Recently we met with some prospective art collectors in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. They contacted us through a mutual design acquaintance and expressed interest in beginning to explore fine art collecting. Their home, already made beautiful with interior design, family photographs, and sentimental art pieces, had several locations that were ideal for empowering, new fine artwork. As they were new to working with an art consulting firm, we took time to give an initial consultation to explain the process.
Complimentary Initial Consultation
As art advisors, it is our job to help navigate a sometimes-overwhelming art world. Taking a client’s interests, existing space, and budget into account, we find the perfect balance to recommend artwork which would elevate any space. Typically we will do one complimentary telephone meeting with any new client; if there is expressed interest in moving forward, we will usually include an additional site visit as part of this exploration.
Getting Better Acquainted
Our in-person meetings give an opportunity to get to know each other. Personality and interests can help us navigate art selections down the road. We will often ask a lot of questions about family life, hobbies, favorite hues, as well as learning about a person’s dislikes. As we peruse a space we take cues from our environment, taking notes on color palette, furniture, textures, and prized collections (books, ceramics, figurines, etc.) We will also take this time to measure potential art locations, architectural elements, windows, and ceiling height in the event blueprints are not available down the road. With our host’s permission, we will also take some photographs for future reference.
Tastemaker Selection Process
Another important part of our visit is conducting what we call a “tastemaker.” This process involves showing a wide range of artworks to the client in digital form to get both positive and negative feedback. It is critical that our client feels comfortable in giving their opinions, so we always assure them that we do not take these feelings personally. Our goal is to help acquire the best possible artwork to suit their tastes and to use our professional training, discretion, and background to get there. Usually our clients enjoy this part of the process, and even those who have zero art background leave with a better sense of their visual interests.
Proposal and Deliverables
After we return to the office, notes in hand, we meet to discuss a best plan of action for each individual project. With the assistance our registrar, a formal estimate is put together detailing what we believe are the best steps for moving forward. Each proposal is customized to the circumstances and always includes a straightforward account of our services to be rendered and a clear financial expectation. We pride ourselves on a transparent process and are happy to field any questions at this or any other stage. Once a proposal is agreed upon we are ready to move forward in finding the best artwork to compliment and characterize your unique tastes.
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