The Art market is booming. Kind of like the housing market before the big crash. Is there a similarity here? Do you need to know all about whats going on so you can sell all of your Art at the right time? The answer is no; and yes.
"Art" as a whole, is recession proof. Since the beginning of man kind artists have been held in the highest regard, next to kings. But there weren't so many! Seems like everyone is an "artist" these days. So, what to make of this "boom"? Within the last three years a lot of young living artists are rising and creating lots of art work. And the artwork is selling! So how do you decipher whats worth while and what isn't? What will hold its value and what will not? What is Art and what is bullshit? This is a very tricky market to navigate. If you are buying Art from a museum, an old well known gallery or Auctioneer, some guess work is taken out for you. An artist selling on the Auction block at Sotheby's has already stood a few tests of time. My opinions in this list deal with a different market of artists who may or may not ever reach that level. These risky investments usually involve lower buy-ins and higher payoffs. But risk is scary! I think when navigating this market of direct Artist-to-collector sales, a lot of young collectors AND ARTISTS should look for, and strive for a few key things:
1. An artist who prices their art correctly
- There is an old saying that goes "slow and steady wins the race." This is extremely applicable to the Art market. With the money flowing i have witnessed a few young artists and business people jump the gun with drastic price increases. When a living artists prices sky rocket overnight without any earth shattering explanation, this creates a market bubble (for them). Creating a bubble is not only bad for the collectors, its bad for the artist. When the bubble pops investments will tank and so might the artists career. Don't sky-ball your prices and set yourself up to be making a comeback in a year or two. Solidifying your success in the art world means longevity. Price increases should generally be made in increments of 20% during annual assessments or six months of consistent sales. Money comes and goes, but your brand as an artist is everything. Its not worth a few thousand dollars now if you're working at CVS in three years.
2. An artist with personal and professional integrity
- Integrity stands on its own. When all the marketing, the gimmicks, and the trends fade, things with integrity remain. Look at LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, Ralph Lauren, do those brands ever have to worry about the fashion industries revolving door of "who's in and who's out"? No. These are brands that were built on integrity. Quality, timelessness, and carelessness to trends. Chances are if the art looks like everyone else's, its not standing upon a sturdy foundation. When you see trendy Art, question it. Before you buy A painting about Donald Trump, ask yourself "will this be hanging in my house five years from now? What ever happened to Fubu anyway?
-Integrity also deals with pricing. There is usually room for negotiation during any sale of Art. That wiggle room should still involve a back bone. Be wary of price points that "wiggle" too much.
3. An Artist who is concerned with MAKING GOOD WORK
-This one is huge. Pure motives will take you far. I always say, falling in love with a piece of art work is the #1 reason to buy it; But if you are investing in an artist posing next to a Lamborghini every five seconds chances are that artist might not have pure motives. What happens when people do things for money and power? They might get what they're after but eventually, they fall. Look at history. Money has been evil since the beginning of time. This "money marketing" concept is the same concept as the pricing bubble which will inevitably pop. When money and ego's are running the show, it is a slippery slope. Look for good art work, make good art work. Its tempting to make and purchase art work that seems relevant, or art work that "sells". Don't fall into this trap. If Ralph Lauren only designed clothing based on what sells, he would have never became the greatest designer of all time. He would have never carved out his own place in history, and in every department store across America. How can you carve your own lane if you are following in the same lane that everyone else is in?
Art can be expensive and buying Art can be scary. Especially when there is limited information about the artist. If you want to start a collection and you are completely overwhelmed with where to start, start small. I recommend ArtBotic. This company takes the guess work out of low-investment art buying from young living artists. You receive hand signed prints, COA's, and Bio's on the Artists. This is a subscription box and obviously you wont receive original paintings. I do think its a great innovative starting point. Get some art you like? Not only do you already own a signed print, all of the artists information is handed over to you. Now reach out and inquire!
Lastly, my favorite rule, trust your gut. If your gut isn't giving you the green light, check your motives. The more you practice, the better you become.