Do you know who welcomes your artwork into their home?
I was thinking about this tonight after exchanging emails with one of my collectors. Sometimes I wonder if people that sell in galleries know their buyers. Do they have any clue why someone wanted their painting? Where was that person from? Where will they hang it in their home? Maybe some artists don't care about these things, maybe the paycheck is all they need. But that's not good enough for me. Many of my collectors have become my friends. I guess I can say that, right? I remember when I first started selling I thought it would be so cool to keep a map, and place a pin on each location I sent a painting to.
I remember the thrill of discovering a lady in Tennessee, just an hour away from my hometown, was buying my art. We exchanged emails about the scenery, the weather, the differences from state to state. I remember the time a lady wrote me to say she was buying a painting for a friend whose husband had just passed away. She said the painting would hold so much meaning for her friend, like I created it for her without even knowing it. I think about the lovely lady from Istanbul that has purchased several pieces from me. Pieces for herself, a piece for her mother. She takes the time to tell me what my art means to her, how it has significance in her life. There's a lady in California, a collector from the beginning of my art journey, that I exchanged pictures with. She longed for snow & I for sunshine. So from opposite ends of the country we swapped weather. Oh, yes, and Kecia, who I first met through ebay when she snatched up a few of my paintings. We are now attending Artfest 2008 together! And now I have a dear collector, anticipating the arrival of her first little one. She's sweetening up the nursery with my art.
I like knowing these things. Is that so wrong? Sometimes I wonder if I should be all business and no play? Is all this friendly conversation professional? But, alas, I can't help myself. I've asked my husband what he thinks about all this...He says, I shouldn't pretend to be someone I'm not. If I want to chat with my collectors, and they want to chat with me, so be it. I think he's right, he usually is. (Did I just say that?)