Art Collection: Investing in What You Love (Part 1 of 3)
By Michael Damico
We have a lot of customers who are professional and hobby artists. So we try to develop content that is targeted at guiding them into sustainable models for pursuing their art endeavors. But what about the ones who are trying to develop an art collection? This is for you, whether you’re looking to buy canvas prints, wall art, or even a sculpture. But if you’re an artist, you should definitely keep reading because this will give you some insight into those interested in purchasing your work.
Many of our customers bring us art projects they want framed. Likely, most of you reading this have done so already. Here are some things to consider when you are thinking about making a purchase or developing an art collection.
Art Collection: Investment Opportunities
First off, I want to address art as an investment opportunity since the rest of this message pertains to an entirely different aspect of collecting art. It’s important to start here because collecting art with established high appraisal value is more similar to investing than anything.
There are rare and valuable works of art all over the globe. Those artifacts tend to carry values established by auction records and other arranged purchases. This usually comes with contracts and/or other forms of provenance to help verify that the artifact is indeed what it claims to be. For example, it is one thing to verbally claim that a piece is an original Picasso, but it is another to have paperwork to prove it. This also verifies that the artifact will tend to fetch its value on an almost global scale. Much like stocks, firearms, and real estate, the collectible art market has a very established value structure.
Now, most of us aren’t lined up at Christie’s or Sotheby’s art auctions in London to bid on a $1.2M Jackson Pollock painting. So, what follows is for the rest of us.
Does Cost Matter?
My number one piece of advice here is to buy what you like. If it’s $50 and you like it, then buy it. If it’s $5,000 and you like it, buy it. Speaking from experience, I remember several times when I bought something just outside of my price point. I was nervous and clammy, and a bit remorseful for even considering such a thing. However, after I made my purchase I was in love! My trick? I don’t look back. I cherish it always. It’s different than a new car, a piece of furniture, or a TV in that the “new” feeling never really fades. I feel as bonded with it now as ever. Also, I am still connected with the artists from whom I’ve purchased. It’s a very rewarding feeling.
Now, while I don’t consider myself an elite collector of art, my experience is certainly similar to others who have bought pieces of art. We have met clients who say things like, “I bought this piece in (fill in the blank) and it only cost $50, but we don’t care. We will put a $400 frame job on it and make it look like a museum piece. We want that because we love the work so much. It reminds us of (fill in the blank).”
We have also heard, “We watched this artist grow from selling works for nothing to making over $3,000 for a single piece of work. We finally have the means to buy something and we are so proud of it. We want to put a beautiful frame on it and present it as the main feature of (a special room in the home).”