Buy Art To Sell Art

Artists and Collectors love the same things but approach them with very different mindsets. When is the last time you actually bought a piece of artwork? Collectors usually approach art through the lens of problem solving- I have a blank space on my wall to fill, I’d like to evoke a particular feeling, I’m looking for something to enhance my current aesthetic or existing collection, etc. Occasionally a piece will jump out and beg to be acquired by virtue of some spontaneous emotional connection- but that’s a very unpredictable & rare phenomenon. There’s usually a reason, a plan, or a desire that arose well before the decision gets made.

I think artists tend toward a very romantic idea of what buying art is actually like. In part, the scarcity mindset were so well known for is due to a belief that all sales fall into that “love at first sight” category. While beautiful and very sentimental- it’s a strategy none of us have much control over. It’s also not entirely accurate- collectors are problem solvers with a little emotion sprinkled in- not the other way around.

As an experiment, I urge you to go buy some art (it can be a print, original, or something else). Notice what kind of decisions you’re making along the way. How does pricing, display, size, color, storytelling, your perception of the artist come into play? What could the artist do to help make that decision easier? Why did you settle on one piece over another? What are you buying art for? Where is it going to go? How will it be used? This is really useful information! Take this experiment one step further by writing down what a theoretical buyer might be doing when they approach your artwork. How would a customer answer those questions with your inventory?

Support your friends and fellow artists- you’ll learn a lot about them (and yourself) in the process.

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