The Artful Collector: The Major Awards for Artists and ART: The Chesley

Browsing through my photo file yielded one of me taken at the 16th annual Chesley Awards, 2001, accepting an award for one of the winners.  Which did not include me 🙂 (although I have been nominated three times, 1998 and 2004).  The winners were announced, as is traditional, during a Friday night ceremony carved out […]

The Artful Collector: The Major Awards for Artists and ART: The Hugo

As I was downloading some bid sheets this week, in preparation for packing up the art to be displayed at the  LoneStarCon3 Art Show, the 71st World Science Fiction Convention (San Antonio TX) I was suddenly reminded that someone needs to speak up for the Award that matters most to artists in the field: the […]

The Artful Collector: Vulgaris Triumphus? on Judging (SFWA) Magazines by Their Cover

Judge books by their cover?  Everyone does it.  That’s why – and despite the mis-marketing, agenting “horror stories” (both artist and author) and egregious lack of talent (cover-wise) – books and yes, magazines, still get judged by how well their covers make money for publishers, or (as in this case) attract (or repulse) members of […]

The Artful Collector: On Sensitivity to Negative Reviews

How many times have we read negative reviews by (mainly) newspaper- employed critics about books or films in the science fiction/fantasy genre that either were completely off base, once we read the book, or which panned a movie we’ve already seen….which thrilled us to death?  This has happened to me so many times, that I […]

The Artful Collector: Collecting Ahead of the Curve

When we started framing F/SF calendar pages to hang on our walls in the 1960s (the days before commercial prints or posters were available) original Victorian “fairy paintings” by the likes of Fitzgerald, Cruikshank, Doyle and Dadd (not to mention the Pre-Raphaelites) were unfashionable.  Or, perhaps put a better way, given the topic of this […]

The Artful Collector: Should You Worry About Forgery in SF Art?

How important is Fraud in the SF/F art market? I could write lengthy blogs on how forgers break down and then reconstitute the same clay to fashion Mid- and South American artifacts, using original (thousand-year-old) molds.  But there are Archaelogy magazines for that.  I could tell you how numismatists weigh coins to identify the fakes, […]

The Artful Collector: Is it All in the Image?

At the heart of this debate is a real difference between how some creators of commercial art (i.e, art produced for the purpose of persuasion/marketing) view the kind of art they are commissioned to create, and how they view the art they create that no one is paying them to produce, what they call “personal […]

The Artful Collector: Are Conventions Good Places to Find Art? (Part 3)

Throughout the 1990s, while weekend antiques and craft fairs, and even Ren Faires, were drawing tens of thousands of attendees each weekend, SF cons were still deliberating the good of “one day memberships” and advertising in local newspapers.  SF cons added video games, showed movies, invited author celebrities.  Didn’t help. What Happened? The rising cost […]

The Artful Collector: Are Conventions Good Places to Find Art? (Part 2)

Once upon a time, science fiction and fantasy conventions were great places to find, and buy, original art – and, in time – reproductions of art created by the best professional illustrators in the field of SF/F illustration art.  Now . . . not so much.  What happened?  Where did these artists go?  And are […]

The Artful Collector: Why isn’t There a More Active Market in What I Collect?

A common thread of discussion for collectors who buy art from me, and which runs through many sites dealing with collectibles, concerns the factors that make certain types of “X” (coins, stamps, comics, art, etc) less traded than others, despite their availability, or commonality. A Collector will say to me, for example, “I just love […]

The Artful Collector: In Praise of Tangibility

First, and let’s get this out of the way right at the start: I would never say that digital art isn’t Art.  I have never claimed that digital artists aren’t “real artists” – as some traditional artists do – because “the computer does all the work.”  I’m not spooked by the competition (go ahead and […]

The Artful Collector: Why Collecting Art is Such a Hard Job

Someone in a chat room I used to contribute to, once made an unforgettable statement: “it’s easy to collect art if you have money!” Hah!  How I wish money were the answer!  And that a fat wallet could make all the hard work of collecting go away! Collecting art is easy only if you have […]

The Artful Collector: Price vs. Value

It’s an innocent question: What’s it worth? And I always answer: That depends on whether you’re buying or selling. An object’s “worth” can relate to price, or it can relate to value.  These words are not interchangeable, although collectors may use them as if they were.  But there is a big difference between the price […]

The Artful Collector: “Excuses, Excuses”

And when we can’t have what we want….despite our best efforts to strategize for maximum gain? Then What? Oh, do we have excuses. Pick one: 1. End up the underbidder? “It was too expensive for me anyway” (cognitive dissonance at work) 2. “I probably have one like that already, and just don’t know it” (Scarlett: […]

The Artful Collector: Collecting Strategies Part 5 “Living Dangerously”

There is one strategy for collecting that I haven’t yet mentioned. It is not only potentially the most expensive, it is also the most dangerous. Buy What Everyone Else is Buying Pick any one of these (in no special chronological order): 007, the Adams Family, zombies, Nightmare Before Christmas, Beanie Babies, fairies, angels, gargoyles, vampires, […]

The Artful Collector: Collecting Strategies Part 4 “The Anarchist”

I’ve talked about buying the expensive way (completists, and those who must have what they want), and the easy way (just collect what you love). But there’s also a way to collect the CHEAPEST way….and that’s the anarchic way, or – Buy What Nobody Wants For a long long time costume jewelry made out of […]

The Artful Collector: Collecting Strategies Part 3 “The Easy Way”

Previously, in parts 1 and 2, I talked about collectors whose ambition, in collecting, was to have every one in set (“completists”) and those who had to have every one they wanted, however much it costs. Those two strategies may be satisfying, but there are easier ways to collect, ones that can be just as […]

The Artful Collector: Collecting Strategies Part 1 “The Completist”

I came to my role as dealer in SF art in a very old-fashioned way….as a fan.  And I’ve still got ‘fandom’ in my blood. I mention this only because dealers in many collecting arenas don’t start that way nor are they personal collectors of what they sell.   They may become experts in their field, […]

The Artful Collector: To Have and to Hold

Young children collect sea shells, older children collect dolls, action figures, trading cards and comic books, and grown up children . . . well, they still collect dolls, action figures, trading cards and comic books. Exactly WHY, I can’t tell you (although I will explore possible reasons in more detail in future blogs). What I […]

The Artful Collector: Living in Interesting Times

May you live in interesting times.  So goes the curse…. Last year at IlluxCon, a convention devoted purely to the buying, selling and showing of painted art – I overheard a young artist saying to another how he yearned to learn how to use “traditional media” – but he just didn’t have the time.    […]

The Artful Collector: The Art of Collecting

When asked to explain why I chose “The Artful Collector” as my byline, and what I mean by that play on words, I always respond “because there’s an “art” to collecting, whether it’s Art that you collect, or not.”  And by “artful,” I mean shrewdness is going to be needed, for success in collecting.  Since […]