This is a re-posting of an old article from 2005 – more relevant than ever….
For many of us, especially when we are establishing our art careers it’s tempting to want to appeal to every buyer who might have cash in their pockets or a healthy credit card limit. That might bring in some fast dollars but long term you really want to attract collectors who you can build a relationship with. What does that mean and how do you do it?
In my experience, the most important factor is very simple: BE YOURSELF! You might be tempted to project an image of how you think art buyers want to see you. This is a good plan with basic issues like dressing well and having a positive attitude. Beyond that though, if you pretend to be anything other than yourself, you’ll attract clients who relate to that “other you” you have created. Over time, you’ll get tired of acting out a role that isn’t you and this will really waste a lot of your precious artistic energy and leave you feeling quite confused.
Just being yourself you will attract clients who genuinely like the real you. You’ll enjoy working with them and very likely establish a long term business and artistic relationship. You still have to work hard – but you can work hard at being yourself!
On the same subject, in case you haven’t realized it yet, you and your art are inseparable – your art reflects much of who you are. Being yourself with clients can be very powerful because the focus and energy in your art are congruent with your beingness and personality. So, the collector can get a very clear image of you and your work – rather than one where the focus and underlying themes are moving in different directions.
Its like the old analogy of the horses pulling the chariot: If the horses are going in different directions the chariot goes nowhere. If, on the other hand the horses gallop in the same direction, the chariot moves effortlessly towards its goal.