Two different people have reached out to me in the last couple of weeks, wanting my advice on starting an art collection. Both feel passionately about becoming collectors (music to my crusading ears!), but they each feel a little intimidated and unsure of where or how to begin.

First of all, I love that they want to self-identify as collectors. So many people feel uncomfortable with the term, and I was advised by many people to take it out of the name of my 2013 tour (Crusade for Collecting). But I say, be a collector and be proud. We all collect something, and collecting something does not require you to be an expert about it. It just means you have several things that fall into the same category (and art is the best category ever, duh), and that you actively seek these things out. I once introduced a friend as a collector (among other descriptors), and he waved it off with a “well, I wouldn’t go that far”. Really? Because he owns multiple Cartier-Bresson photographs, among other beauties. How far do you need to go?

When I talk to someone who wants to know more about collecting, I typically start with my own collecting story. I think it’s helpful to hear some of the truly embarrassing early “acquisitions” and how we (my husband and I) gradually learned more, not just about the art, but also about our own tastes. Then I like to walk people through our collection, because I think it’s eclectic and a good mix of known and unknown, and most of the work is affordable (and awesome).

And so, I am going to try to do the same thing here on the blog. Hopefully it will help demystify collecting a bit, and if nothing else, the early stories are sure to entertain. So stay tuned. This is going to be fun.