In all my over 20 years career as an Artist, I've always wondered what goes on in the minds of the collector. Looking at it from the Artist point of view, and the passion that ignites our creativity, we expect everyone to applaud or purchase our "great Art "without thinking.
What comes to our minds as artist when we work is not just the response our works receive from others but also our own perspective. We are our greatest champions, as well as critiques.
The expectations, hope and elation we feel when our work is praised and acknowledged pales in comparison, to when our work is rejected or dismissed.
Trust me I've been there! The feeling of disillusionment about one's creativity just by a 'snide comment' from a potential collector is an artist nightmare.
Jekyll and Hyde; Ink on paperboard; Miabo Enyadike.
Who is a Collector or Patron of the Art? Let me put it this way, so you understand the impact of the collector, in the life of the Artist'.
They waltz into your Art life and boom! you are made. These collectors have the power to influence your creativity in your community and beyond.
Their choice to buy our Art or commission us, is what makes our effort as creatives or professional Artists worth it.
Flower Arrangement; Ink on Textured paperboard; Miabo Enyadike
Collecting of Art works from the Artist, comes in different ways, they could be our friends,
"paying family members", colleagues,
Art galleries, the internet, art markets, art events you name it encouraging us to put our work and name out there.
Recently, I read a blog on how to start a
Fine- Art- Collection by 'Celine Rabago', a Fine Art consultant with Pacific galleries and Auction House, her advice to budding collectors, was:
And this is my reply to her blog from an Artist perspective..........
I wish that could be said about all collectors, then every Artist would be successful. The collectors come in several ways, and they can be described as the investment collectors, and the passionate or the supporting "The art Collectors".
The investment collector buys strictly, for investment purposes they don't have an emotional connection to the Artist. There emotions are tied to the financial benefits, of their investment and the narrative around the work of the Artist. And that's my opinion, don't get me wrong.
The second collector is passionate about Art, they visit every art anything and sincerely are fascinated about every Art, they come across.
Flowers; Ink on paperboard; Miabo Enyadike
They ask valid questions and somehow,and follow the story of the Artist.
These set of collectors, exhibit raw emotions and passion by just viewing a work of an unknown artist either through the Internet or live exhibition, without the presence of their "squad of advisers and know it all Art agents".
They are the ones that buy, for their true personal style and they collect what they love. They become your cheerleader, your unpaid sales man.
They talk about your work, with such passion to their friends, that some are convinced, to buy your Art.
They don't need anything from the artist, they are content to be part of your success story to be named the one who discovered your Art..
That is the Collector the Artist longs for and loves.
I had one such experience in my life as an artist, in one of my exhibitions in Lagos, Nigeria. I re-designed huge traditional clay pots, with plastic cord ropes and painted on them very bright colours, they were good to look at, different from anything I was familiar with.
The first day of the exhibition, didn't go too well. When asked to describe my inspiration and methods by some collectors, it was rough.
I heard comments like, my 10 year old can make this or is this not the rope used to make clotheslines to dry clothes? What has this got to do with art?
It was one snide comment after the other that by the third day, I excused myself from being present so the curator had to represent me.
However, the following day, after I had excused myself, I came back expecting the same comments, when the curator walked up to me and said there is a lady, waiting all morning to see you.
Jean Vase; Art by Miabo Enyadike
"She insists on seeing you in person" the Curator said. I asked why, a little apprehensive, but she beckoned to the familiar lady to come over, and made the introduction and that was it.
The look of appreciation in the eyes of this woman, said it all. She I recognised from the TV and the local tabloids because of her celebrity status in Lagos and well known place in the society.
To cut a long story short, the pots where what she loved and she wanted all, it didn't bother her if they had future value or not she was redecorating and these pots where it.
She went on and on about them, spoke to the gallery owner about them, made me wait to meet some of her friends she had told about the pots. The feeling of that moment changed my life completely.
The Gallery owner, went on and submitted my name to The Ford Foundation in Lagos. That year, alongside other artists. I was awarded a grant / award, by Ford Foundation through Terra Kulture a Nigerian Art Institute.
A group exhibition was held, to present our works, according to the exhibition press release, this was written about my pots;
"Though a painting-dominated show, the other genres such as sculpture and print also offered very competitive atmosphere. In Potters by Afam Okwudili and Miabo Enyadike pieces of vases were presentations of contemporary and native African décor arts."
My life took a new turn, and this informed my decision to pursue my art my way. I decided to further my studies in design, moving to Johannesburg to a design school that changed my entire perception, about Art.
I was emboldened, to create an Ebook of some of my new way of creativity, as my Art evolved titled "Art- the- way- I -See- It" in 2014.
Art The Way I See It
By Miabo Enyadike
All these events, have informed me to an extent who the collector is and how they think.
My thought, about the whole collecting Art
thing, is the Artist needs the collector and
so does the collector need the Artist.
Silhouette of a woman; Ink on paperboard; Miabo Enyadike.
For a new collector, the best place is the
Internet because there, it's just you and the
Art, the Artist information and all you need to
There present and past works are
accessible to you.
A new collector can acquire an Art piece
from an Artist anywhere in the world, without
going on any journey and the prices vary and
The decision to buy an Art piece for
investment or pleasure, lies in the collector.
hoping that it brings pleasure to my audience and
stir emotions in them, that bring about
collecting my Art..........Enjoy.