Gratitude - The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
We live in a world focused on the bigger, better, faster, shinier, deal. Few people stop to look around them and say "hmm, I actually have some great things going for me, I should be more thankful for what I have." Artists are no exception.
An artist is unique in so many ways, they exist in a way that no one else does or can, they make a living selling the manifested images and fantasies in their mind to others. In short, people give artists their focus, adoration, and money because they simply loved what they had to share with them. If anyone should show gratitude and appreciation to anyone else, it is the artist to his/her patron.
Whether you sell $500k pieces at auction or $20 art prints online, you owe your patrons, fans, customers, and artistic groupies your gratitude. They aren't casual shoppers stopping by and giving you money just for the hell of it, they are people who took a look inside of your head, loved what they saw and decided they want a piece of it for themselves. Think about that for a moment and the enormity of how amazing that is.
Art has no physical or practical utility, it exists to please our minds, enrich our lives, and create culture wherever it is. People who buy art from you think you are rad enough to please them, to share visual stories with them, and to make their lives more beautiful. When you encounter a fan or patron, whether it's at an art festival or a gallery opening, tell them thank you and really mean it. Don't give people a monotone and cliched "K thanks, thanks for coming out" routine. Don't act like an exasperated, aging rockstar greeting his 900th fan of the night with empty words and apathy. This person opened up a door to their own dimension, invited you in, and asked you to paint the walls with your colors and creativity. That deserves gratitude ten times over. I don't care what level you operate on, high art millionaire artist or amateur selling on etsy, genuine gratitude with a side of gusto is necessary.
I would word it something like this for those who support me, who have purchased from me, who have enjoyed my work:
"Thank you for supporting me, for taking the time to talk with me of all people, to ask me how I create, what inspires me, what drives me, and why I do it. Thank you for inquiring on how I do what I do, what I use, how long it takes, thank you for caring enough to learn something new. Thank you for purchasing from me and allowing me to continue doing so another day. Thank you for making me a part of your life, even if it's just 16x20 inches of it."