A new phase of collecting.
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Posted (edited)

It's been a while since I posted a topic but lately I have been examining my own collecting and realized that I am in a new phase. So I have been actively collecting for the past 4 years or so and 2018 was my biggest acquisition year to date.  During this phase I was constantly looking for new art and excited to add to the collection. I had made friends in the hobby that while still in it and still enjoying looking at art were not adding too much new stuff. I didnt understand why or how they could control their desire to pick up new stuff. Especially when there has been so much cool stuff at auction.

Not sure if anyone else has felt the same way?

Well about 5 months ago - something changed for me.  I still love looking at new art online and talking to friends. I still like following auctions - but the desire to add or buy new stuff has subsided. It was the case that prior to this time - I was excited and interested in all good art. Now I see a lot of art as interchangeable.  A good superhero cover for example (pick your character) is nice - but not any more desirable than any other equally good piece. Perhaps I was able to get a majority of my want list items - but when I look at a new piece at auction - I ask myself - is this going to fill any need/want that isn't already met by what I have? And the desire to bid goes away.

This feeling - made me think of something Gene wrote here on the boards about collecting only art from a very specific period. And being able to let go of other stuff.  Similarly my other collecting pals who buy sparingly - seem to also have a greater focus.  I suspect that the unbridled enthusiasm for ownership of any cool art  goes away at this 2nd phase of collecting.  So far this year nothing has come up for sale that is in my budget and that I feel strongly enough to bid on. I suspect when a piece with strong nostalgia hits - that desire will come back.  Until then I am kind of enjoying this slower paced new phase of collecting.

Wrote this post to hopefully hear about how others have felt at different times/phases of their collecting.

Edited by Panelfan1

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Been feeling something similar. Still collect new art that wows me. But have bern drifting back into nostalgia acquisitions lately. 

Onecreason for this is that I want to understand the story and context of the art that I own. So, I was buying new comics to follow their stories. That way, I’d understand the context of the art and wasn’t just buying it purely on aesthetics. But I found I just didn’t want to keep buying all those new comics and was only really reading a few of them. 

So I started Looking for nostalgia pieces again. Comics pages from comics I already own and remember. 

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Posted (edited)

Very insightful and interesting post this phase or feeling you're talking about isn't just reserved to OA it's a symptom that permeates into almost all aspects of collecting almost anything IMHO. Over the years I have found many people who love to collect to be very focused to the point of obsession ( myself included) & at times keeping these tendencies in check & healthy can be a battle. Be it fast cars, toys, comics OA & so on the thrill can and does get out of control for certain personalities & then BOOM out of nowhere it's not quite as important as it was just a few months/years ago.  Personally my collecting habits have changed a lot over the years & now I tend to just focus on things that I have a connection with from my childhood/teens or that I find to be cool as hell ( Bruce Lee Megos are at Walmart for 20 bucks, that's badass) & to be honest items that I think are solid long term investments ( sorry I buy for potential future financial gain not just the all-encompassing love of the hobby) I know I am the only one here who does that lol. Anyway, my point is when I started to make all of it a little less important I found myself really reinvigorated and enjoying my varied hobbies again. I no longer find myself wanting to have it all and my current interest at most shows is in low-end readers that I don't have to worry about damaging ( I am almost done an entire original Conan run for under $400 :)  9.8 encased can stick it you know where lol. I also find that I am enjoying the many friends & long conversation as much as the hunt & friendly competition that existed at many shows & even here online. I think many of us can relate to your feelings & while It sounds so simple my advice is to make it fun again, enjoy it and when the next piece of OA comes up that inspires you or blows you away you will know its something special & not just a filler for a cheap 15 minute high.

Edited by Frank Mozz

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I am in the same boat. Haven't been buying as frequently but maybe just two pieces a year since 2015. I started in 2011 or 2012.

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The thrill of buying art will always go up and down.

If you decide now to slow down, you might miss out on a piece that you afterwards regret not buying.

This will make you buy more for the next period of time, before it slows again.

Been there, done that.

Another reason was pricing. I remember going to shows and walking away with having bought nothing, being frustrated because everything seemed so expensive.

This resulted in not buying anything for a while before it happened again that the interest to actively buying came back.

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Yes 100% to Andy's comment above; ebb and flow.

I'm nearing the close of my seventh four year cycle, it's probably been about six times that I've felt like you do now too. I thought it was The End each time. (How wrong I was!)

Take a sabbatical if you will, consolidate your purchasing power, then you can come back more passionate (and focused?) than ever before...until you burn out again ;)

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No matter how much of the available art doesn't appeal to me, there's enough art that keeps my interest.

In recent years, a lot of art I never thought of acquiring (or wasn't on the market) has popped up.

I'll be honest.  If there's one thing that will make you focus your interests, it's the cost. 

 

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52 minutes ago, delekkerste said:

enough is enough

sacrilege

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Posted (edited)
On 5/8/2019 at 12:19 PM, Panelfan1 said:

It's been a while since I posted a topic but lately I have been examining my own collecting and realized that I am in a new phase. So I have been actively collecting for the past 4 years or so and 2018 was my biggest acquisition year to date.  During this phase I was constantly looking for new art and excited to add to the collection. I had made friends in the hobby that while still in it and still enjoying looking at art were not adding too much new stuff. I didnt understand why or how they could control their desire to pick up new stuff. Especially when there has been so much cool stuff at auction.

Not sure if anyone else has felt the same way?

Well about 5 months ago - something changed for me.  I still love looking at new art online and talking to friends. I still like following auctions - but the desire to add or buy new stuff has subsided. It was the case that prior to this time - I was excited and interested in all good art. Now I see a lot of art as interchangeable.  A good superhero cover for example (pick your character) is nice - but not any more desirable than any other equally good piece. Perhaps I was able to get a majority of my want list items - but when I look at a new piece at auction - I ask myself - is this going to fill any need/want that isn't already met by what I have? And the desire to bid goes away.

This feeling - made me think of something Gene wrote here on the boards about collecting only art from a very specific period. And being able to let go of other stuff.  Similarly my other collecting pals who buy sparingly - seem to also have a greater focus.  I suspect that the unbridled enthusiasm for ownership of any cool art  goes away at this 2nd phase of collecting.  So far this year nothing has come up for sale that is in my budget and that I feel strongly enough to bid on. I suspect when a piece with strong nostalgia hits - that desire will come back.  Until then I am kind of enjoying this slower paced new phase of collecting.

Wrote this post to hopefully hear about how others have felt at different times/phases of their collecting.

Cool thread idea.

All it takes is the (re)discovery of a particular artist who blows you away, whose greatest works are far above and beyond your wildest dreams, but whom you can still collect with some resources and good fortune.

I was at a crossroads of sorts, then stumbled upon Frazetta... years ago at a con, Neal Adams had told me in person that he was the greatest, and at the time that name barely registered. 

Now there's no escape.

...but can't pick up a Fritz on even a semi-regular basis, so in between, I appreciate ol' personal mainstays like Venom when done by artists whose comics I've collected.  Recently jumped on a JSC piece with him and Black Cat... Spidey sense tingles when something's esp. hard to find.

Edited by exitmusicblue

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I have had various phases of collecting.

Phase 1: I started in the early 2000's at which time my main focus was on artists I loved. Those were mainly Alex Ross and Frank Cho. In a short time I amassed a large number of pieces by both artists. I never looked much into vintage art at the time but continued with popular modern artists such as Jim Lee and Bruce Timm.

Phase 2: Around 2006/2007, I slowed the collecting art and comics quite a bit and started collecting vintage US coins. Lost touch with the market for about 5 to 6 years.

Phase 3: Current phase which started back up around 2012/2013. I sold a bunch of comics and art to buy a few exceptional coins, but in doing so, it rekindled my interest. Seeing how prices were going also surprised me. Attending NYCC again really peaked my interest in art again which has continued to today. I have now started collecting some older art and new art as well. This year I have decided to cut down on commissions and convention sketches for a number of reasons. 

As Gene said, the longer you collect, the less and less excitement you get out of a new purchase. Sure you enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the piece itself, but the initial excitement isn't the same as when you are young and starting out. Call it getting old, maturity, a more discerning eye or just another phase of collecting. An aspect of collecting for years is that I tend not to get upset about a piece I missed out or lost at auction. There is ALWAYS something else. Its just not worth getting bent out of shape over. One of the best things I felt happened was starting again after a break. When I returned it was like seeing old friends again and the love for the art was much more than when I left.

The collecting bug is in all of us. Whether its art, comics, coins, antiques or cars. The great thing is you can go from one to another and still enjoy the aspect of collecting. 

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Posted (edited)

It's a drug. The first few hits are the best. Then you develop a tolerance. :)

Edited by Twanj

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My collecting periods were almost the same as those above and almost the same years.  

On the Felix podcast it said that it was much easier to get good art around 2006.  I agree but I also think this could be tied to the idea that there were better comics made before that period than there is today, and there were a lot less people with money back then.  In the CBR best of lists, there are very few great comics that have been produced since 2003.  After that art dried up into private collections, there isn't a lot of great more recently produced art that is made.  A lot of current books are mediocre and so many collectors are not going to get too excited about the latest Marvel reboot for example. I picked up some free comic book day issues to read to my kids and all were nonsensical and poorly written.  I reverted to a silver age Green Lantern reprint book.  

It also seemed like people did not have such a tight grip on art.  If you offered a small amount over what they paid for it they would let it go.  Now there are many collectors who don't need the money and just want to hold on to it until they die.  

So the choice is nostalgia on the few good things that pop up, or mediocre bad stuff.  

My condition has been made worse because the second original comic art piece that I bought was my grail that popped up on ebay.  

I think that the Doomsday Clock is terrific and depending on the ending, it might be one of the great comic stories ever, or it might not be.  But pages are going for less than $2,000.  When I started collecting seriously in the early 2000s, good Watchmen pages were going for around $4,000.  There still could be bargains of the future but it's hard to predict what will be remembered and what will be disposable twenty years from now.

 

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6 hours ago, AnkurJ said:

 

The collecting bug is in all of us. Whether its art, comics, coins, antiques or cars. The great thing is you can go from one to another and still enjoy the aspect of collecting. 

Yup, hit all of them, and then some. Some people are collectors, others are not. 

When I was a kid, I also collected live turtles 🐢 (around 15 at one time) and then exotic ferns. I had tolerant parents.

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People’s interest in hobbies waxes and wanes. To some extent, I think it is a function of whatever else is going on in your life. It is like a pressure relief valve from day to day stress, or satisfying a sense of emptiness or lack of direction, or maybe a substitute for a comfort food when you want to retreat to a safer place. Or perhaps, it is a way to satisfy a sense of compulsiveness we all have. You can love the field, but collecting is really about satisfying a need.

If you aren’t feeling it right now, nothing wrong with that. In one sense, maybe it’s a good thing; your mind has more important things to address. Your toys will still be there when you need them. But if you still have the need and just can’t find a target, try commissions. That way you get to write the plot of a one panel story you describe to the artist which he/she executes for you.

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5 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

Yup, hit all of them, and then some. Some people are collectors, others are not. 

When I was a kid, I also collected live turtles 🐢 (around 15 at one time) and then exotic ferns. I had tolerant parents.

as did I ... 

 

I have always had the collecting bug, even as a child. If I acquired 2 or 3 of something that piqued my interest, there was a good chance I was going to start hunting for as many as I could find. I think the oddest things I ended up bringing home was abandoned bird nests. Had a row of them on a shelf in my room until my parents saw a bug crawling out of one and they were banished to the back yard. Even tolerant parents have their limits I suppose 

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22 hours ago, delekkerste said:

500th art acquisition

rookie

12 hours ago, AnkurJ said:

the longer you collect, the less and less excitement you get out of a new purchase.

I haven't found this to be true. Unless maybe the comparison is made to the very first handful of pieces...?

Every new piece that comes in, I adore for at least a month, picking it up and putting it back down, examining it closely and then again at arm's length, placing it somewhere I will see it constantly throughout the day, every day. That's me. With every new piece, still, after 26 years doing comic art. Certainly after that first month, the moment passes (and other things have come in to distract!) and the that piece moves to the archive. But then months, years, decades (yep!) later, something strikes me, something I've read or seeing that somebody else has such-n-such, or I'm looking for something else and bump into it and I and re-live the moment of adoration again, sometimes just for a few minutes, sometimes for a whole month again. Or whatever.

For the record: I do not live in my parent's basement and I am very happily married ;)

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, vodou said:

 

For the record: I do not live in my parent's basement and I am very happily married ;)

You got me a little worried, there.

Edited by Rick2you2

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45 minutes ago, Rick2you2 said:

You got me a little worried, there.

(very) understanding missus :)

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