Goodman says the fine-art collector can choose a trajectory by following either “young upcoming artists, established artists, or artists who have historically made a name for themselves”.
“Some collections comprise art on paper, such as drawings, watercolours, and mixed-media artworks, or prints and multiples, and then, of course, there are original one-off paintings and sculpture,” she says. “There is a wide variety of artworks for every taste and collector.”
Welz says collectors should spend time visiting art galleries as well, taking direction from their walls and understanding where the market is heading. “In art, there are a number of really good young artists to watch. Educate yourself as much as possible about the artist and his or her work.” Ultimately, adds Welz: “Buy the best you can afford, and love what you buy, as there is nothing worse than owning something you don’t like.”
And then, of course, there’s the legal stuff the new collector should be aware of too. Peffers says: “A bid is legally binding. Don’t bid on something then renege on payment. Auction houses do not take this lightly.”
Goodman adds that live auctions can be tense, but are not nearly as frightening as one might imagine. “The auction room is in no way intimidating and unlike what is generally dramatically portrayed in the movies,” she says.“Raising your hand to adjust your spectacles, or to cover your mouth to cough is not going to result in you leaving the auction room with an artwork you neither wanted nor could afford.”
Bidders can usually also protect themselves from overspending by letting the auction houses know ahead of time what the maximum amount is they are prepared to spend. “This is a particularly useful tool towards the closing out of an online auction when bidding is often very brisk,” Goodman notes.