When the Deal is Done You Have Only Begun

Your relationship with a collector doesn’t end when the work is purchased.
It has just begun.

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9 thoughts on “When the Deal is Done You Have Only Begun”

  1. Scissortail Art Center

    I think the recent documentary “Herb & Dorothy” is a fantastic example of this. They pursued the artists they liked and built lifetime friendships with them.
    From my point of view as an aspiring collector, I’d like to hear from the artists I really like. I’d love to be getting newsletters from them via email a couple times a year (I don’t get any now). I do keep up with a couple of them via Facebook or Twitter, but others don’t communicate as I’d like. And, obviously, it’s in the best interest of the artist to keep up communication of some sort like this to keep their work in front of interested parties.

  2. I am not usually privy to the collector’s name as my Gallery handles the sales, but I would really love to hear from them and be able to invite them to other shows that I am doing, to here about how they respond to my work. I paint to communicate and would love to hear from collectors. If they were interested in buying another piece, I would always direct them back to the Gallery in which they found me.

  3. I have collectors that I have known for more than 35 years. Some even became lovers and wives. One never knows who will become a continuing part of your life. One long term old friend and supporter, her granddaughter just bought her first piece of original art from me. Of course she got a great price, but the point is that this one woman led to three generations of followers in one family. I had one man who wanted to buy 2 paintings on a monthly payment plan. When he paid the first pieces off, he said, “Why don’t I just keep making payments, I’ll just spend it on something stupid if I don’t give it to you.” Twenty six pieces and counting, he has an excellent collection of the things I do, and I have a great friend to go out to lunch with and share the vagaries of our lives.

  4. I adore my art collectors. I enjoy building relationships with them and savor our conversations. Several of my art collectors have shared personal stories which relate to the art I’ve created and it really makes a difference to hear them. I find that my art collectors also want for my art career to prosper and will share ideas and opportunities with me. I keep my art collectors up to date with both social network media and snail mail. I treat my art collectors to gifts. I have a secret group on facebook where I share news and images with them first, this is separate from my fan page.

  5. Kate Klingensmith

    Some of these comments have been incredibly inspiring!! When a woman bought a print of one of my paintings at an auction for a nonprofit, I threw in a couple of cards with the same image. She was delighted.

  6. Hmmm….good question. I think that the actual question is what IS a relationship. I would say that in it’s most desirable state, it’s a direct connection between two parties.
    As artists, we have intimate relationships with the work that we are creating. In many cases, the works become children to me and when I send them out into the world to have a life of their own, I want to hear back from them….know where they are going and continue to care for them. They aren’t a commodity to me.
    The trouble for me is similar to what Judith describes. Because I’ve been finding homes for my children through a foster home (the gallery)…I do not have a direct relationship with their new parents and caregivers. Personally, I find this very challenging. While I have no desire to facilitate the sale directly, I do want to have a relationship with the collector. I want to hear first hand what they love about the work, and why it moves them enough to choose it.
    While my relationship with the foster home/gallery is hopefully a good one, sometimes it can be very difficult and not at all what is desired. Most times, although serving a very necessary purpose in the scheme of it all, the gallery puts a wall between the artist and the collector thus effectively cutting off a relationship between the original creator of the work, the collector and the original work itself.
    In a perfect world, galleries would serve as an honourable facilitator of strong relationships between artists and their collectors. Finding a “adoption agency” like this…is like finding an angel.

  7. One way to stay in touch is to ask the collector to photograph the work in their home (or you can do it if circumstances allow). Then you have new material for your blog, and they are included in the process.

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