At RedDot, our primary goal is to take the stigma out of buying art. So many people we talk to are intimidated by art, even collectors often don't call themselves that. In our Collector Conversations series, you'll meet young, budding collectors who will hopefully inspire and excite you, proving that it's just art, and you should really buy what you love. First up, we sit down with communications consultant Alison Kessler--and her adorable French bulldog, Reggie--to talk about her favorite pieces and how collecting art is in her DNA. What inspired you to start collecting art? My grandparents and parents are avid collectors -- it came to me pretty naturally. Do/did your parents collect? My mom is an especially avid collector. How many pieces of art do you have? About 15-20. Ultimately, what would be your dream with your collection (examples: selling work for profit, donating to museum, buying blockbuster artwork)? I hope to develop a confidence and style about my own collection, and get to a place where I’m comfortable investing in “blockbuster” artwork. Many collectors develop a history of acquiring and selling. Do you intend to follow that path with your collection? I’m too new to collecting to be able to say. But yes, as my tastes change, I can imagine I’d like to sell some to be able to acquire others. What do you enjoy most about your collection? I love that it makes such a statement about my home, and ultimately, about me. Artwork gives a home its personality and energy, and I think my collection gives mine a positive,light, and vibrant one. About collecting as a practice? Always getting to change around how I present my pieces and how they all work together to create an impression. Favorite piece (right now)? A black octopus hanging in my living room that I actually bought from InLiquid, a great Philadelphia non-profit that creates opportunities and increases exposure for visual artists. What has surprised you most about “the art world”? How daunting and unapproachable it is! It feels like artists want to keep it that way, but why wouldn’t you want to share with the world? Art should be for everyone, not just those “in the know". Money is no object: What piece would you go buy tomorrow? Shimmering Substance by Jackson Pollock. Any advice for aspiring collectors? GO FOR IT! Don't worry about what other people think - if a piece makes you happy, or moves you, or lights you up inside, you should have it. Topical curveball! What do you think about the Da Vinci selling for $400m? I think its totally nuts, but thats the thing with art - it has to matter to the owner, not to anyone else!