased The Eyeball Lady from you and I swear, I see you in every part of that piece. That piece shows how much you've grown as an artist. Impressive! The greatest joy I get is buying a piece from a friend knowing that they put their heart into creating it. I just love that!
Buying art is personal. Sometimes it can be impulsive while other times the sale doesn't happen until I view the piece numerous times. There is no template, no right or wrong, for buying art. For me, the piece must resonate. And it does not have to be expensive. I've bought works for as little as $25. They are all valuable to me. My one true dilemma is that I continue to find artworks I want but I don't have enough wall space!! I think everyone should have that dilemma! I look forward to reading your blog and following the Chido-Gross art journey. I could use some stained glass for the living room, wink wink! Lots of love, Lalu
Thank you Lalu for sharing your art collecting story! Love you!