What Private Art Collectors Are Looking For

Tips an Artist Needs to Know to Prepare for Private Collectors

—TEAM EC recently read a wonderful article detailing an interview with Jay Rutland, the Creative Director at the prestigious Maddox Gallery (4 sites in London and one in Los Angeles). Although this art gallery specialize in contemporary art and contemporary artists, we found a wealth of knowledge thatwhile intended for the art patron, any selling artist can use to prepare for a private collector.  It’s extremely important to know “what do art collectors look for?” so we took out the juiciest just pieces for you;

  • At the top of his list for private collectors is GO WITH YOUR GUT.  We thought that was wonderful because it reinforces that art is more than an investment. A buyer should be moved by the work, not just look at it as a money maker.

Art advisors can guide you but there’s no substitute for purchasing work that you instinctively connect with.

Building a Comprehensive Digital Portfolio

  • Mr. Rutland tells collectors to DO THEIR HOMEWORK. What does the research consist of? Reading an Artist’s professional document.  And what does that mean to YOU, dear EC Artist?  You must have your CV, Artist Statement and Bio in order and uploaded into your EC Profile for easy viewing.

Use the internet, read up on the artist, check out their CV, their past exhibition.

  • Don’t discount EMERGING ARTISTS. Yes, that means the majority of us…Collectors, he says should keep their “ears to the ground” and watch for work they love from artists they’ve never heard about.  In this tip, talking more about investment capacity but the collector should still resonate with the art they find.  What this means for you; Stay true to your artistic integrity and as you begin to exhibit and sell more, your “emerging” worth increases and you have a better chance to be found. Even if you’re a rebel who refuses to “court” the art market. (Everyone’s path is different so don’t look at other artist’s success as a failure on your part).

  • He ALSO says that PHOTOGRAPHY IS COMING BACK! That’s great news for all of our EC Artist Photographers!

I think artists on the verge of making it are often undervalued, but the appeal of investing in them is the opportunity, the ‘get them while you can’ element.

Crafting a Memorable CV

  • His next tip to collectors is interesting because it’s what we and our Founder, Andrea Bogart say all the time, “Get out of your studio!” if you want to meet your goals. Mr. Rutland tells collector to SEE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. How does that translate to an Artist? Get out of your studio. Research exhibit and sales opportunities to make sure they’re a good fit and get your work included. The more places you’re seen, the better chance you’ll BE seen!

Fairs are great as they expose you to a diverse array of work from a broad selection of artists, both renowned and emerging. I think going to a reputable fair is a really good starting point.

Art Gallery Representation Basics

  • We love his last suggestion… BE TRUE TO YOURSELF. Again, he’s telling collectors to buck the trends and stick with their gut. If they listen to too many “experts” they get pushed and pulled into too many buying directions and end up with worthless art in their home that they never really liked in the first place! Of course this is a great piece of advice for Artists as well.  Firstly, you, too should stay true to yourself and follow your gut when creating. Don’t create for others, especially if you’re confident in your creative direction. Take suggestions, especially if they come from an expert but take them mindfully, weighing them carefully.

Forget trends, forget what may be perceived as fashionable or cool. Always trust your own taste and buy with your eyes, not your ears.

Now that you have the snippets, here’s the full article. Remember that when working with private collectors, art advisors and galleries, they look for aesthetics and high quality work first BUT they also want an artist who’s professional and easy to work with so get your documents and portfolios uploaded into your Embrace Creatives profile because when we find a gallerist, retailer or private collector, we won’t connect them with an EC Artist Members unless we see they are prepared.

What do YOU think Artists need to know to become “collectible”?

Empower Others