How to Support an Artist without Spending a Dime

“Autumn Blessing” by Carrie Schmitt – click for info

This is a guest post by Carrie Schmitt.

As an artist, kindness and positive feedback have saved me when I’ve wanted to give up on my artistic journey, which for many of us are full of ups and downs. Not all artists are like me, but I know many personally that are. So this is our list of how important you are to our success.

Encourage us.
A kind word can motivate artists for weeks to keep creating. If you are attending an art event, talk to us. We love that!

Leaving a kind comment on a blog, Facebook, or other social media has the same inspiring effect on us.

Share our work.
Whether it is by word of mouth or through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), sharing artwork you love is a huge compliment and help to artists who are trying to get their work out there.

Have a blog? Write a review or invite the artist to do a guest blog post. Have a “Favorites” list? Include artists that inspire you.

Pick a few of your favorite artists and consider yourself a modern day patron dedicated to supporting their creative endeavors. It’s an act of community service! Everybody — individually and collectively — benefits from the arts in physical, psychological, and spiritual ways.

Create a wish list.
Ask for artwork for birthdays and other holidays. Let your friends and family know that you like to support artists, collect artwork, and value handmade and original items.

Tread lightly.
Focus on artwork that moves you rather than criticizing art that does not. This might sound like an obvious statement, but several of my artist friends have received negative and downright hurtful comments about their artistic ability on their blogs. Art is very personal to the artist and is often a reflection of our souls. It is an act of bravery to share your art — honor that.

Walk in our shoes.
You are one of us. You are creative by the very essence of being human. Create something. Notice how it makes you feel, how it affects your energy and mood.

There is part of our own personal story infused in each piece we create. Each piece can also represent hours of joy, frustration, questioning, confusion, and exhilaration. We are sharing a piece of our soul with you; there is emotion, hope, dreams, breakthroughs, realizations, and exhilaration in each piece we create.

Art is so much more than art. It is an internal human experience in visual form.

Art is a powerful and moving experience. Take the journey with us. Let’s create something beautiful together.

– – –
Carrie Schmitt is an artist and writer who believes in the transformative power of kindness and gratitude. Her paintings, created in her mountain farmhouse in Washington, are known for their color play and vibrant energy. Sometimes she can’t sleep at night because she is so excited to paint the next day. You can check out her website, and find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

18 thoughts on “How to Support an Artist without Spending a Dime

  1. Thanks Carrie for a wonderful post, and I agree fully! I’ve recently joined a studio, and even the smallest bit of encouragement, advice and support goes a long way towards keeping me motivated to create and express. I would not be where I am today without the words of encouragement that my family and friends give me!

  2. Great article Carrie…..good thoughts for all of us who know wonderful and inspiring artists like you!! Keep up the great work.

  3. I liked this post except for the admonishment to not criticize bad art. I’m a writer, and I’ve received stinky reviews, and there is no way to avoid that. You’re not going doing yourself any favors just asking for love and kisses. You sometimes need honest criticism as a springboard to even better things.

    1. Cara,
      An actual “Art Review” or a formal Art Critique is one thing, but to write an nasty or negative comment on someones blog (as Carrie describes above) is poor blog etiquete. It is important to get feedback (both good and bad) on your artwork. It’s a way to improve and grow. A hurtful comment, however, is better left unsaid.

    2. Thanks, Cara, for your insight, but I was just referring to unkind remarks that are not constructive–just hurtful as Antoinette said. I’ve been a part of artist critiques, and they can be quite helpful. I believe art is so subjective that bad reviews seem so silly to be sometimes! I also honor the process more than the end result–I think that is what makes art really interesting.

  4. Carrie, I love your post. I’ve been a theatre artist for 35 years. I’ve taught drama and theatre classes at the high school and college levels. Now I’m a writer. My husband is a potter and graphic artist. So, for obvious reasons, I agree with you. Supporting and valuing art is vital. How else can we talk soul to soul? I’m glad I followed my friend Andrea’s link to find your site.

  5. Hello Carrie,
    Thank you for the post. I agree with you on how the audiences can give a big impact on boosting up an artist’s self esteem. It would be helpful in encouraging an artist to move forward. I appreciate any positive feedbacks and comments on my work too and I try to avoid the bad ones.

  6. Wonderful thoughts here — and yes, supporting one another, uplifting and sharing…it takes but moments and can mean the world of difference to the artist — whatever the medium.

  7. Hi there. I absolutely agree with u and if one was to go to my FB page, most of my posts consist of exactly that…..because I’m an artist and truly understand how important support and encouragement is.

  8. I too absolutely agree with all above comments regarding positive input towards artists and their work but we also need the negative input at times as critiquing makes one want to work harder at improving our skills. But yes, it is very encouraging to me when I hear folks commenting on how much they like a particular piece and how it reminds them of such and such, or asking me about a particular technique; this shows they are really interested. Makes one want to keep at it.

    The one comment that bothers me the most is how pricy artist’s work might be. Many folks are not aware of the fact that artists loose a good chuck off that price to gallery /shop for commissions; some want up to 40 and 50% .
    Then there is the Matting/Framing cost and the supplies to create the piece, etc. And as for hours spent on the creating of the work, well that around here (north eastern Ontario) just doesn’t happen. Really and truly folks, artist (well most ) do not over charge, they are simply trying to survive and be able to make a few bucks to purchase more supplies for their next pieces.

    Artists, please remember to give encouraging words to your fellow artist as well. They too need to hear your thoughts and share your skills with them, this is the greatest thrill of all; to be able to share with others the gift that was given to us. Especially when it is someone just getting into it and they get this look of “oh my, I did this, me, my first piece ever” that makes it all worth while, don’t you think? That’s my two cents worth.

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