At one of my fall workshops, a woman said to me, “You know . . . you haven’t used the word ‘customer’ once.”
She wondered aloud why I hadn’t used that word. She was surprised it wasn’t in my workshop vocabulary.
I told her it was habit.
To me, the word “collector” is hopeful. But it’s also honest. If someone has purchased art from you, they have collected your work.
“Collectors” sounds cozy – like they might be part of a family or something bigger than a transaction between two people.
Calling someone a “collector” seems to elevate their status immediately – in your eyes as well as their eyes. They’ll surely embrace that title.
“Client” is appropriate if you are providing a service for someone: you’ve been commissioned to create a piece of jewelry, install a mural, design a website, or paint a portrait.
But “client” still feels cold to me. Too much of a business transaction and not enough heart.
There’s nothing wrong with “buyer.” It just sounds a bit too retail-y and a little too “one-time-only.”
How about “patron”? “Patron” usually implies monetary support, but not necessarily in exchange for art.
Is anything wrong with “customer”?