There are a few reasons to buy original art in times of economic crisis, some more readily apparent than others.
A well executed painting can be had for a relatively low price from a variety of skilled artists selling online. A collector could spend $200 for a piece that overtime will most certainly go up in value if kept in prime condition. If the artist continues to produce, sell, raise prices, produce more and sell more, the increase of a decent painting in value can leap over the course of a few years.
Any smart investor who is looking for an alternative to the stock market needs to look no further than online sites such as ebay or etsy. A couple of years ago, I produced a post that went into detail about what fees an artist pays to produce a work vs the long term investment value of that same painting in the hands of the collector. It is worth a read to understand some of the economics in a basic painting purchase.
It is worth revisiting this topic in light of recent economic downturns. When there is a gloomy financial forecast, the first thing that happens with the majority of the public is a panic to cut fringe expenses. Therefore the first wave of people affected by a recession are people who provide non essential services.
Purchasing art is viewed as a luxury in many ways instead of a long term investment. I know many of my artist friends have experienced a downturn in sales, if not a complete halt. This could take a serious toll not only on the Arts, but on the artist as well.
Many online sellers do not make huge profits. A lot of their sales go straight back into their business to make equipment upgrades or buy supplies. Whats left is usually absorbed back into their household's budget. In some cases, it may be a large percentage of the household budget.
What could happen when sales diminish is that an artist may not afford the supplies they need to create their art without taking from their household budget. If their sales are a large part of this, their resources may be too slim to bridge the gap. I know of many artists who simply produce less art because of this.
The next issue that arises is that many artists are forced to earn money outside of the arts. When this happens, it can be fatal to a blossoming career. If one is working outside the arts, one has a hard time squeezing in the moments to get lost in creativity. Therefore painting falls to the wayside and the momentum is lost and skills degrade from lack of use.
By purchasing paintings with the idea that it is an investment, you know that not only are you making an investment for your future financial portfolio, you are investing in a person's talent. You have the chance to give the opportunity to an artist who may be struggling with their choice in careers. You might be that person who says "I believe in your potential" that gives an emerging artist the confidence to make a calculated risk and take the plunge.
I look back over the years to my faithful patrons and friends who have supported me on this journey by investing in my future and I am very thankful. (You know who you are!) You made a difference to me, I hope that some of my readers are inspired to seek out some new art and make an investment in an artist's future!
If you feel like investing in me (hee hee hee - had to throw that in you know) , I have free shipping all this month if you purchase a painting in my etsy store. Just type in "birds of a feather" in the "note from the buyer" line while making your purchase and I'll refund the shipping charge for all Canadian and US painting sales.