art business

The Art of Art Investments 

It’s the hype that can be troublesome while dealing with pieces of art. Treat each art piece as an asset and nothing more. It’s an investment, and a subjective opinion shouldn’t be coming into play just like it wouldn’t with any other form of investment.

Art appreciation is something that can lead one down the wrong path and make it hard to produce the returns hoped for financially. Investors can start to assume they’re dealing with a great piece but it will not lead to quality gains. This is why it is essential to focus on what works rather than what may work. A lot of this occurs when an investor begins to bet on a future artist that may become popular or well-received down the road. This is never the right way to go and is inherently risky.

If you invest in art you need to remember it is similar to investing in venture capitalism. The idea is to look at the core details and how the art is produced. You don’t want to think about going with too many start-ups as the market may leave them in tatters.

Subjectivity is going to matter when it comes to collections because there is a personalized interpretation involved with artwork. This can make it seem like art cannot be deemed as an asset nor can it be viewed as something to add to one’s portfolio of investments.

However, there is a way to determine the market value of an art piece. The best way to get started is by speaking to a proven art advisor with years of expertise in dictating sales figures based on previous entries. It could be something sold at an auction or at an art gallery. These related sales can offer insight.

Another avenue is to start dissecting what the artist may have sold in the past. This information is ideal for setting a price point and knowing what one is working with. For example, an artist renowned for his/her work will receive awards or fellowships, and this can be a sign of good things to come. It can even be the academic position they may have held in the field of art because that indicates the potential value of the asset itself.

Resale value is the wrong way to look at an art piece. This only applies to the biggest of names in the world of art. You have to focus on this as a long-term asset and one that is going to act as a collectible (according to the IRS), and you will be taxed nearly 28% on all gains. This is a part of the expense you are going to pay on a sale, which means you are not going to net as much as you think you will. 

This is why you have to think about the returns coming in and how they will play out in the long-term. You want to think about the non-financial advantages before anything else. The financial gain is nice, but that is a real bonus. If you keep it as an investment, you need to go to a proper art advisor to get a gist of what you’re working with. 

If you are getting a collection, you need to think of it as a set of pieces rather than a complete sum of artwork. It is all about looking at the quality of the collection based on each piece and then assessing its value in general. 

The artwork is often seen being listed in estates after valuation begins post-death. This is why a proper estate plan is an excellent strategic move. This is something you have to factor in as you are dealing with it as an asset. Will it be sold? Will it be transferred to your children/grandchildren?

This is a significant investment, but you have to think about it with a good understanding of your cash flows, additional assets, and other collections in hand. This is how you will be able to get more out of this asset.

You should always look to benefit from the art market but do it the right way, so you get more out of it.


Thank you Art World Expo Vancouver!

Thank you for another terrific event!
Art World Expo 2016 Glamour Noir was a smashing success!
Another great event at the 6th annual Art World Expo in Vancouver! With a “Glamour Noir” theme to coincide with the 6th annual show and Friday, May 13th event date, we were fortunate to have a wonderful event and gala celebrating over 100 hundred of artists from across Canada, USA and Europe. A big thank you to all of our participants, guests, sponsors, donors, staff, and volunteers for making this year’s event another success for artists and art lovers alike!

Enjoy some visual highlights this year and be sure to get in touch with our team asap as we have already opened up Early Bird Registration for the 2017 event on May 12, 2017! If you would like to exhibit, please sign up

Be sure to visit our Facebook Page for more highlights of this year’s event!

Artist Angela Tahara

Wine Spoonsors APOTHIC Wine

Deanna Fligg working on the auction table! Watch for our online auction or visit our studio for some great items and offers on items that would love new homes! These offers won’t last long!


Kathleen Fowlstone, 1st Place Winner
Art World Expo Body Painting Competition 2016


Ryan Broderick

Lala’s Art

Hot Arusha did some wonderful hot sauce sampling!

Carrie Hull a first time exhibitor! Beautifully done!

Some of the volunteers this year!
Thank you to our PLATINUM SPONSOR:

Twin Peaks Construction


Thank you to our SILVER SPONSOR:

Coastal Storm Gallery

Thank you to our BRONZE SPONSOR:

Edgemont Village Jewellers


Thank you to our event donors:
We would like to thank our sponsors and donors for making this
event possible each year!

Fresh Magazine-Official Magazine Sponsor
Apothic Wines-500 Glasses of Wine for first 500 guests
Social Savvy Gals-Social Media Sponsor
Cinderelly’s Castle-Social Media Sponsor
Diamond Dolls Network-Social Media Sponsor
Jenny Craig-VIP Sponsor
100+ Artists Showing & Selling Work
Body Paint Competition
Fashion Show: Nancy Perreault
Silent Auction-Proceeds to Make and Break Art Foundation
Cash Bar, Food Vendors and Entertainment
Music & Live Performances
Thank you BFP Video for this fun video featuring some of the talent this year!
Thank you BFP Video for this fun video featuring some of the talent this year!
VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS on how to be a part next year!

This Friday, we will also be posting all the auction items on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis on our Facebook page! In fact, there are some wonderful items already listed online! Great gift ideas that you can get at 30% of retail value! Check out the items on our page here:

Thank you to Patrick Parenteau Photography.

Art World Tips: How to Increase Your Social Media Following

by Monika Blichar


Are you an artist struggling to get traffic to your website? You are doing all sorts of things to boost your social media ranking but seeing no results. And now, you are frustrated and feeling deflated! Here our our top three tips to help you gain more followers and see results on social media! Be sure to share these tips with your art friends and if you like, leave a comment and let us know how you are doing!

1-Be Consistent

Social Media is all about being consistent with your content. If you are inconsistent, your website, blog, Instagram or Facebook will be inconsistent to your fan base. Think of your social media as if it were a store. If you are open all sorts of hours and nothing is ever the same, how do you think your customer will feel? Likely; they will be confused, disappointed and despite coming to your storefront, they leave feeling as though there just wasn’t anything there to buy! Treat your networks exsactly like a storefront. Be consistent with your content and you will gain many followers who are looking for what you have to offer.

2-Cross Promote

One of the fastest ways to grow your network is to cross promote with other artsits. Are you a visual artist but have a good friend with a tea shop? Ask your friend to run a promotion with you for one month where you both promote a piece of your art; a card, a print, or even a product with your art on it, and something from the tea shop. By cross promoting, you BOTH gain followers from one another’s networks and help each other out. Think outside the  box for this one. Cross promotions are social media win wins.


Are you posting every day but no one seems interested? Not getting any likes or comments is a big sign that you are doing something wrong on social media. Think back when you were younger and your friends reminded you that no one likes a bragger when you told them all about winning that dance competition. It’s much of the same thing on social media. If you are always posting only about yourself, your events and your products, people might become disengaged. Try to offer engaging content that is related to your industry so that people can comment or leave their opinion. Post other people’s work or events and share community news in your area. You’ll notice that your following will quickly increase and that your followers will appreciate your new strategy!

Social media can be difficult, but one of the great things about it is that it can connect you to so many potential opportunities so quickly! Be sure to try our tips this week and let us know how you are doing!


Keep making art!


Art World Expo

Free Gift for Artists!

As artists, many of us forget that we are running businesses. We love to spend time creating and often put on hold or aside the tasks related to marketing, sales, advertising, promotions and accounting. If this sounds like you, you might want to check out this free eBook just for artists! Geared at any artist that is looking to learn how to promote their artwork and meet new buyers, a great way to start or refresh your thinking about the business of your art. Click this link below to get your FREE copy of 5 EXPERT Marketing Strategies for Visual Artist.


The “Mom-Entrepreneurs” – An Interview with Sabrina Widner, Coastal Storm Gallery

The Mom-Entrepreneurs

An Interview with Sabrina Widner, Co-owner of Coastal Storm Gallery

By Alyssa Laube

coastalstormgallery1 coastalstormgallery2

About: Self-proclaimed “mom-entrepreneurs” Sabrina Widner lives in Sooke with her children and husband, where she spends most of her time taking care of loved ones and running Coastal Storm Gallery with her twin sister, Sam! Sabrina and Sam focus on exhibiting local artisans and feature a wide selection of beautiful aboriginal artwork. This year, they designed “Coastal Imagination Masks” which were sold at several of Make and Break Arts Foundation’s fundraisers all over the Lower Mainland and supported arts based projects like Art World Expo and summer art camps for children and youth.


How and when did you decide that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

After spending almost eight years working in downtown Victoria, picking kids up from daycare, and feeling tired and under-appreciated at work, it was time for a change! I invested in a few properties (that currently pay my bills) so that I could spend my days walking my dog, volunteering in my local community, and actively participating in raising my own children. However, after a while of being a stay-at-home mom, it becomes a little tedious. So, my journey as a business owner began.


Can you tell the story of how you came up with the idea for Coastal Storm Gallery?

I have a beautiful aboriginal art collection, and friends and family started to ask me why I wasn’t buying and selling pieces online yet, so I did in 2009! However, not everything went perfectly the first time. My original business partner did not share the same vision as me. We came up with an online aboriginal gallery, and did a few trade shows and mall kiosks, but things fizzled out. Now, my sister and I are running Coastal Storm Gallery together, and things have been awesome ever since!


Sam, what lead you to becoming Sabrinas business partner with the gallery?

Since graduating from college in 2001, I have been in various customer service roles which I absolutely love. I’ve managed retail stores, implemented customer service within a private company, and since 2008, I have been working for the local Health Authority. Initially, I was with Mental Health & Substance Use, which is an eye-opening program that allowed me to serve a population that deserves great customer service and complete respect. Currently, I am working within Public Health and now serve an even broader range of people.

Considering how young I am, you will be surprised to know that my husband and I have been married for five years now and have been together officially for eighteen years! We were pregnant within days after our wedding; having my Son in 2009 was the greatest experience of my life and every day I love him more and more.

With a busy career, a husband, and a son, finding time to spend with my sister was becoming a challenge. When she asked if I’d like to become involved with her business, initially I was hesitant and wondered where I would find the time, but I have to say it has been a great experience! We chat all the time, our children get to spend tons of time together “while their mommies work”, and I love it!

Why are you drawn to aboriginal artwork?

I think it’s because of the heritage! Even young aboriginal artists begin with a wealth of information and usually have family members that have mentored them since youth. Aboriginals of the first people of Canada. Their history dates back hundreds of years, many tribes have continued to pass information on through the generations, and I find amazing value in that. For every piece, there’s a story. Each animal has a different meaning, they have their own mythical creatures, the artist themselves have stories to share, and every family has a history. For example, I carry Nancy Dawson’s jewellery. She was taught how to carve and weave by her elders and she has passed that skill down by mentoring all of her sister’s children. They all currently hand carve silver jewelry. Her family crest is the wolf, and when her family holds a potluck, they give handmade items all engraved with wolf symbols to signify the family’s wealth.

You helped to create and sell “Coastal Imagination Masks with Make & Break Arts Foundation this year. Can you tell us more about the masks and how you got involved with MAB?  

One day, while sitting by the poolside at Monika’s house, we started taking about galleries and how much we both love art. I mentioned that I was lucky if the kids would let me have five minutes in a gallery without bribing them with a treat, and how I wished that there was something on-site that would work for the whole family. It would have to be desirable to a child, high-quality, and of course, fitting to be sold in a gallery setting. That’s what inspired me to create a line of children’s masks! I’m not great behind a sewing machine, but my best-friend and twin, Sam, sure is!

Together, Sam and I designed a West Coast animal-themed line of felt masks. We both have boys and know for a fact that dress-up items are extremely limited for them; it’s either a profession or a super hero, and none of it is made locally. We set out to fix that! All of our masks are machine-stitched, machine-washable, and extremely durable. We tested our product at a local craft fair and school fundraiser and got some amazing feedback!

I know that Monika works hard for her charity and I thought that we could both benefit by working together, so I sent her some product information and she ran with it! We did a custom order for her Halloween fundraiser of skulls and pumpkins, and created Ruldoph masks which she used to fundraise over the Christmas holidays. She has also included our masks in some online promotions as a part of her fairytale theme. Our hope is to continue to compliment her fundraising with seasonal masks. 

Theres a list of symbols on your website. Why have you listed these, and what culture are they from? Where can they been seen in the gallery?

I decided to update my website and gear it towards local artisans. The website is still in transition, which is one of the reasons why the symbol page is still there. When the website was only aboriginal, the symbols page was there as reference.

What inspired you to start supporting local artisans? 

Sabrina: During the last few years, I have become very active in my community and met so many amazing, talented people. I believe that businesses work because all members benefit; you’re only as successful as those around you! So, my sister and I have approached artisans we know in hopes of promoting their work.

Sam: Sabrina’s new focus on supporting local artists is a great move for her. I currently work with a lovely woman who creates beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry with her sister under Gin-Nel Jewels. Gina is a mother of eight and needed a creative outlet. Making jewellery was it for her, and working with her sister is the bonus! There’s just something about sisters working together.

I went to a craft show to introduce Sabrina to Gina & they hit if off! A few days after that, I asked Gina if she could make earrings out of pennies (which I have always wanted and can finally do now that the penny is no longer used). She agreed and we started to talk about other opportunities. Gina’s products will start to be available on our website soon and we will be showcasing her creations at Art World Expo in Vancouver and Toronto!

What is it like to run a business with your twin?

The best part of it all is being able to work with my sister and best friend. When I have an idea in the middle of the night, a problem during the day, or too busy of a schedule to get everything done alone, I just call her! We can count on each other to support whatever the other person needs. For us, equal work means equal partnership. I love her, she loves me, and now we can spend time together doing what we both love!

Sabrina, youre a self-proclaimed mom-entrepeneur. Why have you given yourself this title?

Part of why I describe myself as a “mom-entrepreneur” is that I’m doing something I truly enjoy while being able to sustain all of my family obligations first!


Hopefully, you stopped by the Coastal Storm Gallery booth at Art World Expo this year! Sabrina and Sam will also be at Art World Expo Toronto in October!