Creating Collectors of Your Art

This weekend I was at the Porcelain Convention in San Diego learning throwing and surface decoration techniques from 4 celebrated ceramic artists.  I took a lot of notes on tips and tricks and jotted reminders to try the new things I was learning.

Going to a conference this like gives you a creative boost and inspires you to get out of your own way, releasing judgments.  We, too often, forget that the creative process is supposed to be fun.

While the presenters were demonstrating the audience asked a wide range of questions.  After all, we all want to be where they are . . . established artists with a following in the ceramic art world.

Several were asked about their marketing and how they communicate with their customers.  Mind you, they had a captive audience inclined to purchase ceramics and only two of the four brought work to sell.  Of the two who brought work, one recognized this as an opportunity to collect names and addresses.  It was as simple as a sheet of paper passed around the room during the presentation.  The other had fantastic tear sheets (probably from a PR kit) with photos of her work and bio for the audience to pick up.

The other two completely missed the opportunity to get potential new collectors of their work.  One of these two was asked about how she tracks those who purchase her work and she responded that she didn’t.  What?  You don’t know who is buying your work?  I understand that maybe the gallery selling her work might not be obligated to share the information; however, if it is not in the contract – it needs to be.  And what about all of her customers from before she became a well-known ceramic artist?  Might they not be interested to know that she is now in some major galleries, giving her work a different “perceived” value?

When she mentioned that she didn’t track her customers, my friend leaned over and whispered, “you do that well.”  And she’s right, I do track my customers.  Although I am sure there is more I could do to maintain my loyal following; here are the steps I try to take each and every time.

  • Follow-up with a thank you note
  • Weekly updates on events/activities and my art via email
  • Regular snail mail of my upcoming shows
  • Regular updates on social media (Facebook & Twitter)
  • Coupons/discounts to my established customers
  • Gifts with purchase
  • New/different inventory on a regular basis

To create truly loyal customers of your art, you have to look beyond the initial sale and build a relationship that will keep them buying more from you in the future.  No matter what the setting, always try to find a way to get their name and address.  This information is precious, giving you the opportunity to turn them into collectors of your art.

© 2010 Heather C. Morrow.  All rights reserved

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Heather C. Morrow, owner of Pottery Daily, helps emerging artists express their true value and get paid what they are worth.  Her products and services show you how to make more money, save more time while enjoying the freedom in your art.  For your FREE audio go to

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