Art Collecting 101: Buy Smarter, Not Harder: How To Invest In Art That's Best For You
Now that we’ve straightened out the differences between originals, editions, and reproductions, let’s take a closer look at what it means to invest in a certain type of artwork.
The two biggest factors are budget and lifestyle.
While we’re firm believers that everyone needs art in their life, the decision to invest money in a work of art is a joyful privilege. If you’re thinking about adding a new piece to your collection, evaluate a ballpark dollar amount that you’re able to invest (and remember that art itself is an investment—your piece will increase in value over time). While you’re certainly not obligated to stay within—or spend as much—as this predicted range, having a number in mind will help you to gauge your emotional interest in the work against the financial details.
When to go for the original work of art:
An original work of art most commonly carries the highest price tag, due to its one-of-a-kind nature, and the most direct connection with the artist. Originals reveal subtle but powerful details like the dimensional texture and variation of brush strokes or linework.
Owning an original also gives you the opportunity to possess a piece of art that only you have.
Keep in mind that the wide range of dimensions, materials, physical fragility, and light sensitivity of original artworks may require some extra care in their display. Luckily, many Kristi Kohut originals come with a custom-created shadowbox frame that showcases and protects the work all in one.
When to go for a limited edition or print:
On the other hand, choosing an edition or reproduction instead of an original can give you the opportunity to own more works of art for an equivalent investment. Reproductions and editions can be released in either limited or open editions. Generally speaking, the value of a limited edition is higher than that of an open edition, because an open edition does not cap the number of copies that can be made. Keep an eye out for the artist’s signature or hand-numbering, which increases the value of each work in any edition. And don’t forget about our in-depth FAQ, which walks you through the nuances of materials and framing.
If the environment you’ll be displaying your art is tight on space, or high on foot traffic and curious kids, choosing an edition or reproduction can allow you some more breathing room to worry less about work being disturbed.
No matter what you choose, the best thing about buying one work of art is that you can always get more! Selling off and buying new pieces over time is a natural part of art ownership, and can even lead to turning a profit that you can reinvest in additional or more valuable works. Every financial decision, empty wall, and emotional connection is unique to you in the moment. So go ahead—enjoy the thrill of the hunt and choose what’s right for you, right now.