Choosing Art: Prints or Originals?

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You decided you want to start collecting art. You have wall space galore and an affinity for the unique and eclectic. You know your style. So then a big conundrum many people face is: do I go with a print or an original?

For many of us, a budget answers this question pretty quickly and succinctly. However, there are more elements to consider than price. What are your goals for your art collection? What are your goals for the room? What will it mean to you?


Originals for Texture
Prints are flat. It is the nature of a print. The original will have the paper or canvas texture. The brushstrokes in the paint. The 3d quality that makes you want to reach out and touch it. Often times, you can create an amazing collection by focusing on a minimal palette with a variety of textures.

blue abstract painting side viewOriginal Painting on Canvas, Titled “Emote 1”


Prints for Illustrations and pop art
Illustrations are almost always prints. A quirky illustration with fine detail can be a fun addition to any collection. However, the originals usually are not textured or could even be digitally rendered so having an original isn’t as motivating or even possible. Often the print is just as good or even better.


As a rule, originals have much more value than prints, especially unlimited prints. If you want a collection that gains worth over times, originals and very limited edition prints are the way to go. You will invest more at the get-go, but it has a better ROI.

teal and gold artAbstract Art Print, Title: All she’ll Ever be

Do You
At the end of the day, you should buy whatever you want. Maybe you really, really want something from a certain artist, but can only afford a print. Or maybe you really love a certain piece and the original is unavailable. Perhaps you want a collection of originals as an inheritance to offer your loved ones. Or maybe you just want to fill a wall and don’t care either way. There are many reasons for choosing one or the other and they are all valid. Just figure out what you want and why, and then you do you.

Related  5 Tips For Displaying Your Art

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