It took me a little while to learn about art collectors and their relationship with the artists that they collect. Art collectors are a special type of person, and they are near and dear to the hearts of most artists. There are many casual art collectors out there but there are also those who collect work all the time. It's like breathing for them. Many collectors are very conscious of building a collection that will be passed on for generations either through family or organizations, galleries and museums. They work hard to collect the right pieces for the collection. Many just can't imagine living any other way. As a one art collector said to me recently " I mean, how can one live without art? " his tone was astonished and confused.
Art collectors that have chosen to collect your work want to be the first to know about what you are doing. These collectors will want to know even more about you and your work than others. You have to be ready to accommodate and as an artist it can sometimes be odd to be suddenly in the spotlight of the collectors questions and desires.
Serious art collectors may have systems in place that they need you to co-operate with. Maybe, for example, you don't normally like to write the month and year on the back of the painting - they might request that. What seems like a fussy request is an opportunity to learn about the needs of your collector and remember it for next time - they appreciate that. As artists it's not always in our nature to be obedient but there is compromise when you are appeasing the collector's small detail of requirement.
Be extra nice to collectors. Go the extra mile for them when you can. In return they can be a huge support to your career financially and by providing encouragement and recognition for your achievements.