I was asked by INVALUABLE, a commercial business, to share a blog post about collecting art. This is my opinion, as stated by an artist.
My area of interest is mixed media art and collage—I utilize paper, fabric, ephemera, paint and pencil in my artwork, along with glue, yarn, fiber and beads. As stated on the Invaluable website, “Mixed media art combines distinct mediums including painting, sculpture, and drawing in order to create a new composition that eludes straightforward categorization. Multi- or mixed media art can also utilize elements from other arts such as literature, drama, or dance in creating an artwork, or incorporate three-dimensional objects as an assemblage.”
To me this is the most exciting area of creativity since basically anything is possible. Artists are only limited by their own imagination. Consequently, I encourage anyone who is interested in purchasing art for their own enjoyment to be open minded and curious about mixed media. Various styles are encompassed by the “mixed media” category, such as; folk art, collage, assemblage, naïve art, art brut, art quilts, handmade books, illustration, abstract art and more.
When thinking about starting to collect art, it is best to view and appreciate it face to face. Gallery shows, regional art exhibitions, and museum exhibitions are great ways to encounter art. Local art guilds/clubs, gallery owners and museum curators may have suggestions for local active artists in your field of interest. In Michigan, the state supports the Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs which may offer suggestions and referrals to artists. Museums may provide leads for you too---i.e. Intuit: the center for intuitive and outsider art in Chicago, or the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Print magazines may provide inspiration and leads---“Raw Vision,” “American Craft,” “Cloth Paper Scissors,” or “Somerset Studio Magazine.” You can also find art online to collect, as offered by Invaluable.
I strongly encourage new collectors, fresh on the scene, to follow your personal preferences when collecting art. I encourage you to respond to your gut (and eye) and follow your intuition to purchase art that grabs you, with its’ color, theme, material or technique. These pieces that comprise your fresh and nascent collection will sustain an enduring enthusiasm and excitement. Over time, you will be able to reflect upon your aesthetic growth and evolving taste.