How to Become a Confident Art Collector | Learn, Experience and Intuit

What does it mean to be confident? And perhaps more importantly, how can one be confident? When it comes to art, recognising and embracing the imagery you adore can be a radical act of self-trust. In fact, it can revolutionise the collecting experience. 

For those new or unfamiliar with art however, such confidence may feel beyond reach. It’s not. Like any state-of-mind, being a Confident Collector is a surmountable process. The recipe? Pursue knowledge and experience, to hone your intuition.


Anthony Lister - 'Bold Lass'

 

Knowledge

You don’t need an art history degree to learn about art. With the expansion of the internet, the facts, stories and ideas of art now lie at the click of a mouse. Khan Academy, for example, offers not-for-profit, free online teaching programs. Plentiful with videos and articles on everything art, Khan Academy runs classes you can attend from the comfort of your own bed. 

For visual learners, listen up. Kanopy, a digital streaming service that is free with any participating library card, is chock-a-block with excellent art documentaries. Move over Netflix, there’s a new binge-worthy station in town.

 
Reg Mombassa - 'The Temptation'

 

Experience 

Art is experiential - so experience it. Now more than ever, museums are developing varied, engaging and accessible ways to enjoy art both in and outside the city. If you do live beyond a major city, explore your local gallery. In recent years, regional art galleries have stepped up - offering exhibitions and events that rival the big smoke. 

Did you know for example, that Shepparton boasts Australia’s biggest ceramics collection? That Albury hosts travelling blockbuster exhibitions? Or that Tweed Heads has a recreation of Margaret Olley’s studio? Set in the clean country air, regional galleries like this are certainly worth a road trip.

 

 
Charles Blackman - 'Blue Vase' 


Intuition

Intuition is an evasive idea. A difficult to pin-down mix of knowledge and emotion, intuition is the fruit of self-discovery and discovery of the world. It means educating your eye, experimenting and researching - taking chances, while listening to your gut. 

From one angle, intuition means adopting an artist’s sensibility. Ever wondered why John Olsen paints the way he does? While he would probably answer “it felt right,'' the truth lies in a meeting of experience, knowledge and yes, feeling. So next time you feel at odds with your gut, make like an artist.

 
John Olsen - Torres Strait'
 
 

Confident Collecting is a harmony of knowledge, experience and intuition. As you wade into the world of collecting, relish the pleasures of learning, discovering and feeling art. Like the transition from Winter to Spring, you will sense - before you know - that you’ve evolved into a Confident Collector.