This William Powhida print on 20x200 makes me chuckle, but in all seriousness, I really don’t think buying art is always the best choice. I actually don't recommend buying (more) art in these cases:
You’re stressed about debt
The internet magnified the whole "keeping up with the Joneses" thing, and I worried that an art blog, especially one that often focuses on collecting original pieces, would just add to that unfortunate phenomenon. I never want this space to come off as pressuring people to live beyond their means. Art buying—even affordable art buying—isn’t always advisable. I’m incredibly lucky not to be living under a mound of debt, and I still put myself under spending freezes a few times a year. Sometimes it’s just the right thing to do. If you’re under a lot of credit card or student loan debt, I'd recommend focusing on paying that off first. Then you can celebrate by rewarding yourself with a new piece of art, guilt-free.
You think it's an "investment"
Unless you're incredibly knowledgeable and incredibly lucky, you probably won't make money on your art collection, so don't go in with that expectation. When I say investment art, I do not mean "investment" in the mutual fund sense; I just mean that it's a financial stretch that you have to save up for. When you have to save up for something, you feel more of a commitment to and fondness for it, and I think that's a good thing when collecting.
You're rushing to fill a wall
Everyone wants their home to feel "finished," but you will regret it if you buy a piece just to fill a space, and not because you love it. The best art collections are built over a lifetime, not in a weekend shopping spree.
You’re beholden to every trend
There’s something to be said for investing in a piece that you’re going to love forever—or at least, for a really long time—rather than jumping on whatever bandwagon the tastemaker lifestyle bloggers are pitching right now. (I’m not hating on those bloggers. I love some of them. But they’re running businesses, and they need to constantly create new content, so it makes sense that they’re constantly replacing their own art... and seemingly everything else in their homes. Assuming you're not making money every time you redecorate, you should not be following suit.)
For example, cacti are really in right now. I keep finding myself weirdly tempted by cacti art, even though I a. have never even been to the desert and b. would almost certainly not like the desert if I was there. I’m pretty sure that I’ll lose interest in cactus art once the hype passes because it’s not who I really am. On the flipside, don’t poo poo something you love, just because it’s trendy. If you’ve loved it forever, you’ll still love it when the trend passes. Pineapples are in. Or are they already passé? In this case, I don’t really care, because I’ve always loved pineapple motifs as they remind me of a city close to my heart.
Your partner hates it (or would if he/she knew about it)
If you're building a home with someone you love, respect them enough to consider their opinion when purchasing art. They don't have to love it as much as you do, but no one should have to see something they can't stand prominently displayed in their own home. There will be a moment of disappointment if your partner vetoes something you were excited about, but ultimately you'll feel better in the long run about finding pieces you're both happy with anyway.
You’re doing it for Instagram
I mean, I have no problem with wanting to share or even show off a new piece that you really love; that’s basically what we do here. But if your main motivation is to tell everyone how #blessed you are or show off your #bestlife or whatever, and not because you actually love the art, then you need to re-evaluate.
Collectors, what do you think? Am I off base? Honestly, I could probably play devil's advocate for all but the last one, so I'm all for a good debate.