Will anyone buy our art?

If food prices and mortgage costs are rising dramatically, is anyone going to buy our art?

Before you all cry “we’re doomed”, there is hope.

At the extreme, poverty may mean that art slips off the agenda for the artist and the potential buyer. However, in my 30 years working across the African continent with some of the world’s poorest communities, I have seen art survive – perhaps a painted entrance to a tukul, or a decorated tuk-tuk, but it was there. Artistic expression will not disappear while humans live.

Let’s get on to the hope part.

There is help for those wanting to buy or sell art through galleries – Perthshire Creative Trail galleries please take note! It is worth looking at OwnArt, a scheme that supports art sales via hire purchase at 0% interest.

For me, when falling in love with a piece, the idea of spreading payments over a longer period with 0% interest is very attractive, and is something that I’ve taken advantage of through previous schemes.

Perhaps the best way to support each other, particularly for those who don’t sell at high prices, is the Artist Support Pledge. Led by artist Matthew Burrows, it was created to support artists and makers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project is based on trust and uses Instagram. Artists and makers can post their images with the hashtag #artistsupportpledge, giving details of their works and price (no more than £220). If people are interested in buying, they message the artist. Anyone can buy the work and artists don’t need permission to join. Every time an artist reaches £1,100 of sales, they pledge to buy £200 of work from other artist(s).

What a great idea!

There is a very irritating myth that a good artist needs to be struggling in a cold, dimly lit garret, hungry and sad. I don’t believe that any artist wants to live like that. They hope for sales and will be artists whatever their income level.

Do let me know about your experience of these schemes or others that have helped your sales and we can spread the word.

Best wishes,


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