I was the first patron of a young artist yesterday.
I had seen a student show and remarked on one of the pieces. I got a call from the studio and was told that the young man was there packing up everything, if I wanted to come down. He had been told that there was someone interested in his work, so he had a heads up.
He was so nervous! He feverishly laid everything out for me, including other things in his portfolio, things he pulled out of binders...I half expected him to empty his pockets onto the table. He talked very earnestly about the series of prints, and put things into the "I'm happy with this" pile or the "this one's not very strong" pile.
I asked him how he was going to price everything and he looked like a deer in the headlights. He asked how much I would pay, and I said he would have to just get right over that. He was going to have to step up and name a price, as awkward as I know that felt to him.
He gulped and said a number. I said I would take #4 of the series. He grinned and looked over at his instructor and SHE grinned. I took his e-mail address and asked him to set the piece aside for me.
As I left, I heard the unmistakable sound of a "high five" being exchanged, and before the door closed behind me, he was babbling and giggling like mad.
It almost doesn't even matter if I get the piece now, although it's intended as a gift. Watching that kid go from "one day I want to be an artist" to "I'm an artist and I just sold my first piece" in the course of a half hour was worth what I paid and more.