Collectables from my favorite fandoms are easy. Do I like it? Can I afford it? Decision made. Putting fictional worlds into tangible form brings my escapist fantasies closer to reality, on top of looking cool. Collecting objects purely for their decorative properties—and perhaps for some sentimental value, depending on the circumstances—is another matter entirely. Art is often an investment. Can I justify spending boo-hah bucks on a painting that fills a space on the wall that could otherwise be covered with a cheap-but-awesome poster? Art is often impractical. I can always pick up my model spaceships and fly them around the house if I want to give them a more practical function as playthings (I'm grown-up enough to admit I still do this sometimes), but swinging around a statue of The Thinker can only end in calamity, if we've learned anything from Phoenix Wright. If all I'm going to do is look at the thing, it's gotta be visually interesting to the point where I can justify paying money to have it in my house and taking up space for the rest of my life.
Suddenly I'm wondering if marriage was the best comparison to use here.
All I'm getting at is that collecting art is, to me, not something I do without careful consideration. I've since turned my attention elsewhere from some of my earlier favorite fandoms, but if you gave me an Inspector Gadget action figure or a Fraggle Rock poster, I'd gladly put them on display—remembering the times when those were big influences makes me happy, and I never really stopped being a fan. I don't know that I'd say the same about some of the more traditional art I've considered over the years; tastes change, and I would be doing myself a disservice to commit to bringing such an investment into my life strictly because I think it's pretty at this particular moment. If I'm going to be serious about collecting art, I want the object of my interest to fascinate me, transform a room by its presence, start compelling conversations, be a suitable companion no matter where my life may lead me, and look nice. But that last part's just a bonus.
Suddenly I think marriage might've been the right comparison after all.