Monday, July 18, 2016


I’ve been a collector most of my life.  I started out as a child collecting seashells, marbles, comics, stamps, posters, cameras, postcards, etc.  I’ve managed to pare down most of these collections with an over ambitious mother who gave away many of my childhood collections.  Now I am more focused in my collecting practice adding to my largest collection, artistamps {artist made stamps).

by Otto Sherman
I’ve had success obtaining some of the items in my collections on auction sites, have sold some of my own works online and I’ve been happy with the results.  Some tips follow to help a new collector or a refresher for the experienced:

What is your collecting goal?
Pick a passion; something you are drawn to; create a focus to your collecting and become knowledgeable of the art, the history, and the artists.  Give it your own point of view. If you choose something unusual you may find your sources may be less yet your finds can be more rewarding.

How will you add to your collection?
If you are on a budget and you make art too, you can trade or barter. You can buy one piece at a time or if you prefer you can acquire whole collections.  Online auctions are great for that. Don’t be shy about asking for a discount.  Senior women artists are considered a good bargain right now.  They have established a track record and usually make high quality art.

by Chuck Welch
How can you attract artists or find them for your collections?  How will you communicate with the artists? 
Social media is a wonderful way of locating other like minded collectors and artists.  This includes websites, blogs, online auction sites for fine art like Invaluable, and attending live auctions and exhibitions.  Identify underappreciated artists or underappreciated works by acknowledged artists for other sources of bargains.  

On Facebook you can setup groups on themes to attract like minded members to follow, put out calls for work and host discussions. Some of my best tips have been found online.  Tweet about your interests.  When I first started posting my Gina LottaPost Artistamps Museum and Archive I was surprised by the overwhelming positive response.

What are the benefits of networking?
You may find other collectors who will trade for works by an artist you collect.  Social media is a great place to discover networking events and conferences, and congresses
How will you organize and store your collection?
Creating a database at the minimum from the inception of your collection will provide you with more access to the works, information you’ve gathered for notes can be used for provenance and appraisals.
by Steve Smith

Start your archiving of your records from the beginning by creating and maintaining a database of some sort listing your acquisitions, the artist, where they are located, and any other notes that you might want included.  By starting this early it will be easier to maintain instead of creating this database later. It may be more practical to uniquely classify your collections by not archiving each in the same manner.  For instance my film photography is archived completely different from my digital photography based upon the usage and accessibility of the digital. It’s easier to make multiple digital copies for subject files where as the negatives have a contact sheet and a year and subject reference.

©2016 ginny lloyd

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