It can’t be stressed enough that the first and most important aspect of choosing any piece of art is that you love it. Art is a very personal thing, and what appeals to one person may not appeal to another. That being said, there are a few rules of thumb used by many collectors:
Full figure images are generally preferred, however, close-up facial images can be very expressive and very desirable.
Frontal images with eyes open are usually best, although sometimes side shots better depict action.
The larger the painted image the better. We work with the studios to select the largest and most desirable images possible for our inventory. We’ve heard stories of collectors buying pieces from less than reputable dealers and discovering that the painted image is much smaller than they expected because a zoomed-in scan was shown. We always scan and display the entire cel or drawing. When it comes to originals, size matters.
Cels and drawings depicting characteristic poses and expressions are very desirable. The perfect Bugs Bunny looks confident and composed; the ideal Daffy Duck looks a little flustered; villains are best when they look evil and powerful. Homer Simpson with a beer, a donut, or in a memorable setting or scene is generally going to sell more quickly than others.
As far as the choice of which character or characters to purchase, there are two very different ways of looking at it. Some believe that star characters are most desirable. These collectors focus on Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Winnie The Pooh, Fred Flintstone, Homer Simpson and other famous superstars. Their thinking is that these lead characters are the ones around whom the cartoons are built, and they are the most important.
Others prefer the unusual characters who appeared in very few films or episodes. Some of these lesser-known characters have developed a strong following, and their added rarity makes them a must-have item if and when one becomes available. Ultimately the choice comes down to which piece has the most appeal to you.
The bottom line is buy what you love and you’ll always cherish your artwork.