Art as Investment

Excerpt from an email to a friend in the business…

“I’ve been thinking about art as investment recently and I wanted to chat with you and get your opinion on some things.‚Äč  I’ve been researching online but much of the findings deal with art investment at extremely high levels.  I want to know how it all works at my level.

A college friend contacted me about buying a piece recently.  This happens a lot.  I wrote back and told him the dimensions, materials and price.  Today he wrote back and said that he and his wife weren’t able to purchase art at this time.  This is fine, he’s not in the position to buy right now.  My prices are relatively high, although I feel that they are fair and when compared to a lot of work I see in galleries at a similar level I think they are very reasonably priced. What stands out to me though is the use of the word “purchase” and the fact that I feel like my art is not just buying something to make a home look nice, it’s an investment that will gain in value over time.  I sold a painting 10 years ago for $300 that was 4ft x 4ft, oil on plywood of Notorious BIG.  I would sell that same painting today for $3000.  The whole pricing table on all of my work is much higher than it used to be.  So what is the Notorious BIG worth today?

My grandmother had two paintings from different artists in northern Europe.  She and my grandfather acquired both for around the same price some 30 years ago.  She had them both appraised recently and one was worth significantly more than the other.  The reason was that one artist’s work continued to build in value and the other stayed at the same level.

I’m committed to my life as an artist.  I can’t control what happens outside of me but I can control myself.  I’m solely making a living off of art, I’m working full time on my work painting and art business wise, I’m developing my art as a way to break into the gallery scene in Southern California and get into graduate school which will further develop my work and add a masters degree to the equation.  My Live Wedding Art concept is building up steam.  I feel that as long as I don’t die before I gain some notoriety I should continue on this upward trend in terms of pricing, value and credibility as an artist.  In turn, this should continue to bring more value to the artwork that people have acquired from me over the years. Am I correct in these thoughts?”