If you have ever wondered how you can help the artist in your life (or any other artist) succeed, here are a few things. Chances are you may be doing some of these things already but maybe I will be able to put something new in the mix.
.Attend their art shows/Exhibition openings. We would all like you to attend our art show openings. This is where the art is presented and you get to speak one on one with the artists about the pieces. It can also be an impactful event because the opening is often indicative of how successful the overall show will be. If you cannot attend the opening, attend the show and let the artist know. He or she will appreciate it.
If you are ever going to purchase a gift for an artist, buy them art supplies. If buying art supplies is not your forte, ask the artists what to get. They will be happy and grateful to tell you. Art can be a very expensive venture; your gift will not go to waste.
Purchase a piece of art. It enhances the aesthetics of your space, spare your eyes from a blank wall and lift your spirits. In addition, the work you bought may increase in value. Who knows, in the future you may be able to make a profit from it. If you can’t afford the original, buy a print. Or commission the artist to do a piece for you that is within your budget.
Spread the word about the artist work within your circle, in person or on social media. There is nothing like word of mouth marketing. A positive endorsement from someone else goes a long way in influencing prospective art buyers and collectors. The endorsement may also open up other opportunities for the artists.
Show support on social media and by liking the work and following the artist. More than just clicking like and moving on, make a comment about the work. This shows that you really looked at the work and appreciate the value it brings to the world or just your community. Your comments may assist the artist with future projects in terms of giving people more of what they like and less of what they don’t.
I usually explain my artworks to interested people by telling them my thoughts and intentions when I was creating the pieces. I tend not to definitively state that this is what it is because I want room for other views. My works for the most part have been described as contemplative and interpretive. In light of this, the work is really left up to the viewer’s interpretation and that is how I like it.
I meet many people everyday who used to do some form of art. And they usually ask me how I keep doing art because for whatever reason they did not continue. I guess that they are really asking me about dedication, time or passion. And I guess that they assume that art, for me, is a choice.
It is not a choice. It is a calling. Art is constantly calling me to make something. It insistently wakes me up at nights, interrupts my days, and holds my mind and soul hostage with ideas that it wants me to translate to canvas. If there are other artist reading this, I know that they understand what I mean. They have experienced the constant gnawing, yearning, and need to create.
It is a kind of bitter sweet pursuit. There is the fulfillment of creation – bringing an idea from conception to fruition. But art is not food, at least not in the common sense. People need to eat, sleep and have a roof over their heads but they do not need art. If people do not have a piece of art, they will not die, again not in the normal sense. But what a drab, bland and utterly colourless existence people would have without it in their spaces and lives.
So while I am aware that it is difficult to succeed as an artist, it has no bearing on why I create. Creation for me is a means of survival. If I do not do it, I will die. If I do not give in to the urge, I will go mad. Paradoxically, I might go mad giving in to the urge but that is another story. My only point now is that making art is not a choice, when art chooses me.
People say things to me all the time like, you know you may not make any money from art until you are dead or you know there are few artists who make any money from art. I smile and nod. Noted. I don’t argue. There is some amount of truth to what they say and some amount of falsehood too. There are many living artists who are making a great living and there are many great artists who are not. But I don’t argue because I will have to explain that art is not a choice. Art chooses me.