Art is for life – not just for Christmas!
It is important that when you buy a piece of artwork, that you are not buying it for a short-term gain, because this just will not happen.
There is no easy money out there anymore in any way, shape or form and artwork is certainly the same. If you want to and spend £1,000 on a piece of artwork, do not expect that piece of artwork to be worth £10,000 after just a year – in fact, do not expect that artwork to be worth £10,000 in 5 years! The likelihood is that it will not be worth £10,000 in 10 years.
Therefore, when you do buy artwork, be realistic because you are in it for the long-term.
Cut out the schmoosey rubbish
The art scene can attract an awful lot of back-slapping and hangers-on and it is important to ignore that. The artists themselves are normally extremely nice and if you meet an artist who is not nice then, quite frankly, leave their paintings well alone as there are so many other nice artists out there who will give you a huge amount of time explaining what their artwork means to them and their passion behind it – which is important to understand.
At events where you do meet the artists there does tend to be a lot of hangers-on. Those people are there to be noticed and to look good. They tend to be people who have not got a pot to pee in and are there for the free nibbles and to be seen by their mates down the road. Do not fall for any of that nonsense – you are in this because you want to go and buy a piece of artwork at a sensible price. Make sure you do look to do that. Whilst you can of course enjoy an expensive over-heated sausage roll and a glass of cheap champagne, ultimately you are looking at your artwork portfolio for enjoyment, but also as an investment.
If you do get invited to any sort of show then do go along and enjoy it, but enjoy it because you will probably see one artist producing many artwork pieces and you can see and compare styles and sizes to get more of an appreciation of what they can do. Apart from that – do not get caught up in all the nonsense.
Get what you love
The important aspect regarding any form of artwork is to buy something that you love and appreciate. Do not buy something because you think it might be worth more money in the future, get something because you really enjoy it. That way you will have real pleasure out of that piece for years to come. By way of example, if you were to buy a piece of artwork that you really enjoyed, the likelihood is that you will have this for at least 10 to 15 years, maybe more. If you paid £2,000 for that piece of artwork, then yes it could go up in value, but you will enjoy that piece of artwork and you still have it after 10 years meaning that you would have paid just over 50p per day for that item and its enjoyment.
You have got to question yourself over whether you can afford that initial outlay; Is it worth it? If the answer is yes, then welcome to the art world!
Buy with your heart, but also with your head
The most important aspect of art collecting and buying is to buy something that you are passionate about by an artist that you believe in. Choose a type and style of art that you will enjoy and many different types of art and style that you enjoy, but ultimately do not get carried away. You have a budget and you should stick with it. You will want to improve your artwork and improve your art collection over a period of time, but you must be sensible about the growth.
There is one artist that we looked to commission a piece from an extremely popular style that they were doing at the time. The piece was quite large and I was quoted (as I thought it would be) quite a high price – that price was £20,000. This was well over what I would have wanted to spend on it or any other artwork including this one.
It is now 5 years after I declined to pay that amount but I have been told that if I had purchased that item and, regardless of whether it had been made into a limited edition afterwards and there was a chance that it would have been made into a limited edition, the value would have been between £45,000 and £50,000 after 5 years! Part of me is disappointed but of course this is all in hindsight and it does tie up a huge amount of your money.
Ultimately, if you do not have that money to spend then you cannot do it, so you just have to be sensible.
Set limits when buying art
When you buy any form of artwork, whether on the internet, in a gallery, at a show or so on, know who you want to buy and also know how much you want to spend and stick to that limit. If you do not stick to that limit then things can get silly very quickly and you can easily spend a lot of money, because everyone now takes credit cards on artwork at art shows.