If an artist sells original abstract paintings but also sells prints, is it better to buy an original or a print? While this ultimately comes down to your personal preference, there are two major factors to consider when making this decision: price and motivation.
To me, it seems that most artists these days tend to weigh in favor of making prints of their original works (not just paintings, but drawings and digital art as well) so that they can sell more items and make more profit, while not having to continuously crank out new pieces.
While I understand this model of business, I’m at the opposite spectrum; I believe in only selling originals, and I will be touching on this in a video soon.
Regardless, when someone is looking to buy a piece of artwork from an artist, there are some things to consider.
The first is the price. This seems pretty obvious, and generally, the more rare the item, the more its worth. This is the case with coins, cards, cars, etc. and artwork.
Before the past couple of decades, prints weren’t really an option, so creating new works was the only choice many artists had. But now that we live in an age of uploading pictures of past works to a website and having canvas (or paper) prints shipped out in a matter of days, its easy to see why many artists do this.
As for the price, think about it this way: the original SHOULD be more expensive than the prints regardless of how many prints there are of the item. Going down from there, limited prints would be the next expensive item, then unlimited prints, successively.
Of course, each artist prices their items individually, but an unnumbered, unlimited print should not be NEAR the price of the original, although I have seen some expensive prints. (Another reason I don’t believe in using them.)
For the price, it really comes down to what you’re willing to pay: premium price for the original so that only you own it, or a lesser price to simply own SOMETHING from that artist.
The other major factor as to whether you should buy an original painting for sale, or the print variant, comes down to your motivation for buying it.
Are you trying to own a piece by the artist that may increase in value some day? Or are you simply buying the piece because of the way it looks, and your end goal is not for a possible increase in value?
While the value of prints theoretically WOULD GO UP if the artist became famous or died, it won’t be worth a whole lot if it isn’t limited edition, or the original abstract piece.
Do you want something that no one else has? Do you suspect the artist’s value will go up over time? Then fork over the cash for an orginal.
Are you simply looking to fill an empty wall but could care less about the artist? Or do you simply want to “say” you own something by that artist but don’t care about future value? Or are you on a budget and couldn’t afford an original anyway? Then get a print.
Whatever the case, you can be the only judge of what’s best for you and your situation.
(Ps. If you’re looking for original abstract paintings, click here to see mine. 🙂 )