When I look for a good artist, either for a commission, or just to research some artists for later, I always look for a good person - not just a good artist. I am more inclined to commission or buy from an artist who gives back to the hobby, supports new, young artists, and who seems like they are a warm, friendly, understanding human being. Some artists can seem unapproachable because they are so famous in the hobby and because of that, I will always feel like a bother to communicate with them. This could potentially lose them business from the young upcoming hobbyists because these famous artists can actually become sort of scary to talk to.
I like to see them on Model Horse Blab or other social media sites too, it makes me feel like they are really part of the hobby, not above it.
I always admire and make an effort to support artists who create tutorials, how tos, books, instructional DVDs, YouTube videos, etc. and who recognize, help, and support younger hobbyists. Either tack makers, painters, or sculptors, I think much more highly of these artists than others who do not give back, and will always chose these guys over others.
Another thing I look at is their Facebook page. Are their messages positive and encouraging, or strictly cold, hard business? Do they happily show client's pictures from live shows showcasing the artists work winning? Are they supportive of their clients, and do they accept new ones?
These are all questions and ideas that run through my head when choosing an artist to commission or buy from. It can be a lot of fun to research other hobbyist's work and see what they are like!
It's important to support the good people, and thank them for what they do. 😊