You love your artist friends but maybe their work is outside your budget (even with the fabulous layaway plans most artists offer) or maybe doesn't suit your decor or preferred art style. I'm not judging here; I've been in both situations personally.
As an artist, I would much rather someone buy my work because they love, love, love it... and not just because I'm a friend and there is a nebulous "should" associated with it. You should be surrounded by positive energy in your personal space. Seeing a 3'x4' guilt trip on your wall every day several times a day would be... well... really rather sad. It would also be a serious PITA to deal with over the course of 20+ years. No one wants that.
So, how can you support your friend in a way that feels authentic to yourself and doesn't even whisper to your bank account? How can you support your friend in a way that lets you attend art openings without the fear that you are going to be pressured into buying a painting?
Here are my top 10 favorites inspired by a similar list for musicians. Feel free to comment if you have others you'd like to share.
- "Likes" are good. "Comments" are better. "Shares" are king. If you are connected with us at all on social media, these things all put us just a little higher in relevancy and give us better chances of being seen by new people. Every little bit helps.
- Share our art with someone you think would really like it. Think of it as spreading joy. I'm quite comfortable referring folks on to my favorite artists if I think it's a better fit.
- Visit our shows and receptions, especially when we are just starting out and don't know anyone. How many of your artist friends are amazingly socially adept? Mmmmhmmm. You have no idea how much you are needed here. And, if we haven't seen you in a while, even better!
- Tag or hashtag us. Just more free seeding on the internet. Little crumbs here and there to add up over time...
- Blog about us or write about us. It's not about vanity. It's really about getting our images out into the wild as far as possible.
- Offer up your design/accounting/SEO services for trade or gratis. We would love to just be in the studio. Any help is appreciated.
- Help with setting up or sending out mailings for a show or event. Devils Canyon Brewery is a block away from the studio and I'm always happy to show my thanks in the form of a beer.
- If you've taken one of our free postcards, put it on the fridge to show off at dinner parties or mail it to someone for a treat. Then, let us know if you need more.
- Host a dinner party and invite your artist friend to come and show off a couple of pieces. Ok, maybe this is pushing the "free" label, but turn it into a potluck and have fun with it. You could start a trend.
- My favorite and probably the easiest thing to do is to give us that little skritch on the head when you see us. Let us know you think what we are doing is cool. Or let us know when we have inspired you or another to make something. I can't tell you how many times just such an occurrence has pulled me out of my artist funk and pushed me into the studio.
So, now you can help your artist friend out and joyfully visit them in their studio space without feeling like you "should" be buying something from them. Enjoy the moments and the good times with someone intent on doing what they love.
Have an idea of how to support an artist friend for free? Or have a question?
Please leave a comment.