So you’re an adult now, maybe newly graduated and ready to do grown up things. College has given you an appreciation for art and you’d love to start collecting. But you’re low man on the totem pole at work, still paying off student loans, and possibly even back living at home. Hardly the ideal time to begin fancying yourself an art collector! However, there are ways you can support your favorite artists and the arts at large without spending a dime.
1. Open studios, art walks & gallery openings
Yes, ideally, artists and galleries would love to have you buying work at these events. However, even if you can’t make a purchase, simply attending and encouraging friends to attend helps keep artists and gallery owners motivated and encouraged.
You also may be able to meet artists and chat with them face to face, which can help foster understanding and appreciation of their work for you and an awareness of how potential collectors relate to their work for the artists.
2. Share the love through social media
Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter you’re on these days, most artists are on social media too! Follow your favorites and make a point of sharing their work with your own friends and followers. You never know who among your network might be compelled to become a collector, even if you are currently unable to do so.
3. Read and comment on their blogs
Artists are, for the most part, solitary in their work. Toiling away in the studio, up to their eyeballs in paint, clay, or whatever their chosen medium. They need connection as much, possibly more, than anyone, and will often seek to share their experiences, victories, and trials through writing a blog.
If you’re a fan of an artist’s work, subscribe to their blog and get to know them through their words. Commenting let’s them know you’re reading and what they are writing is being taken in and having an effect. All it costs you is a tiny bit of time and bandwidth.
4. Offer your professional services
Are you a graphic designer? Accountant? Recent law school grad? Web designer? Artists often need help in all these areas, why not offer up your services? It could be a great way to network and hone your skills, some artists might just barter a bit of art in exchange.
5. Love their work? Tell them.
What’s the simplest and perhaps the most important way to support artists even when you’re broke? Tell them you love their work. Not just a simple “Your work is so great!” although that’s a start, express specifically what it is you love– the palette, their perspective, their style, and how their work affects you.
Artists tend to work as solitary creatures, sometimes feeling as if they create in a vacuum, alone in their studio, knowing only how their work has an effect on themselves. A thoughtful, heartfelt note to your favorite artist expressing how their work makes you feel will be a priceless gift of support.
Looking for artists to love? Check out the Artsy Forager blog where I share all my favorite artistic finds!