Why do art collectors buy art?

Why do we buy art? Until this week, I don’t think I would have fully been able to answer this question. I have been on the side of the fence of selling the art, and have not taken a moment and asked myself ; “Why are people buying my art?”. This is a good question to ask yourself as an artist, or if you are selling anything for that matter.

I now have my own answers to this question because on Wednesday December 12th I became an art collector! Do you remember the photo of Jack Mohr, owner of Artamo Gallery downtown Santa Barbara, and his wife standing in front of a Michelle William’s painting I posted a while back in a past blog? Well, this painting is now hanging beautifully in my home office/dining room! Yes, I bought the painting. Now I get to ask myself: Why did I buy this painting?

Enter the mind of an art collector…

Need I tell you I’m thrilled? I tried hanging it in three separate locations in the house until I found the exact perfect wall. It’s funny because after going through this process of picking the right place, I checked back with the Bagua (feng Shui) and it turns out the colours of this painting work perfectly for the location I ended up placing it. I feel like a kid re-arranging my room! So much fun! (Come to think of it, I remember a wonderful couple in Manhattan Beach - Keri and Zach Estrin - who commisioned me to paint a large 4' x 4' heart painting for their home and when I visited I would say they had a similar joyful excitement for this piece and finding the right place for it in their home)

So why did I buy this piece of art? Was it because it’s super fantastic and I love it? Yes, I love, love, love the piece. I stare at it when I eat – I come back to it and touch it during the day. I could meditate on it regularly. I love the textures, the colours, the composition, the design. I love the confidence I perceive that she paints with from her unique painting style. But it’s more than that. I feel a deep connection to the artist and I think that is what made me decide to buy a piece of her work.

Here is a photo my 4 year old took last night with me beside my 'untitled' Michelle Williams piece. Lucky me.

In Summary I bought this piece for the following reasons:

  • The purchase bolstered a sense of identity as an art collector and an art supporter
  • The purchase enabled me to support an artist living her dream
  • This painting adds beauty to my home and energize me to look at
  • I feel deeply connected to the gallery
  • I feel deeply connected to the artist
  • I am intrigued with the artist’s process and techniques and seeing her work up close and on a daily basis gives me new insights to apply and further develop my own work
  • I am excited to be able to contribute to the success of the artist and gallery
  • There is a tremendous rush and excitement in buying this piece– this was a first time event – the rush of making a big purchase
  • I love, love, love the painting!!!!

As well as getting a deeper understanding of why collectors buy my art, this experience has made me think long and hard about why I am in the business of creating and selling my work and why I sell my work. Stay tuned for my thoughts on why I do sell my work.

Meanwhile, I would LOVE to hear from art collectors. Misty…I know you’re reading this and are a collector of mine (Thank you! For reading and collecting my work – actually as I write this I’m thinking we could show our readers the photo of your son Zach connecting with this little heart painting with your permission?) I’d love to hear from you why you bought that art piece in the first place.

Let’s hear from art collectors…why do you buy art?