Wednesday, 10 February 2016


Framed Original
Acrylic  on Strathmore Windpower
6" x 8" framed to 8" x 10"

As artists we often get compliments from people who don't intend purchasing art but they tell you how "lovely your work is" or some such phrase. We get so used to this that we tend to brush it off when a relative or friend says nice things about our creations. There is a tendency to think they feel they should say something nice and don't really mean it. But it is very important not to ignore the kind words.

In 2015 I sold several pieces to friends and family. I'm always a bit embarrassed by this, but I shouldn't be. Yes, I'm sure the purchases are because the buyers are in my inner circle, but what's wrong with that? I now have several friends that are building a collection of my work and many give small pieces as gifts and buy my art cards, which I'm sure they wouldn't do if they didn't truly enjoy what I do.

Likewise I received three commissions from a patron this year, who I contacted on another matter; she said she couldn't attend but did want to make an order. I also have a gallery owner who often buys small pieces from me for her collection.

All these instances lead me to believe that there is a largely untapped resource among an artists' family, friends and business associates. We have all heard of the importance of buyers getting to know you and learn about your process and we already have an existing relationship with those in our circle. It actually makes no sense to leave them out. You may be surprised how many people you know appreciate art and enjoy attending social functions.

So, the next time you have a studio or exhibition event, invite friends and family and your social contacts. This can be people you know through work, a club, church, committee or volunteer  work. Acquaintances are more likely to appreciate your work than strangers because your connection adds an extra dimension: They will love seeing your creative side. And don't be shy if they want to buy something, everyone needs cards and gifts, so they may as well buy them from you.