A 21stCentury Guide to the Woodland Art Movement
R.R. Sinclair © 1999/2006
One of the hallmark truths of global restructuring is that mergers mean job losses. Jobs not lost through relocation to cheaper work forces are lost as redundancies after merging, while still others have been lost forever to technological improvements.
Traditional employers from the resource-based industries find their commodities more expensive to mine, while competition and consumer choice continue to increase. The value of our first world primary industries continues to spiral downward, slipping considerably since the late 1980's. The Asian economic meltdown in the late ‘90's meant diminished demand continuing the trend of falling prices in all commodities, except oil. Since 2003 demand for oil continues to spiral upward, further undermining first world economies. The corporate response to overwhelming change is to diversify through corporate mergings. In the industrialized countries job loss is the result. Early pensions and severance packages are the effect.
Compounding the problem for job seekers is the fact that restructuring is happening everywhere. A high percentage of employees who lose their jobs aren't likely to get another in the same field. Part time, low benefit, contract work is the reality of employment today. For many people, the severance package or pension buyout represents a one shot opportunity to secure a financial future.
In trusting themselves solely to arm's-length investments, hundreds of thousands of people have watched their life savings squandered when the dotcom bubble burst. The concerns that plague investment in mutual funds, securities, bonds, GIC's, and stocks amount to a crap shoot. You are being asked to trust your hard earned dollars to others on a field of play where diversity appears to amount to whether the experts risk it for you playing blackjack or roulette. When you play the stock market, you gamble. If the market fails, you risk losing everything.
The Golden Handshake: your little nest egg of hope and security needs to be nurtured. It's not enough to put your eggs in one basket, or watch them whittled away with dollar deflation. You have to ask yourself,
What is it people have valued,
and will continue to value in the future?
When you know the answer to the aforementioned, then you will be safe to trust yourself to invest with resolve. With practical experience, caution will turn into confidence and fear will turn into freedom.
There are positives in the restructuring process. People have started preparing themselves for self-sufficiency. Small business and entrepreneurism are exploding in the industrialized countries. People are putting their corporate nest eggs into things that are tangible. They may invest a portion into paper investments for tax purposes and diversity, but their money is going where they can see it and nurture it themselves. The risks in starting a new business are formidable. New business bankruptcies have always been high. That being so, banks are wary of extending lines of credit to fledgling businesses, making it that much harder to survive the start-up phase. If you don't succeed, you've lost everything and probably put yourself into a financial hole.
There is a need for secure investments that have an immediate and substantial resale value, yet still have the potential to quantum in value. Buying a home remains a secure investment. Even if the resale value does not go up, at the very least you have a roof over your head. Moreover, shelter is a cost that you must carry regardless.
Purchasing collectible art is another secure investment. Include its appraised value in your home insurance. Collect them as you would stocks. Sell them only if you have to. Show them whenever you can. The act of prospecting for art treasures; of picking out pieces that appeal to you, from a body of artists with collective potential and charisma, is enticing. You can begin by nibbling at the corners of the print world for next to nothing, and invest robustly after you've achieved a personal comfort level. All the while, relax in the assurance that there is an established resale market should you need it.
With your first purchase as a collector, you increase the demand for and therefore the investment value of, all Woodland Art. The same principle holds true when other collectors buy. It lifts the value of your investments. When you prospect for Woodland Gold the wonderful aspect is that there is enough to go around, and every new find by someone else makes your find that much more valuable.
Collecting in the art world, like the stamp, coin and antique collector markets, is a massive undertaking if you attempt the global field of play. The way to approach any of these markets is to focus on a specified area. One big enough to create market demand, yet one small enough to be vital and financially feasible.
This is the risk free beauty of an artistic movement. There is nowhere for prices to go but up, and nowhere for the artists to go but out into the global marketplace. Inuit artists, for example, are watching the valuations on all their artist's’ work lift to meet the growing demand of the international marketplace. When one Inuit artist moves forward, they all do.
Alone, or in tandem with others, each of us will chart a course, not only into the future, but through the present chaos and confusion. The opportunities to ensure that our dreams can be realized will depend upon our physical, as well as our financial, well-being.
Consider what your chances would be of finding the gold that you pan for in a stream where thousands are already panning upstream. That is often the reality of investing in today's markets. As in the BreX gold mine scandal scandal, and more recently the dotcom insanity, the herd instinct takes over. When the cliff of impending doom finally appears, it is already too late.
Another option is to take the risk and pan streams that are virtually untouched. In such cases, one would still need a guide to properly explore a prospective stream for riches. This book is a guide to exploring and acquiring nuggets of gold in the form of Woodland Art collectibles.
As the globalization metamorphosis evolves, so do the markets of products and services with appeal to the global community. Economic sectors slated for growth well into the 21st Century include:
When one discovers a nugget of Woodland Gold, it leads one back to the Woodland School. If you strike gold when panning, it’s only natural to look for the source upstream.
Logical investment went out when the Internet came in. Logical investment is not a gamble. It is about doing the right, the sure and the wise thing. It is about erring on the side of caution. The Logic of the quantum rise in anything web-related defied all previous economic principles of valuation except one; "The Gold Rush".
The sure thing no longer finds a firm foundation in history. The dotcom madness was a rush to lay stakes in the new global communications platform. In the Internet arena, visual content reigns supreme. With a potential audience in the billions, the Internet is any salesman's dream. They rushed for California. They rushed for the Yukon and they rushed for the world-wide web. There was gold in California. Gold in the Yukon and there is definitely gold on the web. The best stakes went to those who arrived first, while those who came later lost. While they can, they buy in, knowing others are in line right behind them. Rather than miss the boat, they set sail for uncharted waters, navigating without charts or history, to an unknown destination.
The fools who bought into BreX are a case in point. Those who were first in line received a piece of paper entitled, “ BreX Stock”. They sold it to other fools who sold it to still other fools. The longer they held onto the BreX hot potato, the more money they made, until someone let the cat out of the bag. Those left holding stock lost a lot of money. The world lost time, attention, and funding for real growth. Similarly, the dotcom situation was an exercise in mass deception. Those who got out before the bust did well. The majority of these were seasoned financiers who understood the insanity of the situation. Those who didn't lost their shirts. How different are pyramid schemes than the aforementioned?
The shepherds of the 20th Century may not understand globalization and the new media society, but when they smelt wealth, the sheep couldn't help from following them. Just behind the sheep were the thousands upon thousands of people who lost savings because of the losses incurred by experts who also control mutual funds and blue chip stocks. The chances of the last minute investors getting anything but table scraps weren't good, yet the experts chose to play the game out. The wise ones were those who chose not to get in line at all, yet even they lost.
What we must consider are the similarities and the differences between speculative value and inherent value. Both options have the potential to quantum when exposed to demand, however the visual substance and multi-dimensional usefulness of art are inherently valuable. Art includes speculation, yet goes beyond it. Art appeals to the herd instinct thereby creating demand, yet demands a personal hands-on discovery of humanity's history in the making in order to appreciate and navigate it. Art has a rock-solid place in 21st Century economics.
When we speak of the modern day myths that plague the Indian (myth#1- Natives have been called Indians since Columbus thought he landed in India), we must first consider the social prejudice that Natives collectively face before we can consider individuals. The misconceptions that abound are as likely to snare Natives in illusionary perceptions as non-natives.
It is interesting to note that a similar attitude is true in the art world. Modern day myths and preconceptions about art still make it a cozy sanctuary of the wealthy elite. Today's Art world is inaccessible to most, yet it is now affordable to all. Must one be wealthy to understand and value art? Of course not, yet the myths that have plagued artists and visionaries throughout recorded history continue to the present day. Today collectors or dabblers in art collectibles enjoy unprecedented access to wonderful collections. Information and a resale market are only a key stroke away.
Another problem myth that surrounds art and artists is this idea of a lucrative death. This idea continues to shroud the still higher value of having great creators in our midst for as long as possible. The artistic death myth is truly an outdated idea as it finds its basis in the era of the localized market. In the past, the extensivity of an art collection would only be confirmed with the finality of the artist's death. Today, limited edition prints alone can have great value to collectors. Moreover, printing increases the collectibility of the original painting, thereby lifting its marketability and valuation.
The uses and applications of a work of art are virtually limitless from a cultural or commercial perspective in today's world. The second aspect of this death myth revolves around the misconception that a living artist can taint the present value of the existing supply of his work with some insane initiative, statement or project. In today's world, anything that draws attention to an artist would probably increase demand, and with that, the value of the existing collection. When Salvador Dali threw a brick through Macey's department store in New York to get attention, it brought him instant fame in North America. This further increased his fame in Europe, and therefore the overall demand for his work. His prices rose dramatically.
Emergence into larger markets achieves the same result as the death of an artist in a smaller market. The myth of the death of an artist and its lucrative value to the collector persists, and will continue to persist, because there is a tenuous basis in reality. Still, imagine how much your collection would be worth if the artists who created your paintings lived to a ripe old age and continued to grow in fame like Picasso and Dali.
In a global market, with information and images at your fingertips, you can learn all you need to know about the art you are interested in, and then do what even the experts do in secret. Buy what you like. Figure out why later! The myths that surround art, natives and a hundred other established inadequacies of civilized humanity, need only be exposed alongside alternatives to become history.