A young artist asked me if there was any kind of transaction that was a positive experience for both artist and collector… and there are a few.
Unfortunately the old -fashioned community art festivals have all but disappeared, but they were great venues to meet with your patrons and enjoy direct and exciting exchange between the art makers and the art buyers. But the fact is they have faded into the past because sales became weak as American lifestyles and priorities have changed. It was a big effort to arrange and produce such events, and the enthusiasm around the art shows went the way of the profits made having them.
Living in a small town, I have enjoyed great rewards by the interaction between myself and my local collectors, and to some degree the general public, who seem to appreciate the public art I have done. It was a long time coming.. but ever more appreciated by me. A few days ago one of my out-of-state collectors blew through town and hunted me down and purchased a painting at my hometown gallery… everybody gets a bang out of that.
And this brings me to something I have never had personally but always thought was the most desirable- to live in an art town such as Santa Fe where those kinds of exchanges can happen every week. And that is why so many artists move to such places. The down side is they are often situated in high-end Real Estate areas and require a very high cost of living… Right now lots of artists are giving up on such idealistic arrangements and seeking affordable lifestyles instead…
Art is nothing if it s not hope. It is often an escape from stress and the pressures of the world. It stimulates hope and optimism and creativity, in an envelope of euphoria. And folks who appreciate or are attracted to art and artists tend to be wealthy, slightly narcissistic, kind of flighty and sometimes get carried away in everyday conversations. That is the fun and the burden of such company. 90% of conversations are just stream of conscious wishing out loud. Brainstorms. Artists must condition themselves to enjoy the banter, while keeping their own feet on solid ground.
And these days while shoppers are getting scarce, don’t get discouraged by meaningless discussion. It’s part of the business. And eventually, if you maintain your positive spirit, some of it will bear fruit.