Local artist Lan Stanley shares her tips on starting your own art collection

Expert advice from a local artist on those looking to start their own art collection

Lan Stanley art
Artist Lan Stanley has showcased her art across the world. Image credit | Lan Stanley

Whether for design or investment purposes, starting an ‘smart’ art collection takes time and a vast amount of research. It can also be intimidating and challenging to decide what you want and how much you want to spend if you’re new to the art scene. Artist and art advisor Lan Stanley shares her tips on how to build a collection that would fit with your unique taste:

Find your reason

artworks from one of Lan's exhibitions
While choosing an artwork, find what speaks to you. Image credit| Lan Stanley

Lan thinks there are two kind of people who buy art, “One kind buys art because they enjoy it. For them it’s a pleasure of life, like many other luxuries,” she explains. “This type of person would buy art with love, as something they enjoy and love to share with others to bring joy in life. If you’re one of these type of buyers, the most important thing is to buy what you love. For those looking to buy art as an investment they’re going to be looking for financial reward, so for them it’s a kind of business.”

Do your research

“Don’t buy an artwork because it is trendy or because someone else has bought something similar and you want to copy that idea or because it is a name that’s big out there,” says Lan. “Do the research, educate yourself about artworks through museums and galleries, and from there you will learn about your own choices of what kind of artwork you would like to collect/buy.” Get to know different art styles, mediums, and explore artworks by different artists. Try finding artists and artworks on Pinterest and Instagram to discover what you love- this will give you a better idea on what styles and works you prefer for yourself.

Choosing what to purchase

Some of Lan’s artworks. Image credit| Lan Stanley

Once you’ve done enough research and figured out what you like, you’re ready to purchase. Plan visits to art fairs and exhibition openings to explore various artists’ works. Or, try browsing online galleries like the Arabian Gallery, in order to gain exposure to different people’s work. “It’s important to be educated about art, the market and history before they think of buying art as an investment. With this knowledge of art, buyers can find ways to learn the value of an art piece once they see it or purchase it.”

If you’re new to the hobby of collecting artworks, Lan says to begin by simply buying an artwork with love. “What I mean is, you must love an artwork first before you buy it. If you call it “love at first sight “or if it speaks to you, then you should go for it because you will enjoy it.”

Shop local

When starting your art collection journey, there is no better way than to shop local. Dubai is a growing art hub- the city has a significant number of art and design venues at your disposal. Lan suggests visiting Alserkal Avenue (Al Quoz) , DIFC Gate Village, Dubai Downtown, D3 ( Dubai Design District), Sotheby’s and Christies (DIFC). The artist adds, “The best thing about art is that it is the one luxury in life that can be enjoyed by everyone, and it lasts forever. “

Watch out for more interiors inspiration here.

Words by Mabel Roy

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