Telling Our Story
I know I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again, I really love our bi-weekly artist’s gatherings with Seattle Art & Coffee. Friend and Arts Advocate Christy Tennant Krispin recently opened an art show of works from the Krispin Collection, the works that Christy and her husband Karl have in their private collection. At the opening event at Dubsea Coffee near West Seattle, she gave a talk about some of the how’s and why’s of their choices. It was wonderful.
We were so interested in this insightful relationship between collector and artist that we asked her to facilitate a discussion at one of our gatherings on the same subject. So off we all went early on a rainy, cold Friday morning to sit together and talk about their collection and the promptings which drew them to the works they’ve chosen.
Our Creative Stories
All throughout both occasions the idea of relationship and story kept showing up. Christy talked about her relationship with an artist and the story behind her finding that artist or that piece of work. She talked about their relationship with a given piece of art, how it speaks to them and why it’s now a part of their lives. A singular message rang out loud and clear; develop relationships with buyers and collectors by telling our story.
Each one of us, as artists, has a story. In fact we have many stories, as many as the works of art we create because as Gregory Wolfe says, “Faith and imagination reach out to explore the mysteries of heaven and earth and then return to the community with the symbols and stories that help us know who we are.” pg 60 / Beauty Will Save the World/ Gregory Wolfe. New stories are created with each journey into the making of a work of art.
To my mind, these are stories on three levels, 1 – the story of the artist’s own journey; 2 – the story which lead the buyer/collector to the work; 3 – the story found in the work itself. What I got from these discussions is a powerful reminder that my art, my life, and my relationships with others (buyers or not) centers around how well and often I tell my story.
Christy’s collection of artworks centers entirely around story, those of the artist, those of her journey to discovery and collecting the artworks, and the story the piece of art holds for she and her husband in their home.
Telling Our Story Well & Often
My “take-away”; tell my story often. Tell it clearly, and tell it to anyone who’s interested. Telling my story, my personal story, or how I came to make a work, or what I see in a finished piece of my work, all add up to building a relationship with anyone willing to encounter my work.
I’ve written about this before, that the one constant in my work is story. How often and how easily I forget that my relationship with people interested in my work is forged in a willingness to tell my story. By telling my story I attract those who are engaged, open, and interested in the work. It’s an invitation, not a seduction (selling/pushing).
COMMENTS: I’d love to hear from you!
What has been your experience, as either buyer/collector or artist, with this relationship?
Do you know your own creative story and can you share it well?
What experiences do you have in making a work; what’s the story there?