5 ways to build your brand as an art collector

Can the art collection become its own brand?

I sat down with the League OTO collective (otherwise known and referenced as @leagueoto) on their art collecting philosophies. Over the past 4 years, the @leagueoto collective has brought together a legion of nearly 100,000 passionate and committed artists, collectors and investors across the world. While others are noticing their rapid rise in the art world, their trip here was only made possible through community building and hard work. Over the years, they have established five fundamental principles that have been essential in the growth of the @leagueoto brand. Here are those ideas in their own words.

1) Authenticity

“Everything we publish, promote and support must be organic and deeply rooted in a place of authenticity. The motto of our collective is always “Buy what you love. “ said Jonathan Montalvo from @leagueoto.

“Our community keeps us high and we won’t post anything or anyone we don’t believe in. Maintaining this bar has been essential in ensuring our signal is heard through all the noise and has given us hard-earned credibility from even the most seasoned art industry experts, ”Montalvo continues.

2) Patience is the key

“The same as building an art collection, building a brand around a niche community doesn’t happen overnight. There was no blueprint for creating successful art brands on social media when we first started. We learned a lot by listening to our audience, trying new things and tons of iterations. Don’t be afraid to test; if you fail, the good thing is that social media has a short memory. If you find things that work, keep tweaking them and double down, ”suggests Gambriel Wills of @leagueoto.

“One of the main differences between succeeding and failing is just that successful people don’t give up,” Wills continues.

3) Be the change you want to see

“Initially, @leagueoto’s main goal was to create a page where ordinary people could come and discover new artists. The only remark we hear over and over again over the years is that people want to collect art, but they just didn’t know where to start or which artists to buy. It became clear that social media lacked a brand that served to educate and empower serious art collection. It didn’t exist, people demanded it, so we decided to light the torch, knowing that there was no one better suited to fill the need than us, ”suggests Wills.

4) Establish strategic relationships

“We have seen many brands struggle to differentiate themselves and make themselves known around their platforms. We were able to solve this problem in a very organic and natural way, that is, we showed our support to those who supported us. We have built great relationships with many celebrities, artists, influencers and art professionals over the years. I don’t know if I can determine when I say we have really arrived, but I can say that I noticed that once Bella Hadid and Takashi Murakami followed us a lot of attention was drawn to us ” said Gambriel Wills. “All of the following, support and organic promotion have established a strong credibility for our brand and served to authentically enhance our brand awareness and sentiment in the contemporary art world,” Wills continues.

5) Learn and master the game

“It’s a well-known secret that the key to expanding the reach and virality of the brand on social media platforms is to play with their algorithms. Unless you have inside information, most brands will be on their own to find out. @leagueoto has built a successful strategy by experimenting and analyzing the information we collect every week. We recommend that brands spend time testing and analyzing the results of content, captions, tags, release times and engagement strategy, ”suggests Jason Lee of @leagueoto.

“Find the actions that lead to positive results and do more. Over time, you’ll find that persistence combined with an analytical mindset will ultimately help you expand your reach and get the attention your brand deserves. offers Lee.

Finally, I asked about their current art investment strategy. “Through our persistence and passion, our dedication to collecting art has not only filled the walls of our homes, but also our personal wealth. The appreciation of our art collections has far exceeded the rate of return on other personal investments, including real estate, collectibles and stocks. My personality type tends towards the obsessive side, when I find an artist I like I can’t buy a single painting, I need three or four.suggests Demetrius Butler.

“As we zoom in, we see the same trends in the macro environment. In a study conducted by Citi, contemporary art as an asset outperformed the S&P by 14% to 9.5% on an annual rate of return at over the past 25 years. Moreover, according to the study, art as an asset class is subject to less volatility because it has little correlation with other traditional assets. The directors of @leagueoto find this extremely conservative research. We have collectively generated between ourselves 90% annualized return and 1,200% total return on just over $ 400,000 of investment in the past 4 years since we launched our collective, “continues Butler .

“Now, with an estimated value of over $ 5.2 million in our total collections and countless millions of value that we have helped create, we point to some outstanding examples of artists that @leagueoto has both collected and promoted over the past 4 years. “

  • Adriana Oliver’s painting sold for around $ 2,500 in 2018 is now estimated to be around $ 50,000
  • Khari Turner’s paintings sold for around $ 8,500 in May this year sold for 70,000 at auction in August.
  • Edgar Plans’ paintings sold for around $ 5,000 in 2018 sold in the secondary market for $ 170,000 at auction in 2021.
  • Susumu Kamijo’s paintings sold for around $ 22,000 in 2019 are now reportedly valued at around $ 200,000
  • KAWS paintings sold for around 55,000 in 2013 and now sell for well over 400,000 at auction
  • Javier Calleja’s canvases sold for around $ 20,000 in 2018 are now reportedly valued at around $ 800,000

“Our artists to watch in 2022 that we have collected this year are Willem Hoeffnagal, Roby Dwi Antono, Evgen Copi Gorisek, Patrick Alston and Raelis Vasquez,” suggests @leagueoto as a whole.

By collecting original works of art, these four have developed their own collective brand and formed relationships with other art collectors and celebrities that they otherwise would not have had.

Norma D. Ross