I am probably biased being an artist, but I believe one of the best ways to spend your money is to buy art. You not only support artists, you support small galleries or online businesses which work tirelessly to promote these artists and genuinely care about bringing new and exciting pieces into the world and to varying audiences.
I recently bought a piece at Bangalow Markets, NSW, by an artist called Leila Page, and CANNOT wait to frame it and hang it. I do however, have a rather big issue. I've run out of wall space. I told my self... about 6 artworks ago... to stop buying art, purely because I can't hang any more! And I won't be likely to have wall space until I have a house of my own. So all artworks are definitely a long-term investment for me. I'm devising a plan to rotate artworks so I can enjoy them all equally.
Pieces that I already have up include my most recent investment in conjunction with Hugo, Robert Oxley's The Last Exit - a psychedelic leopard which has pride of place in my current lounge room. I have a James Jean piece above my bed, Horse IV, which was framed by my parents for my 20th birthday. An Andy Kehoe piece which mesmerises me every time I see it - it will surely have a place on any wall in every house I ever live in.
I have my favourite artist's piece 'The Moon' by Alphons Mucha which was also framed for a birthday. I have works by Lauren Marx, Marissa Quinn, my sister Claire Fulton and small story-book illustrations, including Beatrix Potter's Squirrel Nutkin and Peter Rabbit, all over my walls. It's never ending.
I don't list them as brags, not in the least, I have a meagre collection, but I mean to say that, though I've spent time, money and space on these pieces, to a point where I can't sustainably fit any more in my house, I don't think I'll eve stop.
I can't stop espousing the benefits of buying art - it never loses value to start with, it's supportive, it's expressive, it's educational and inspiring to have in a home. They're talking points, they are connections to memories and times in your life, with people and places.
I think a house lacks something intrinsic value if the walls are bare, if there aren't any sculptures or beautiful expressive pieces anywhere, a wall is a canvas that deserves to be adorned, even simply. So I encourage you, buy art. It can be a small, cheap print from a market, a postcard designed by a local, a sculpture at a little gift store or a big bold statement piece. It can be anything that strikes your fancy, that inspires you and that connects with something deeper and subconscious. You'll never ever regret it.