Buying art can be an exciting endeavor, whether you’re a seasoned art collector or a novice looking to start your art portfolio, you’ll want to discover the best art to invest in.

One of the primary decisions you’ll face when entering the art market, and making a fine art investment, is whether the purchase should be an original artwork or a fine art print?

buying art - desk and blue velvet chair in an office nook next to a window with a fine art print in natural wood frame above the desk that shows an option for buying art
Buying Art – Fine Art Print ©Copyright 2023

Both options have their merits and can be valuable additions to your collection, but they come with different considerations and potential benefits.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the nuances of buying original art versus fine art prints to help you make an informed decision about which one might be a better investment for you.


Original Art: The Allure of Uniqueness

Original artworks are one-of-a-kind creations produced by artists. They offer an exclusive and authentic connection to the artist’s creative process and vision.

Here are some key points to consider when investing in original art:

1. Unique Value

The primary appeal of original art lies in its uniqueness. Owning an original artwork means you possess a piece that cannot be replicated, adding a sense of exclusivity and rarity to your collection.

2. Artistic Legacy is a key consideration when buying art

Original art often carries the artist’s personal touch, emotions, and creative energy. Collectors appreciate the opportunity to connect with the artist’s intentions and vision, creating a deeper and more personal connection to the artwork.

3. Potential for Appreciation – growing your art investment

Original artworks by renowned artists have the potential to appreciate significantly over time. As an artist’s career progresses and their reputation grows, the value of their earlier works may increase, offering investment potential.

4. Emotional Resonance

Original art can evoke strong emotions and personal significance. Collectors often acquire original pieces because they have a deep emotional or intellectual connection to the work or the artist.

Considerations when buying original art

However, there are important considerations when investing in original art:

  • Higher Costs

Original artworks are typically more expensive than fine art prints, which can be a significant barrier to entry for some collectors.

  • Risk

While there is potential for appreciation, not all original artworks appreciate in value. The art market can be unpredictable, and success is not guaranteed.

  • Maintenance

Original artworks may require special care and maintenance to preserve their condition, which can add to the cost of ownership.

antique bedroom in luxury hotel displaying black-and-white, original art of charcoal drawing in ornate, antique metal frame. The interior decor is natural, cream color; the photo has an insert of another charcoal drawing of plant-life, biomorphic forms in a larger still life
Buying Art – Original Fine Art ©Copyright 2023

Buying Art – Fine Art Prints

Fine art prints are reproductions of original artworks created using various printing techniques. They offer a more affordable and accessible way to enjoy art. Here are some considerations for investing in fine art prints:

1. Buying art prints is affordable to everyone

Fine art prints are typically more budget-friendly than original artworks. This affordability allows collectors to acquire multiple pieces and diversify their portfolio without a significant financial commitment.

2. Art prints make sharing art easier to the printing process

Fine art prints offer the opportunity to own a piece of art by a renowned artist without the price tag of an original. While not unique, prints can still be limited editions, signed, and numbered, adding to their value.

3. Art prints make buying art more Accessible

Fine art prints make art more accessible to a broader audience. They can be purchased online, at art fairs, or from galleries, making it easier for individuals to begin their art collections.

4. There is Lower Risk when buying art as a print

Investing in fine art prints can involve lower risks compared to original art. Their lower price point means that even if they don’t appreciate significantly, you may not incur substantial losses.

5. Considerations

Despite their advantages, there are some considerations when buying art prints:

  • The artwork’s Lack of Uniqueness

Prints lack the uniqueness and exclusive value of original artworks. So, you won’t have the same direct connection to the artist’s creative process and the resonance of the tactility of someone’s original hand in it.

  • An art collection’s Limited Potential for Appreciation

While some fine art prints may appreciate in value, their potential for substantial appreciation is generally lower than that of original artworks by the same artist.

  • The Print Quality of an individual print or collection of prints

The value and quality of a fine art print can vary depending on factors like the printing technique, paper quality, and edition size. It’s essential to research the print’s details before making a purchase.

Making Your Decision when buying art

The choice between investing in original art or fine art prints ultimately depends on your goals, budget, and personal preferences. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

When buying art think of your Investment Goals

  • If You Seek Uniqueness and Potential for High Returns

If your primary goal is to acquire unique and potentially high-value pieces, original artworks by established artists might be the way to go.

Consider researching emerging artists with growth potential and buying art from them. It can be a fresh, progressive and exciting avenue for fine art investment returns.

  • If You Prefer Affordability and Diversification

If you’re looking to build a diverse collection without a substantial financial commitment, buying art as a fine art print can provide access to renowned artists’ works at a lower cost.

Budgeting for art investment

  • If You Have a Limited Budget

If budget constraints are a concern, fine art prints offer a more cost-effective way to begin your art collection. You can start with prints and later invest in original art as your budget allows.

When buying art, do you have a Personal Connection to a specific artwork or collection?

  • Do You Value Personal Connection to the Art?

If connecting with the artist’s vision and the emotional resonance of the artwork is essential to you, investing in original art may be more fulfilling.

  • Do You Appreciate Art for Aesthetic Enjoyment?

If you appreciate art primarily for its aesthetic value and don’t necessarily require a direct connection to the artist, fine art prints can provide beautiful pieces for your collection.

Buying Art – are you risk averse?

  • If You’re Cautious About Risk

If you’re risk-averse and want to minimize the potential for financial loss, fine art prints may be a safer choice. They offer affordability and lower risk compared to original artworks.

Diversifying your art investment portfolio

  • If You Value Diversification

Diversifying your art collection can enhance its overall stability. Fine art prints allow you to collect a broader range of artworks, artists, and styles, contributing to a more diversified portfolio.


The decision to invest in original art or fine art prints ultimately depends on your investment goals, budget, personal preferences, and risk tolerance.

Both options can be valuable additions to your art collection and offer unique benefits. Some collectors choose to combine both original art and fine art prints to create a diverse and well-rounded portfolio.

Regardless of your choice, remember that investing in art should also bring you joy and personal fulfillment.

Whether you opt for the exclusivity of original art or the accessibility of fine art prints, your collection should reflect your unique taste and appreciation for the beauty and cultural significance of art.

If you liked this article, you’ll love this blog post.

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