19 May 2022

NFTs, Art Investing, and Collectibles

Dan Mayer
Dan Mayer @danmayer

I am still skeptical of Crypto in general, I do own some coins for fun / investment, but consider it an interesting and very risky investment. As far as NFTs built on top of the blockchain, I looked into it and decided that in its current form and iteration it isn’t compelling to me… I think there are some real concerns around the crypto ecosystem for now, and I am happy to watch and wait. Hearing all the swirl around NFTs and art investments did get me thinking a bit more about how I spend money on Art and where I could perhaps do some more purposeful spending to support art.

Art As An Investment

Does anyone else having these ads follow them around?

Art vs Market

NFTs, brought art investment to the software investment market… and it keeps growing! Or so they say… as NFTs collapse back down.

I know there are a number of startups trying to “open up” the art market to collective investment both for traditional art masterpieces and other digital markets. Positioning it as diversification in investments to get money out of the markets, move away from large cash stock piles, etc… It’s all a bit much for me, but with NFTs and these types of non-traditional investments being marketed all over the internet. The ads did make me think is there any art I would like that might be an investment? Should we always be treating art as something that needs to hold or increase value? I hope not, but if I am not really buying any art that isn’t supporting artists, perhaps I should buy more art and I can pretend it is small investments.

I have never really had or held art as an investment or followed the art market, but I had as a kid been more into various collectibles… baseball cards, comics, POGs (yes, I have hundreds of them), and magic the gathering cards. I offloaded most of my collections over time but always held on to some toys, comics, and magic cards… Turns out a few of my magic cards in terms of a percentage growth have beat my index funds! I guess, if I can consider collectibles as pop art, I have some experience and it feels a lot more fun to participate in than NFTs.

A Few Dual Lands

Oh wow that box of magic cards in my basement has a handful of dual lands and dozens of other older interesting cards.

I don’t really want to be in a world where all art is an investment, so while it might be fun to buy some pop art/collectibles that could increase in value, I also wanted to look at art that just makes me happy and can help support artists.


Comics? Seriously? Yeah, why not with NFTs as art, it feels like folks are really looking to get into collectibles again. Along with the current state of blockbuster movies being mostly comics, I feel like the value of comic collectibles going up over time seems likely… Old nerds watch marvel movies nostalgic for our childhood comic days, soon folks will be nostalgic for early comic movies and the comics of the time that inspired them… A number of comic movies are a generation behind like Spawn, Maxx, and others that might due for a movie revisit. Seems like some of the comics around the movie reboots will jump in value whenever that nostalgia hits.

Comics Framed

A few comics after I framed them

Theo with his comics

Theo smiling after we put up Iron Man (current favorite) on his wall

Also, if I am wrong and I probably am, it isn’t a real big investment, and it is cool pop culture art you can hang on your wall, a gift to kids, cousins, and friends. I picked up a number of comics and got them framed for my and some friends’ kids. Instead of paying a ton of money in ETH for a digital NFTs image that at the moment seems mostly like bragging rights, my kiddos have their favorite comic hero up on their wall.

Spider Man Spread

Spiderman before framing

Spider Man Framed

Spiderman comics after framing

Commissioned Art

There are lots of ways to commission custom art, and it isn’t always insanely expensive. After our dog passed, our family had a commissioned piece to remember our dog Spot.

Spot Commission Drawing

Our dog Spot

After a small family reunion-type vacation, we had an artist take a group photo and turn it into a drawing that we sent to all the families…

Family Art

Supporting Small Artists

On sites like Etsy, you can find much smaller and more unique art that is possibly a better fit for your tastes than things you will find in a more gallery or commercial art market. You can support smaller more niche artists that have a quirky hobby or just haven’t found a large commercial following. Anyways, it is a nice way to be able to support.


This is probably the most common way many non-arty folks help support artists… Hiring a photographer. Wedding photos, new baby photos, etc… We have enjoyed the experience and the photos so we have increased this practice by hiring photographers for larger family trips when cousins get together. Major life milestones, etc… It is fun and we get some great photos that end up on walls, Christmas cards, etc.

Family Photo

A family photo during a vacation

Local Art Fairs

While I haven’t attended many of these recently, we are planning to hit up First Friday Art Walks in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe soon. I remember as a kid visiting Art fairs in Springfield, IL often and collecting little small drawings or paintings intended to be sold to kids for $3-5, these pieces proudly hung on my walls and inspired my own creations. I hope my kids enjoy and remember the experience of finding little pieces of art that speak to them. I even found a favorite artist, whom every year, I would seek out their small photo-realistic pencil drawings of animals in the kid’s art tent.

Frog Drawing

Pencil drawings, I bought as a kid… I still have a gorilla, dog, and my favorite frog

Floating Girl Painting

A painting my parents bought in Springfield and was handed down to me

Original art

There are various places to pick up original art. We like to purchase some art while traveling.

Vietname Painting

A painting we bought when in Vietnam, shipped back, and then framed

While traveling met a local painter and loved many of her pieces but the color scheme wouldn’t work for our house, they mentioned commissioning pieces with loose guidelines like color themes and taking it from there. We are actively considering commissioning a piece, and it wouldn’t cost more than any of the paintings they already had for sale, which had standard prices based on canvas size.

Interested in just finding a custom piece online? If you have any favorite sites let me know.

  • SingulArt - reasonable prices for custom paintings (we haven’t purchased from here yet, but are currently considering a piece).