Collecting Investment Art: How to spot a genuine artist

Collecting investment art can be tricky

These days it’s cool to be creative

Now, with computer technology, everybody can be an artist

This becomes a problem

Especially, for people outside creative industries, who might be in the process of collecting investment art

Happy Couple AAD Collecting Investment Art: How to spot a genuine artist

‘Happy Couple’ by Simon Brushfield (2011) Acrylic & Carcoal on canvas 1m x 1m

How then, do serious art collectors discern between a genuine original artist and a fake artist?

Like all industries, phonies exist

They’re in business for a quick buck

Fake artists might throw paint at a canvas, or do something on a computer and call it fine art

When collecting investment art, art collectors need to be very careful

Here’s 7 ways to spot a genuine artist…

1. A genuine artist is passionate about what they do and why they do it
2. A genuine artist is in business for the long term and has passed the test of time
3. A genuine artist does it for love and would continue to practice without financial incentive
4. A genuine artist inspires people and their authenticity is clearly evident
5. A genuine artist naturally challenges people to think different
6. A genuine artist will follow their own creative path, regardless of what others think
7. A genuine artist uses unique and complex colour schemes difficult to replicate

Ken Done is a perfect example

He has long challenged the Australian Art establishment

Placing his artwork on calendars, clothing, bed covers, even BMW racing cars

Ken Done’s abstract artwork and personal signature on a 1983 BMW racing car

Many perceive Ken Done as a multi-million dollar businessman.

Not an artist

However, after spending many hours together with Ken in his Sydney harbour mansion, one thing becomes clear.

Ken Done is primarily an artist

A genuinely successful artist

Oh and yes, an incredibly sharp businessman too

His commercial success challenges the Australian Art establishment

Some people think about his artwork, “a child could do that”

However, a child does not have the vision of Ken Done. Nor his intuitive sense of colour which so many admire around the world.

The famous artist James Whistler once said ‘An artist is not paid for his labour, but for his vision’

Ken Done ’s artistic vision is enormous

If you are collecting investment art, a Ken Done painting is a wise purchase

In his 20’s working in advertising, Ken travelled the world and developed great national pride in Australia

He has since been heavily involved in promoting Australia to the rest of the world through the World Expo, Sydney Olympics, Australian Tourism initiatives and the ‘ Australian Made ’ brand

The Ken Done face and creative brand is familiar to most Australians

He is very successful on the international scene in London & Japan especially

Ken Done in his Balmoral art studio talking with Simon Brushfield (behind the camera) about life and art.

Ken was born on the 29th June 1940, in Sydney and left school at the age of 14 to follow his creative dreams

Entering the National Art School as its youngest ever student

Ken had a successful stint in advertising and received the industry’s highest awards for his creative ability

To me, Ken Done represents the first Australian to truly smash an outdated idea of ‘the struggling artist’

His life proves artists don’t have to struggle

But they can use their creativity in business and live a truly successful commercial life

Ken Done continues to defy critics and establish a creative brand that adds meaning and joy to people’s lives internationally

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – Collecting Investment Art
About Simon Brushfield

Simon Brushfield is an artist whose work has been described as ‘poetic, enigmatic and dreamlike’ (Michael Berry, "Selected Contemporary Artists of Australia" book). His paintings have been exhibited and sold across Australia and internationally. If you enjoyed this post, sign up to Simons VIP list and have posts sent directly to your inbox.


  1. A very creative marketing piece for Ken Done! I’m truly impressed by this article with its bold presentation of Ken Done factoids and its confident boardroom style. I will take a lesson here!

  2. I lived in Sydney in 1986 / 1987, and purchased a Ken Done double duvet cover which I still own. It’s mainly blue and pink with bird motifs. Ken’s work was everywhere at that time on T shirts etc. Extremely up-beat colourful and exciting. Ken’s work is real art and in time I believe will be compared favourably with the likes of Matisse and Picasso. He is a colourist of the highest order. Cheers, Paul.

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