I'm an artist, but I'm as much an art lover as I am an artist. Which, at this stage in my career, is a bit of a problem. I'm always broke (relatively speaking) and can't afford to buy original art.
However, being an artist that participates in a number of shows every year, I've finally been graced with a wondrous little perk — other artists that also do these shows, and who's work I admire, are getting interested in my work and the door to trade has been unlocked.
I now have a standing invitation with several artists (who I consider friends) to trade when I find a painting or sculpture of theirs I'm interested in having. What a fabulous opportunity to build my own personal art collection! In fact, at my last two shows, I was approached by several artists interested in trading work. I'd have a number of new pieces to start my collection if it wasn't for the fact that most of my current inventory was unavailable for trade due to prior commitments. But, as I create more work over the coming months, I'll be keeping their offers firmly in mind.
Trade, as incredible as it sounds, is a BIG responsibility. I want to make sure I not only select art that I connect with emotionally, but I also want to be sure I get work that best reflects the artist's style and skill. Now I know how serious collectors feel.
Thanks to those artists who enjoy my work enough that they're interested in trading for it — it’s tremendously flattering. I'm really looking forward to starting my collection.