The Investment Guide to STIK

STIK print market investments STIK Print Market Investments © MyArtBroker 2024
Helena Poole

Helena Poole, Acquisitions Specialist[email protected]

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Renowned for his six-line stick figures, STIK effortlessly merges simplicity with profound social commentary. His artistry, rooted in the theme of community, has propelled him from street corners to prestigious galleries and auction houses worldwide. STIK's print market shows promising growth, presenting appealing entry points for art investors seeking diversification. With solid investment potential and the allure of his distinctive style, STIK's prints offer a compelling opportunity for collectors seeking both artistic appreciation and financial reward.

In this investment report, we examine STIK's print market performance spanning the past seven years. Leveraging auction and sales data from our dedicated database focused on prints and editions, our objective is to provide valuable insights to help you determine whether investing in STIK is a wise decision for 2024.

STIK Seven Year Print Market Performance

STIK Sales Value And Lots Sold 2017 - 2023 by MyArtBroker 2024STIK Sales Value And Lots Sold 2017 - 2023 © MyArtBroker 2024

Is Buying A STIK Print A Good Investment?

STIK began street painting shortly after the 2000’s. Analysing STIK's print market performance over the past seven years reveals an overall growth trend in both sales value and lots sold, albeit with some fluctuations. 2017 and 2018 witnessed a surge in print works entering the market, surpassing demand. However, 2019 marked the first year of significant growth, with the sales value exceeding £383,000 (hammer), reflecting a fivefold increase from the previous year.

In 2020, STIK's market experienced a contraction, with sales value dropping by nearly 50% despite a consistent number of lots sold. This decline may be attributed to the broader market downturn due to COVID-19 restrictions and the art market's adaptation to new sales structures.

Additionally, the theft of STIK prints that year, pilfered and subsequently sold online, initially intended for release as 100,000 prints of his Holding Hands figures to Hackney residents, further undermined market confidence.

However, this setback proved temporary as STIK's impact endured, leading to a strong revival in his print market the following year. Sales value surged by 3.3 times, and lots sold increased by 1.8 times, setting a new record for the artist. Despite a slight contraction in 2022, STIK's market still surpassed 2020 levels by 2.5 times, demonstrating resilience and investor confidence in his prints.

STIK 2023 Print Market Performance

STIK Print Market Values 2023 by MyArtBroker 2024STIK Print Market Values 2023 © MyArtBroker 2024

What Happened In STIK's Print Market Performance In 2023?

In 2023, STIK's print market experienced commendable growth, with a 19% increase in sales value compared to the previous year, coupled with a 13% rise in lots sold, setting a new record. This surge propelled the average selling price (ASP) to £5,756. The standout performer of the year was the Onbu (set of four), which achieved £81,900 including fees, cementing its status as one of STIK’s most coveted prints in 2023, offering potential value appreciation for investors into 2024.

STIK Average Selling Price

STIK Average Selling Price 2017 - 2023 by MyArtBroker 2024STIK Average Selling Price 2017 - 2023 © MyArtBroker 2024

STIK’s print market performance reflects significant value growth from 2017 to 2019, followed by consistent yet elevated performance in print values. The peak was reached in 2019, marked by a 5.6% surge in the ASP. Despite some moderation thereafter, the value of STIK’s prints has remained commendable. In 2020, despite a dip in the ASP to £4,444 from the previous year, this value still remained notably higher than in 2017 and 2018, indicating potential stabilisation or normalisation of prices post-2019 surge.

In 2021, ASP experienced a significant uptick to £7,986, signalling renewed demand for higher-priced prints, likely driven by increased artist recognition or coveted releases. However, both 2022 and 2023 saw a slight decline in ASP, possibly reflecting adjustments in pricing strategies in line with market conditions or shifts in market preferences.

STIK's Most Popular Print Series

STIK Trending Print Series: Sales Value x Lots Sold In 2023 by MyArtBroker 2024STIK Trending Print Series: Sales Value x Lots Sold In 2023 © MyArtBroker 2024

STIK Trending Print Series In 2023

Standout Performers: Liberty And Onbu Series

STIK's Liberty series emerges as a standout performer in terms of sales value, initially introduced in 2013 in conjunction with his renowned Liberty mural in New York City. Available in a standard edition, comparing four colourways, and the deluxe set, including a rare yellow colourway, which achieved a record price of £200,000 (with fees) in 2019. Over the past seven years, individual prints from various colourways have commanded an ASP of £21,572 (hammer). In 2023, five individual Liberty prints were auctioned. Liberty (red) was the highest-selling fetching £35,280 (with fees) in January.

Similarly, the Onbu series, characterised by its rarity and unique inspiration from traditional Japanese 'ukiyo-e' woodcut printing, stands apart with its subdued colour palette, a departure from STIK's usual vibrant backgrounds. This distinctive series remains highly sought-after, with a complete set achieving a record price of £81,900 (with fees) in 2023. The highest-selling individual print, Onbu (green), was also achieved in 2023 realising £20,000 (with fees), its second sale since entering the market in 2021.

Market Activity: Holding Hands And Standing Figure Series

The Holding Hands and Standing Figure series remain slightly less lucrative in terms of sales value, yet maintain increase volume and availability on the market. The Holding Hands prints, inspired by a charitable sculpture funded by STIK during the Covid-19 pandemic, witnessed significant market activity in 2023, with 39 auction sales, including 16 complete sets. A record price for an individual work from this series was achieved in 2023, with Holding Hands (orange) realising £4,160 (with fees) at Rosebery’s.

The Standing Figure series, available in four primary colourways, and supplemented with other colour variants in rare printed editions, gained prominence after being released in a 2015 coffee table book. This series saw sales across various colourways 22 times in 2023. A rare printer’s proof, Standing Figure (mint green) (PP), set a new record for the print, achieving £37,800 at Christie’s.

Potential For Value Appreciation: Sleeping Baby, Walk, Hip And the Big Issue

STIK's other print series, including Sleeping Baby, Walk, Hip, and The Big Issue, maintain commendable sales value for individual prints but were less common on the market in 2023. The Sleeping Baby series, dedicated to the UK's NHS, symbolises various social movements and fundraising initiatives since its 2015 release. Despite its rarity, Sleeping Baby (yellow) emerged as one of STIK’s highest-selling prints in 2023, realising £32,760 with fees, demonstrating impressive value appreciation since its debut in 2016. Walk, appearing twice in 2023 in teal and blue colorways, also showed rarity, with an average selling price (ASP) of £19,020.

Hip, although previously available extensively, became rarer in 2023, selling only three times. The Big Issue prints, a unique collaboration with The Big Issue magazine in 2013, have also become increasingly rare, with only two sales in 2023. With the scarcity of STIK’s prints and their affordable price points, these series exemplify the potential for value appreciation over a holding period as STIK’s print market continues to mature.

Buying With MyArtBroker’s Live Trading Floor

STIK Live Trading Floor by MyArtBroker 2024STIK Live Trading Floor © MyArtBroker 2024

The Most In-Demand STIK Prints Within Our Network

The demand for STIK works on our live trading floor typically mirrors trends seen in public sales, encompassing both dual and single figure prints. Currently, Liberty (orange) stands out as particularly coveted, valued between £17,000 and £25,000 according to our AI-driven valuation tool. This print, which fetched £19,200 (with fees) in March 2023, ranks among STIK's top sellers for the year. Other works, including Standing Figure (yellow), Hip (blue), and The Big Issue (orange) are also in demand, with Hip and Standing Figure boasting higher market volume and relatively affordable price points ranging from £900 to £1,500. Dancer (red), a single figure print, holds slightly higher value due to its rarity, having disappeared from the market since 2018, resurfacing in September 2023 and realising £13,200 (with fees).

Standing out among the sought-after dual figure prints on our trading floor is Single Mum (brown), prized for its evocation of STIK’s renowned mural, Big Mother, crafted in 2011 on a council building amidst the construction of private luxury apartments. Illustrating a mother standing with a baby on her hip, this print was issued in various colourways as part of a limited edition of 50, initially priced at £75.00. The brown iteration exists as a rare Artist Proof (AP), with only 3 editions made. Its scarcity was underscored by its first appearance at auction in 2023, where it fetched £16,956 (with fees). The Onbu prints are also in-demand continuing to attract interest in various colourways.

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Comparative Urban Artist Market Performance

Stik
Banksy
Invader

The STIK, Banksy & Invader Print Market

Comparing STIK's print market performance with that of Banksy highlights significant differences reflective of their respective positions within the art world. While Banksy, renowned for provocative and politically charged urban art, commands a substantially higher market value and enjoys broader global recognition, STIK's market presence is notable in its own right.

Although STIK's print market does not reach the same value as Banksy's, its performance, along with other urban artists like Invader, exhibits close similarities. Urban artists benefit from their ability to reach a broad international audience and gain recognition through public art, which subsequently translates into the secondary art market. This makes them an attractive option for both art enthusiasts and investors seeking opportunities in the art market.

For further in-depth market insights on blue chip urban artists read our Banksy Art Investment Guide for 2024.


STIK Print Market Price Distribution

STIK Price Distribution By Lots Sold by MyArtBroker 2024STIK Price Distribution By Lots Sold © MyArtBroker 2024

Where To Start When Looking To Buy A STIK Print?

Instead of a concentration of top-selling lots at higher values, STIK's print market demonstrates a relatively even price distribution. In STIK’s 2023 market, the smallest segment comprises works priced above £30,000, accounting for only 1% of lots sold, exemplified by a single work, Onbu (set of four), which fetched £81,900 with fees. A more substantial portion, 10%, falls within the £15,001 - £30,000 range, featuring Liberty prints, Sleeping Baby (yellow), individual prints belonging to Onbu, and Single Mum (yellow).

Sixteen percent of STIK’s 2023 market consists of works priced above £5,000 and up to £15,000. Sleeping Baby (NHS Blue) and Single Mum (brown) are among the pieces sold in this bracket, representing rarer colourways that fetched lower price points compared to regular editioned prints. Works like Dancer (red), Dive (red), Hip (set of four), and Holding Hands (complete set) also contribute to this lower price bracket, accommodating various collectors with different investment budgets.

A significant portion, 25%, of STIK’s works can be acquired above £1,000 and up to £5,000. This category includes individual prints and complete sets of Standing Figure. Despite being iconic to STIK’s inspiration, these prints are more accessible in terms of price, perhaps indicating a preference for more celebratory and communal figures among collectors.

Earlier prints like Deep (teal), depicting a lone figure, have seen moderate popularity in the market. Although Deep prints have sold for higher price points outside this bracket, the average value in 2023 suggests a strategic opportunity for collectors seeking to include formative works into their portfolio.


“I painted figures in the street to describe how I felt at the time, and people started to identify with them so I found this little niche.”
STIK

STIK Print Works Below £1,000

In 2023, a significant 47% of STIK's market consists of works priced at £1,000 and below, appealing to a broader range of collectors seeking accessibility and affordability. Despite their lower prices, these prints retain the distinctive style and emotional resonance characteristic of STIK's work, serving as an appealing entry point and portfolio diversification strategy. Among these works, individual prints and complete sets of Holding Hands were available on the market in 2023. Standing Figure prints and The Big Issue prints are also obtainable for under £1,000.

When considering buying or selling, MyArtBroker emphasises in all our investment guides, that acquiring the right print at the right price is made more manageable with guidance from advisors well-versed in market dynamics, including saturation levels and fluctuations in supply and demand.


The Most In-Demand STIK Prints From Investors

STIK’s Single Stick Figure

STIK prints can be broadly categorised into two distinct groups based on single and dual figures. The lone stick figure stands out as STIK’s most renowned motif, depicted in both solitary and celebratory states. In 2023, prints like Hip exude playful sass, while Liberty symbolises universal freedom and advocacy with its raised arm, and Dancer and Diva celebrate with flair. Sleeping Baby also features a solitary figure, evoking innocence and childlike purity. In 2023, the prints and figures exuding a more optimistic aura were the most sought-after among collectors.

Solo figures like Standing Figure mark the genesis of the artist's career, reflecting STIK’s personal battles with homelessness. Other prints of individual figures, including Walk, The Big Issue, and Deep, also explore themes of vulnerability, isolation, and solitude, and although still coveted, collector preference leans towards celebratory depictions.

STIK’s Double Stick Figures

STIK’s prints featuring two stick figures continue to draw significant interest from art investors, with the Japanese woodblock-inspired Onbu emerging as a standout favorite in 2023. The prints in green and blue sold in 2023, and anticipation surrounds the potential release of the remaining two colours, which are expected to attract attention and drive demand given their rarity and appeal. Single Mum, capturing the essence of STIK’s renowned mural Big Mother, experienced heightened demand in 2023 as well, along with Holding Hands, inspired by a public sculptural mural. Additionally, Lovers, a double-figure print that was absent from the 2023 auction circuit, holds promise for increased demand in 2024 due to its tender embrace and scarcity in the market.



STIK's collaborations with various organisations infuse his prints with deeper layers of significance, making them not only socially meaningful but also appealing to a wider audience and enhancing their market liquidity.

Liquidity In STIK’s Print Market

In STIK's market, liquidity is primarily driven by factors such as the artist's growing reputation, the scarcity of specific prints, and sustained demand from collectors. One distinctive aspect of STIK’s market strategy is his method of releasing works. For instance, STIK produced 100,000 copies of Holding Hands prints and distributed them to Hackney residents via mail. Despite challenges such as theft, which temporarily impacted their value, these prints maintained significant market presence in 2023, boasting high sales volume. Similarly, The Big Issue prints were part of a charitable initiative in collaboration with The Big Issue magazine, where a free print was offered to purchasers of the limited edition magazine. Although these prints sold at lower price points compared to others in 2023, the distribution method is likely to result in increased volume and recognition of the charitable endeavour, extending beyond traditional gallery and auction house channels. Ultimately, this contributes to the liquidity of the secondary market, ensuring a steady influx of prints. STIK's collaborations with various organisations infuse his prints with deeper layers of significance, making them not only socially meaningful but also appealing to a wider audience and enhancing their market liquidity.


STIK Lots Sold By Location In 2023 by MyArtBroker 2024STIK Lots Sold By Location In 2023 © MyArtBroker 2024

Recent Market Performance And Current Opportunities:

STIK's print market is primarily rooted in his home country, with 93% sales occurring in the United Kingdom. His involvement in numerous public projects in London, including collaborations with organisations like the NHS, British Nuclear Test Veterans, and grassroots initiatives, underscores his local impact. Extending beyond London, STIK's collaborations span diverse platforms such as the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, PRIDE in London, and the Southbank Centre. Additionally, his initiatives like the 'Dulwich Outdoor Gallery,' 'My Mural,' and the 'Hackney Sculpture Project' empower emerging artists through his funding. Despite the market's relative novelty, STIK's international influence is growing, evident in his recent public works in major urban centres like New York, Tokyo, and the Middle East.

What Makes a STIK Print Desirable?

STIK prints hold immense appeal for collectors by encapsulating the essence of his monumental public sculptures, offering collectors the opportunity to bring the spirit of his large-scale installations into their living spaces. Each print is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, guaranteeing its value and legitimacy. STIK's minimalist yet evocative portrayal of the human form strikes a chord with viewers, eliciting a sense of universal resonance. These combined attributes contribute to the widespread desirability of STIK prints among collectors and art enthusiasts alike.


STIK TOP SELLING PRINTS

STIK Most Investable Print Works

1.

Onbu (set of four)

In 2013, the collaborative project Onbu emerged from the partnership between the artist and Tokyo's Adachi Institute, showcasing traditional Japanese pigments in subdued tones unlike the bold colours seen in other prints. "Onbu," also known as "Piggyback," draws inspiration from Hiroshige’s "The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road," depicting a figure giving a piggyback at a crossing on the Seto River. Printed in four colour variants – Blue, Grey, Green, and Pink – the complete set made its auction debut at Christie's online sale in 2022, fetching £88,200 (with fees). The complete set reemerged in 2023 and achieved nearly the same price, selling for £81,900 with fees, also at Christie's and ranks as STIK's top selling print for 2023.

Standing Figure (mint green) (PP) by STIK - MyArtBroker Standing Figure (mint green) (PP) © STIK 2015
2.

Standing Figure (mint green) (PP)

Standing Figure (mint green), a deluxe edition numbered 2/4 Printers Proof (PP), was originally slated for release alongside the artist’s 2015 monograph "STIK." However, delays led to its screenprinted version not being completed in time for the launch, resulting in the artist destroying the edition. Consequently, surviving impressions are exceedingly rare adding to its demand and value. This print has only been offered on the market once and fetched £37,800 with fees at Christie's, marking STIK's second highest selling print in 2023.

3.

Liberty (red)

Liberty (red) stands as another striking example of STIK's lone figure prints. Originally released in 2013, this edition of 25 prints draws inspiration from the street mural created by the artist in New York City. Available in white, red, and black colourways, Liberty (red) mirrors the iconic pose of the Statue of Liberty, its lone arm extended in a gesture of freedom and strength. This work sold realised £35,280 (with fees) at Christie's in March and ranks among one of STIK'S most investable prints.

4.

Sleeping Baby (yellow)

Sleeping Baby (yellow) was part of a fundraising initiative for Homerton Hospital in Hackney, released alongside a mural. The series portrays Stik’s stickman figure lying on its side with closed eyes, symbolising vulnerability and rest, while also advocating for the NHS. Originally, 25 prints in NHS blue, red, silver, and yellow were sold to support the hospital during the mural unveiling, with buyers camping overnight for the opportunity to purchase. A rare find in the market, Sleeping Baby (yellow) has only been available twice, first in 2016 and again in 2023, fetching £32,760 in the latter year, marking a 4.3-fold increase in sales value.

5.

Liberty (yellow)

The regular edition of this print is available in blue, orange, green, red, silver, and nude colourways. However, five rare Artist Proofs (AP) are printed in a vibrant yellow colorway, adding a unique touch to the collection. While the immediate association with the Statue of Liberty is evident, there's also a deeper connection to Tompkins Square, where the mural was painted, known for its history of civil disobedience and community tensions. Stik's mural, featuring a seemingly fragile yet towering figure overlooking the streets, pays homage to this significant past. This artwork epitomises STIK's commitment to community and solidarity and achieved a sale price of £27,720 (with fees) at Christie's in March.

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