“Waters of the Sky” by Jason Mclean

7 reasons why it makes sense to buy art while you’re young

Erika Belavy
Oct 11, 2015 · 4 min read

I always thoughts that buying art was something you did when you’re older and have become financially stable. My perceptions quickly changed 5 years ago, when I bought my first original artwork from a fellow Canadian artist, Jason Mclean (pictured). The piece was huge, and way out of my budget, but as soon as I laid my eyes on it I fell instantly in love. The more I looked at it, the more I loved it. After that first purchase, something clicked in my head. I realised that owning an original work of art is neither reserved for the super-rich nor the super-old.

I read a lot about art collecting and started attending more and more art fairs. Over time I’ve come to realise that the best time to invest in art is when you’re young. Especially because you’ll cherish that work of art much more and for much longer than that new pair of sneakers you’ve been eyeing. (How many of us have clothes in our closets with the tag still attached?!) So, here are 7 reasons why you should buy art as soon as you can:

1. Because you’re in the know

When you’re in your twenties and thirties, you’re much more in touch with what’s happening in “the scene”, and not just the party scene. You’re part of the demographic setting the trends in the arts. With all of the technology available today, it’s never been easier to access information about art. If you start buying art now, by the time you’re old you will have spent years collecting the art you love, filling your world with the conversations and appreciation of beautiful art. In the process you will have learned how to spot a rising star and probably won’t need anyone telling you how to buy art later on.

2. Because you can afford it

It may not seem like it, but now is the time that you can actually afford to buy art. When you’re in your twenties and thirties, you have the freedom to buy what you want without feeling guilty. Not only do you have more disposable income but you also have the flexibility to splurge in one area of your life and scale back in others. It’s not so easy to do when you’re older and have kids to think about.

3. Because emerging art is a bargain

In general, the art you like right now tends to be less expensive and thus, affordable even when you’re just starting out. Emerging artists are around the same age as you, and are experiencing the same difficulties making their mark on the “real world”. Take advantage of the fact that the artists in your generation are still selling their work relatively cheaply. That won’t necessarily be the case forever.

4. Because it’ll help develop your tastes

This is the time where you are free to explore and develop your own preferences for certain styles. Just think about how you use Instagram — you’re essentially curating your tastes. If you start buying now, your collection of art will be more than just a collection, it will be a unique narrative of your life. Each work will mark a milestone. Each piece will tell a story.

5. Because your collection will grow with you

Buying young means that you can grow alongside the artists you love, thus establishing yourself as a supporter of these artists early on. This is a relationship that can last forever — the artist will remember you as one of their earliest collectors, and the gallery you buy from will know that you do actually care about art. If you happen to strike it rich or do a bit better as you get older, you might find yourself in a position to buy slightly more expensive work. That relationship could help you get your hands on a piece that you might not be able to purchase otherwise.

6. Because it will last a lifetime

There will always be a new iPhone coming out and you already have plenty of shoes. Yes, you could spend a few hundred Dollars/Euro/Yen on a night out, but why not think about buying art instead? The painting that blew your mind away could be in the same price range. If you don’t buy the new iPhone and are willing to stretch out your budget, that painting could be yours. The art will definitely last longer. When you’re old and grey you can still look and appreciate that work of art - the booze and the iPhone, on the other hand, will have consumed ages ago.

7. Because it’s fun

FACT. Buying artwork is a lot of fun. If you’re spending a bit more and investing in a piece you really love, it can even be exhilarating! Even if you’re buying a $100 drawing and tacking it over your dresser, buying art will make you feel like an adult who cares about living in a beautiful surrounding. Try it, I dare you!

So maybe you can skip on the new shoes and splurge on art. It will much harder to do that once “real life” takes over. Art isn’t just decoration; it’s something timeless that will be with you for a lifetime. You can to look at it everyday. It’s never going to go out of season. You can bring it with you wherever you go. You can to feel a sense of reward by investing in an artist and their career. Plus, there’s a chance that the monetary value of the work will grow. Cha-ching!

Erika Belavy

Written by

Nomad. Taurus. Founder of Riot Art Gallery.

Financial Examiner

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