6 Tips To Transform A Piece Of Affordable Art Into A Long-Term Investment

Marie-Antoinette Issa

Sep 02, 2022

Is it possible to invest in an amazing piece of artwork, without completely blowing the budget? Philippa Demase – curator at Art to Art – thinks so. Here are her top six how-to tips.

An expert’s advice on investing in affordable art 

If you aspire to invest in a Picasso-esque painting, but your Mastercard won’t extend to a masterpiece budget, then we have good news – good artwork doesn’t actually even need to be expensive. 

In fact, according to Philippa, price should not necessarily be the first factor you take into consideration when looking to invest in a unique piece of art. 

“When purchasing a piece of artwork, my best advice is to be sure it’s a piece you can’t live without. You want something you love, feel a connection to, and not merely a decoration to match your rug when you hang it at home!”

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Pay pennies for affordable art (that looks like a million bucks)

But is it possible to buy a piece of artwork you adore that’s actually affordable?

Philippa believes so, and also suggests the five following tips 

  • Opt for originals: In addition to avoiding fake or mass-produced reproductions (which generally hold little to no value and therefore won’t deliver a strong return on investment), Philippa strongly recommends buying original artwork that is works-on-paper and limited-edition prints signed by the artist.
  • Buy from a living artist: This is generally a more affordable option and the artwork will age and appreciate with you. 
  • Make your money work with modern art: While classic still-life artwork is a perennial favourite among art collectors, investing in contemporary emerging trends before they become popular is an easy way to acquire affordable artwork for less. “We’ve seen the rise of tablespaces become more and more popular”, says Philippa, “so don’t be afraid to get ahead of the trend before others,” she adds. 
  • Know where to shop: Check out Affordable Art Fairs around the world – which are dedicated to bringing together emerging artists – while capping their creations at reasonable prices. “All offerings at the Affordable Art Fair In Melbourne, for example, are under $10,000,” says Philippa. With many options priced well below that to allow aspiring art collectors to enter the market.  
  • Frames are a financial investment:  Finally, frames can play a big part in the perception of artworks. “If it’s framed beautifully, it’s believed the art in it is probably worth the effort to frame it as such,” says Philippa. With that in mind, it’s always important to allow the artwork to be the hero. “Make sure the frame complements your art and doesn’t overpower it,” she adds
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‘My Beautiful Falling Star I’ and ‘II’ by Greta Laundy

A heart-to-heart about affordable art

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to affordable art, then Fair Director Stephanie Kelly Gordine, nominates these names as ones to watch. 

“Victoria has one of the most exciting art scenes in Australia and has produced some of the finest artists we know today. The 2022 Affordable Art line-up includes five emerging creatives under the age of 35 and in my opinion here are five of the best up-and-coming names to add to your collection!”

  • Liam O’Neil: Liam O’Neil’s colourful style brings to life every portrait he paints. As a passionate Autism Ambassador, Liam paints to allow us into his unique perspective of his world. He has since utilised his skills to bring awareness and donate funds from his artwork sales to significant charities and events including Headspace and Autism Walk Geelong. 
  • Mark Chu: Mark is a multidisciplinary artist who exhibits internationally. Having worked as a restaurant reviewer for The Good Food Guide, a passionate creative writer and even recording as a piano soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, he has the ability to transform his portraits into the extraordinary by employing heightened colour, form, and texture – and enhance the viewer’s psychological experience as a result. 
  • Tegan Iversen: Tegan’s love of all things colourful, patterned and happy is
    inspired by the world around her, and creates using a variety of media including painting, drawing and digital. In Tegan’s art, you’ll find a whole lot of bright colour, energy and positive vibes, that draw on everyday life. Think a smiling strawberry, kittens in a pram, doughnuts with sprinkles and rainbows galore.
  • Miranda Smith: Miranda is a Hong Kong and Melbourne-based light artist working across installation, digital print, and painting. At Affordable Art Fair Melbourne, Miranda will be unveiling a new series of her experimental photographic prints. She paints with light and captures it with a camera, to show us what our naked eye could not see alone.
  • Alice Oehr: Alice returns with her iconic and punchy graphic creations that teeter between the creative and commercial. Her, distinctive, limited-edition works bring to life her love of food, pattern, collage, and drawing, and many of her prints have made their way onto textiles, homeware goods, magazines, books and even once as a series of 6ft Ancient Egyptian statues for a marquee at the Spring Racing Carnival!

All five artists and Philippa will be exhibiting at Affordable Art Fair Melbourne, 1-4 September

2022 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (Door 17). Tickets and more information: www.affordableartfair.com/fairs/melbourne.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By Marie-Antoinette Issa

Marie-Antoinette Issa is a contributor for The Carousel and has worked across news and women's lifestyle magazines and websites including Cosmopolitan, Cleo, Madison, The Urban List and Daily Mail, I Quit Sugar and Huffington Post.

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