How to Talk to an Artist Part 1
So you want a beautiful, personalized piece of art. Maybe it is art jewelry, maybe a painting, pottery, sculpture, or other art. You want it to be unique, your own, and perhaps you need it to be affordable. Some of us are lucky enough to not have to worry about cost, but let’s face it–for most of us, cost is a huge consideration
So how do you convey that to an artist? If you are like me, speaking with an artist can be a bit intimidating. You have an idea of what you want–so you wonder, “can they make it?” “Will it be in a price range I can handle?” “What if the artist doesn’t really understand me, and s/he creates it, and I don’t like it?” “If the price quote is too high, I will feel embarrassed if I have to tell him/her that it is too expensive for me.”
These are all very good and very real questions and concerns. I can’t speak for all artists, but perhaps I can tell you how I feel about these questions and what works for me. I will tackle all of these questions and issues over the next several blogs, and I invite artisans and customers alike to comment and add to these thoughts.
So let’s tackle the first question. “I want _________ art. Can you make it?” When you approach me for art jewelry, I love it when you start with “I have always wanted….Can you make that?” As an artist, I will want to know many things about what you are thinking. I will often ask for a quick sketch or outline, so I know the shape, the concept, and proportions. I will ask if there is a color stone or jewel in mind. I would want to know what you would wear their jewelry for, or what wardrobe you want it to be paired with.
I want to know what color metal you want-_ silver, brass or copper, or maybe even gold…Then I want to know the price range you would want to pay for that piece. Do you want me to take artistic “license” with the piece, or do you have a very specific design. And if so, I need lots more detail. Most of my customers want me to take artistic license and that can be both fun and scary!
So this is how, as an artist, I see the first question. I don’t want anyone to ever feel
intimidated. I welcome questions and inquiries. And if it is something I cannot make, I will be the first to tell you that, and hopefully I could refer you to someone who can. Also, if your ideal piece cannot fit into your price range, there may be other alternatives to give you what you are looking for. It’s all about working together, and communication!
In the next blog, we will discuss price ranges, how this topic is so often uncomfortable, and perhaps explore strategies to make this a satisfactory discussion for both artist and customer. We will discuss how price can often seem like a barrier, and how this might be overcome…Until then–have a wonderful week!