Being an art investor takes a lot of work and patience just like any other business. It is never too late to start another way to make money, and you will be rewarded if you stick by it. There is a lot of competition out there so you have to find a way to make a name out of yourself. That is why you should follow this article, so you could become a successful art investor.
1. Study the world of art
Learn the language of the art world
The first thing you need to do is to learn the vocabulary of the world you are about to step into. There are many terms you have to be familiar with to discuss art with experts. This includes artistic movements, compositional theory, buzzwords from high-brow culture, etc. If you want to know more, look up Masterworks definition and you’ll be on your way to learn everything you need. Always have a notebook with you and write down any word that you are not sure what it means, and then either ask someone about it or look it up. Here are some of the things you have to study:
- Art movements (impressionism, expressionism, surrealism, postmodernism, realism, modernism, pop art)
- Terms (framing, aesthetics, context, medium)
- Some words that are frequently used when talking about art and carry their own connotations. You must know why and when they are used (dynamic, intimate, suggestive, aggressive, appropriation, etc.).
Take an art criticism class
Find what kind of post-graduate programs they have at your nearest college or university that deal with art. You should take some courses there to learn about art criticism. Pay attention in those classes as they will surely come in handy when you want to evaluate something. Classes can be taken about the basics of art, art history, or art criticism. Whatever you choose, you won’t regret it if you want to start a life as an art investor.
Visit websites, blogs, and other places that publish art criticism
Websites and blogs often have beginner guides regarding the topic they are dealing with. Reading these blog posts will help you understand the world of art better. This can be a good start since these posts are written for beginners.
2. Engage yourself in the world
After you’ve learned the basics, you have to start living the life of an art investor. That means that you commit yourself to this world by always being around when something is happening, no matter how big of an event it is. Here is what else you can do to become a part of this world.
Subscribe to art publications
Reading about art should not stop after you’ve learned the basics. It should never stop. You always have to know what is going on so that you can make the right moves and purchase the right pieces at the right time. Always stay informed about this topic and you will be rewarded for it.
Specialize in a specific genre
Upon entering this world, you have to think of a niche that best suits you. After that, you should commit and become an expert on the topic of that genre. There will be no one stopping you when it comes to your niche.
3. Develop your investment strategy
After you infiltrated yourself into this world, it is time to develop a strategy that will get you to success. You must know exactly what you want and you’ll be sure to get it if you plan it out correctly. Here are the steps of what you have to do:
- Identify your goals so that you know how much to spend, how much you want to make, and what genre you want to be in.
- Choose your market. Some people do business only inside their country and others go around the world. There are many more in between and it’s up to you.
- Look at lesser-known artists that might become big. It can be a huge payoff if you support them because you will get their pieces cheap and sell them for a large profit.
- Learn whose works will increase in value. When artists die their works bloom, but it’s not the only situation. Pay attention to what they do and you’ll know where to invest.
4. Create a network of artists and dealers
One of the most important things in any business is making contacts and friends. This includes the art investment business and you always have to create a network of investors, artists, dealers, museums, etc. Here’s where to do it:
- Attend gallery openings
- Go to fairs and talk to artists
- Attend auctions and talk to investors
5. Learn how to buy
Before buying art, you need to learn how. Study every piece you get. It is smart to contact the artist directly to learn as much as you can about the painting. Also get gallery owners to keep an eye for works you could be interested in, and most importantly, hire an evaluator. Whenever you aren’t sure, hold the purchase, there will be other opportunities.
6. Learn how to sell
The one thing you should know is not to sell your pieces too quickly, because the value might grow. Evaluators can once again come in handy in this process. Always call up the gallery where you bought the work from before selling it. The best way to make sure you’ll make money are auctions.
7. Promote yourself
Nowadays, if you want to be successful in any business you have to figure out a way to promote yourself. Create accounts on social media and a website and always fill them with interesting and eye-catching content. In cases like these, Instagram is the best option because it relies on photographs. Show the people everything you offer and boost your profile. This way you can attract new customers, but also get offers to buy new pieces of art once you get noticed as a reliable investor.
8. Create your own studio
It may be a smart move to have the paintings you want to sell exhibited at all times. It is a good idea to invest in a studio where you can show the pieces out in the open. Some passers-by might notice you, and you would also get more recognition with it. Frame the pieces nicely and get people interested in visiting your store to see the paintings live. It may just get them to buy something.
With all these tips you will be on your way towards a successful career in art dealing. It can be a stressful job and you may start slow, but in the end, what business doesn’t. However, if you do everything right you will have no problem generating income out of your hard work. Don’t give up right away, but rather make small steps towards big goals.