Narratives, notes, diary entries, and all things written by contemporary American artist Beck Metzbower, an East-Coast mom of three, lover of Oreos (with organic peanut butter!), and obsessive-extraordinaire of all things texture.

The Dreaded Email List

Damn! And just when I was starting to get it!”
— Edgar Degas on his deathbed

If you have ever been on a career artist’s Instagram or Facebook- you’ve probably encountered the dreaded ‘sign up for my email list’ gimmick. It’s that moment when you seriously consider unfollowing or snoozing the person for a bit. To me, the whole request comes off as spammy and goal-oriented. However…


… there’s a really good reason that artists do this and an even better reason that I actually click the links and hand over my email address. That reason is ‘system unavailable’.

I, along with millions of other artists, experienced this exact moment of panic on March 13 and March 14 of this year. Don’t remember what happened? We do. Almost all social media platforms went down. Offline. Crashed. Hacked. Service interruption. App failure. System unavailable.

If you have a company, an entire career based upon reaching people digitally- then incidents like these are severe, financially crippling, and leave you suspended in a ‘did I just lose all 10K art collectors who relied on this specific platform to communicate with me???” It isn’t pretty. But that’s the age we live in: the age of technology.

The introduction of digital communication left brick and mortar businesses devastated. People clicked instead of attending events in person. People liked instead of visiting the art exhibit. People scrolled through feeds instead of scrolling through walls of carefully hung art. So we artists adapted. And put everything online.


So email lists come into play when an artist realizes the seriousness of a social media platform shutting down, changing the way it works, or glitches like opening your account to find it locked, hacked, or suspended. By utilizing email lists, artists can directly communicate with their art collecting audience directly, safely, and positively.

I will absolutely hand over my email address for business and individuals whom I respect, whose work I support, and whose products benefit me somehow. Signing up for an email list is the equivalent of bookmarking the artist.

Now, what happens when you hand over that email and they spam you? Ugh. I totally get it. I signed up recently for a fantastic business that promoted marketing growth. And they spammed themselves out of a customer. Truly. I ended up emailing them and saying “hey- you are sending me 1-4 emails a day and that isn’t cool. It’s overload and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth about your company. Take me off the email list, please.” You’ll either get an immediate “oops, our bad” or they’ll keep spamming you. IF they keep spamming- click that ‘mark as spam’ button and block. I’ll tell you why: when a business gets marked as spam and blocked by enough individuals: they get in trouble. They get flagged. They get suspended or have their accounts removed permanently.


Let’s talk about my email list real quick. I do things differently from a lot of other email subscriptions. The very first thing I do differently is ask that you register as an ‘art collector’ because that’s who and what you are! You aren’t a number or potential client. You are an art lover, an art collector, and you appreciate art. So I want to start off on the right foot by giving you credit for that. The next thing I do differently is scale waaaaay back on how many emails I send. I send 4-8 emails a year. A YEAR. Not 4-8 emails a day, week, or even month. I only want to hit your inbox when I think it’ll be relevant to you. The third thing I do is keep my list of registered art collectors personal (I know every single person on that list!) and I build trust by keeping those emails confidential, private, never spammed, and safely stored away from third party companies that like to snatch up personal information and remarket it. Nope. Not happening. I believe in building a trusting, long-term relationship with you- the art collector, and that means time, consistency, and authenticity.


So the next time an artist offers you a spot on their email list- try it out. If it’s not for you- there’s always ‘unsubscribe’ or that handy ‘block’ button. Remember, many many businesses and companies rely on technology these days because they have to: because it’s where our clients & customers are and it’s how they find us.

And this post wouldn’t be complete without my offering you spot on my email list personally. So click HERE and register yourself as an art collector and then sit back and relax knowing that you’ll be the first to know when I release new art.