Studio Ceramics and Public Art

Investing in artwork

Art is visually stimulating and requires discussion and criticism. It is used to characterise our history and culture as well being used for more superficial uses such as decoration. The problem with any good work of art is the cost. It's not exactly cheap to buy a piece of art from an established artist, and even promising 'up-and-coming' artists' works are rising in value rapidly. There is one plus side: art is usually a good investment.

If you pick the right piece at the right time – which is a challenge in itself – you are likely to make a lot of money if you choose to sell the work in a few years time. Art dealers are like investment bankers, they need to make sure a piece will make them money, therefore the artist and the subject of the painting or sculpture as well as the time it is purchased all affect the value of the art.

If you want to purchase some art, perhaps as an investment, but need a little help in doing so, then don't rule out purchasing it with a loan. There are a few things to remember when buying a piece of art for investment. To make the greatest profits, three things need to be considered.

Firstly, the condition is vital to getting a good price for any piece. In fact it is probably one of the most important factors, because it can turn a rather ordinary piece into something special.

The subject matter and how it fits into a historical genre is also key. An artist may have been particularly prominent in landscape pieces of a certain decade but sculptures by the same artist 20 years later may have little market value.

Rarity is obviously one of the greatest deciding factors as it is linked to demand. If the demand is high and supply is low you have the perfect combination: a top-dollar work of art. The trick is to know when a particular artist or style is in fashion.

So if you want help buying artwork then investigate the personal loan market. Right now the Bank of England's interest rate is at an all-time low, meaning now is the time to borrow, not save. Santander for example has personal loans with one of the best APRs on the market at the moment. It is offering an 8.9% rate which beats all of the major banks quite easily. Seeing as a cleverly selected piece of art can make much more than you will have to pay in interest, this is a sound investment to make.