There are plenty of people who collect animation artifacts. I would be one of them if only I had the money (Bob Cowan does, however, because he’s retired. His collection is enormous in its breadth and scope and well worth a peek)
So if you can’t collect actual bits and bobs from animated films, what can you collect? Why original art of course!
The above is another piece in my [miniscule] collection. It’s by Richard Mullins who has done an entire series of similar pieces based on cartoon characters which he has titles Whatever Cartoons. The entire set is up on flickr and can be perused at your leisure.
The likes of deviantArt is stuffed to the gills with original art from people who may or may not have the necessary skills. However, there are plenty of professional and weekend artists who definitely do have the skills, in addition of course, to any animators out there who happen to dabble in art as a hobby on the side.
Animation in itself is art, so it should come as no surprise that animation lends itself so well to a wide variety of artistic styles. Indeed, Banksy is famous (infamous?) for using cartoon characters in his creations. In fact, Amid over at Cartoon Brew dedicated an entire post to the animated characters at MoCA’s “Art in the Streets” exhibition. That’s not to say that ‘street art’ is fine art, just that art can take make forms and that animation lends itself well to any of them.
There is literally tons of great animation art out there, so why not consider supporting an artist by buying some original pieces?
EDIT: I am aware that Cookie Monster isn’t animated, however the remainder of the set is, and I consider the Muppets to be practically animated characters for all intents and purposes anyway.