What is the best way to invest $10,000 in art?

December 3, 2021

If you have come into money, whether through your own endeavors or thanks to an inheritance or even a lottery win, you might be considering how to spend your money. Of course, you’ll want all the things that naturally come with a great deal of wealth – great food, an impressive home, all the gifts your heart can desire.

However, if you do have money, it is always wise to invest it. Spending money might feel great in the moment – the excited twinge you get when purchasing something you’ve always wanted – but it won’t help you in the long run. Investing money will, however. If you can make your money work for you and grow, surely that’s better than just spending it?

You might be wondering how exactly to invest your money. You could invest it into stocks and shares. You could also put it into a bond that could guarantee you a modest return in several years.

However, why invest your money into something that you cannot see and admire? Why invest it into a seemingly meaningless number that holds no value outside that which short sellers and the stock exchange agree it has?

Investing in art solves some of these problems. Art is not only something that can be seen and admired, but also something that has more readily visible value. It helps lift you and transport you, while also making you money.

How, you might ask, can you make money from art? You can do this by buying work at a price that is right for you and selling when the price goes up.

However, although you might be able to comprehend how investing in art works you might be thinking – well, where do I start? What is the best way to invest around $10,000 in art? Which artists should I invest in? These are the questions that will be suitably explained in this article.

Which artists to invest in?

First of all, you might be wondering which artists you should invest in. Choosing an artist to invest in is pivotal to how your investments might perform. This is because different artists mean different things to different people. Some people will only buy Picasso’s work.

Others will prefer work from an earlier period. Some may like to only buy art that is more modern and abstract. Installation art has become more and more popular over the past few years and there are many reasons for this. Not only does it have a simplicity and metaphorical joy that few other types of pieces have, but installation art is also difficult to recreate – so if you can recreate it outside of the museum in which it is situated then you will likely be able to get a great deal of value for it.

When picking an artist, it is also important that you actually like their work. Whilst it isn’t always necessary that you like a particular artist’s work, it certainly helps. This is because if you are trying to sell the art at a future point to a collector, museum or another investor, having some passion about the art and some information related to it is very helpful.

Prospective buyers or collectors may see that you know what you are talking about and could be more likely to part with more money for the piece of art than if they were met by an owner who knew nothing about the art that they were selling.

Furthermore, it is important that you choose artists who have more value than simply being in vogue at the moment. Often collectors will pick artists to invest in who are in fashion for a particular period before falling out of fashion years later. This means that the value of the art drops off enormously and can therefore not be worth investing in. If you can pick one of the classics that you like, then that can be particularly beneficial.

Theme or eclectic?

When investing in art it is important to consider not just which artist or artists you are going to invest in, but also whether or not you want to invest in a theme or something eclectic. Some collectors will pride themselves on having a collection that revolves around a particular theme.

Whether that theme is one particular artist’s work or whether it is a series of works by a particular artist, a theme can often be important. If you have works from different artists that contribute to this theme, this can help boost the value of your investment. Collectors, museums and other investors love the idea of being able to have a set of something, and if this set is related to a particular event or a specific theme then it can often increase its value.

However, there is an equal but opposing school of thought that believes that it’s better to be eclectic rather than to follow a theme. This is because if you have an eclectic and varied set of artworks, other investors and art collectors might be more drawn to the variety and be more likely to pay for the collection as a whole for a greater price than you may have originally paid for it.

Of course, this decision as to whether you should be eclectic or follow a theme depends on where you want to invest your money.

Upcoming talent

One area in which many people like to invest is the world of up coming talent, or artists who are just starting off. Not only does it give some investors a feeling of satisfaction that they are investing in an artist before they have hit the big time, it also means they are unlikely to face much competition.

There are of course many caveats to this particular line of art investment. You may invest in a young artist who turns out to not have the same value as you thought they might. Or, you might invest and not see a proper return for many years. You might even sell too quickly before the artist’s work truly peaks.

Investing in new talent is somewhat more of a gamble than investing in already established artists, but it’s also a good way to earn even more money than through buying from established artists. Say you come across an artist who is starting out and you buy a few of their paintings for a relatively low price. If that artist then becomes world renowned you will be able to sell that work for a massive amount of profit, making your investment truly worthwhile.

Although it can be a risk investing in new artists, it can also be a very profitable investment.

Investing in art isn’t just good for the wallet – it’s good for the soul as well.

Investing in art isn’t just good for the wallet. You may look at the works of art you have bought merely as investments, but they aren’t. They are works that can captivate and transfix their viewer. They can make you journey to another world entirely. They are pieces that will live for a long time after you.

You could, through your investments, ensure that a particular work of art is saved for a long time to come. You could give a new artist a break that their future work and its value would surely repay you for. This is why investing in art isn’t just good for the wallet – it’s also good for the soul. It gives you not just something to help your bank balance but something to help your spirit as well.

Masterworks is a fintech company democratizing the art market. Our investors are able to fractionally invest in $1mn+ works of art by some of the world's most famous and sought-after artists.