Artist Collector Connection Notes
I’ve been thinking about how people relate to my art. Artist collector connections can be hard if you are a beginning artist. I can’t speak for other painters at all, but I know my collectors. A high percentage of my collectors purchase art from me because they know me or about me. They are interested in the same things I am, agriculture, nature, trees and the rural, undeveloped part of Florida. We might share recipes, have raised kids together or know each other through mutual acquaintances. Perhaps they have followed my career for some time through a friend or by subscribing to my newsletter or blog. I sometimes meet them at my painting residencies, at farms where I paint, even in my studio. I almost never meet them at grip and grin gallery openings. Many artists believe that if they go to all the gallery openings in town, with their business cards, they will find their collectors. Some artist may have success in that way, but I don’t.
How do you find your collectors? Look no further than your areas of interest. Do you like horses, dogs, animals? Go to those events, get to know veterinarians, grooming facility owners, fox hunters, etc. How about flowers? Garden stores, nurseries, garden clubs, flower shows, florists. Whatever you area of interest for painting, look for matching industries and events. Truth to tell, I’ve never depended on galleries or museums, art clubs for my livelihood. I have done museum shows, countless gallery shows and have a long resume, but that is not where I found my collectors.
Some artists only pay attention to their actual collectors. This is a mistake in my view. I have many followers who have not purchased my art. They are a very important part of my life. I feel a deep kinship with them, as they boost my confidence, they refer my work to friends, and they write notes and speak encouraging words to me. They are my cheerleaders just as much as my collectors are. They are one of the reasons I work so hard every day to improve and be a better person. Anyone who cares about me and my career is vitally important to me. A successful art career is not only about money. The people who follow me and stop in for a chat, enrich my life beyond measure.
My point is that our commonality of interest or friendship speaks to my collectors as well as my art. This has always been my way of selling art. My friends care about me and my mission to paint the best of Florida. In return, I care about them and their lives just as much. We have a partnership. All of the post cards, ads, and business cards in the world will not help me make a living without the work it takes to make personal friendships. Yes, PR is important, but not as important as the personal relationships I am lucky to have. Loyalty and care are priceless, and must be shared with kindness and interest in the people who support me. They make my vagabond life of adventure possible and I never take that for granted.
More musings for artists and collectors to come….