In the history of art, specifically the mid-sixteenth century, artists had a different place in the community than they do today. For sure they still had to rely on their abilities and performance of duties as today but it was an assumption that they would join with a ruler or patron in the same spirit as a secretary or chaplain would join the wealthy's household. It was part of a noble's obligations and responsibility to provide for the artist. The powerful patrons would give financial aid, commissions, introductions, surroundings and supplies. •
This week for The 10 Steps of an Emerging Art Collector we are going to explore a new form of patronage -
Adopt an Artist
Though there are still patrons in the old sense of the word we are going to look at it with a new view. You have looked through much art, subscribed to an art magazine, bookmarked some websites and have picked one or two genres to focus on. You have come across many artists. Now is the time to -
1 Pick An Artist
Out of the many online galleries and artist's websites you have visited pick one artist that you particularly enjoy. If you have a local artist that you would like to support this would also work. Or maybe there is an emerging artist that you know that you could give aid to. The intent is to practice patronage either virtually or locally.
2 Research the Artist
Read the information the artist has on their website - bio, resume, awards, work experiences, artist statement, publications, collections, galleries, who they studied with, organizations they're members of - to become more familiar with the artist and their outlook. You want to make sure it's a match that you can maintain long term.
3 Subscribe to the Artist
Sign up for notification on their website. They may also have a blog that gives up to date information that you can subscribe to. Watch how their work progresses. Make comments on their blog and develop a supportive relationship with them.
4 Introduce the Artist
Introduce "your" artist to other's. Send their link along in an email to have friends view the artist's work and maybe subscribe to the site as well. Also, send their link along to those who you think might be interested in purchasing some of their work.
5 Interact with the Artist
Some artists get involved in other projects or charities. See how the artist asks for help and get involved. If the artist is local you could arrange an Art Speak Event. Invite the artist to come speak to a group of interested art lovers about their art or anything art related.
6 Record Artist in Art Journal
Don't forget to use your art journal to record what you find interesting about this artist's personality and paintings and how you'd like to patronage them. What makes this artist unique to you. Also, look to see if the artist has a self portrait. Study it for inspiration then do a self portrait in your book.
Date Night Idea: Since we're talking about the uniqueness of the individual how about an evening out at a local outdoor cafe, taking your sketchbook(s) and doing portraits of each other. Here is a website Poets and Artists Self Portrait Issue for inspiration.