The holidays make us think about giving gifts to those who are important to us, so don’t forget your most important buyers and collectors.
About a month or two after I bought my car, I received a box in the mail from Mini Cooper. True to their brand, it was a small box, but it was full of delight.
The photo below reveals the contents of that box, which was titled “Mini Adventure Field Kit.” Included were a humorous “Field Guide to Good Motoring” pamphlet; an adventure log—hard bound—with Mini pen; mouse pad; mini die; and reusable Window Poetry.
I loved getting this. It made me feel like I was part of a special club. And, then, I thought, “Hey! This is an idea that artists can use.”
I’m not encouraging you to spend a lot of time and money putting together gift kits, but, if you are like most artists, you have a top tier of collectors that you want to show extra care. Overspending would be inappropriate. You simply want to express your gratitude.
Here are a few ideas for themed kits you can use as patron gifts. Notice how, depending on your selections, you can spend next-to-nothing on these.
The Proud Patron Kit
The Proud Patron Kit reinforces the decision your patron made when buying your art. Include any of the following:
- Set of note cards
- Functional goods with your art, such as a mug, mouse pad, or T-shirt
- A giclée of the item purchased
- A certificate of ownership with the image on it (have fun with it!)
The Art Explorer Kit
Help the adventurous souls on your list discover art on a deeper level with The Art Explorer Kit. Wrap up a mixture of:
- A map of your city, state or province, which is highlighted and annotated with your favorite art venues
- Two tickets to a hot museum exhibition
- Event schedules for local venues
- Quarters for parking meters or, if available, parking passes
- A loupe or magnifying glass for “examining art”
- A list of your favorite artists, their studio locations, and their website or blog addresses
The Art Care Kit
If your art requires upkeep or special care, The Art Care Kit will be appreciated by your collectors. Consider a selection of:
- Cleaning tools: soft brush, Plexiglas cleaner, silver polish, or jewelry cloth
- Articles about caring for the work
- A pair of white cotton gloves like curators use
- A gift certificate for a lifetime of free repairs
What can you surprise your patrons with?
What you send is not nearly as important as the fact that you send something. And if a handwritten letter is all that is in your budget, send the letter!
It’s your thoughtfulness that will make an impression and the surprise element that will delight the recipient.