#artistsupportpledge has become a global creative economy supporting artists worldwide From the UK to Europe, North and South America, Russia, Taiwan, Japan and many more.
The ARTIST SUPPORT PLEDGE now has over 210,000 posts and growing and has generated millions for artists and makers across the globe.
The idea is simple – artists post images of work they are willing to sell for up to £200 (not including postage/shipping) using #artistsupportpledge. Every time they sell £1,000 of work, they buy £200 of work from another maker or artist. The @artistssupportpledge Instagram account has simple guidance on how to participate!
We spoke to four Fife-based artists that are participating in the movement and asked them to share their experiences.
Roslyln Leitch Jewellery
“The Artist support pledge is a brilliant concept. It has provided artists and makers with a lifeline during a time of adversity. It has encouraged kindness and generosity and has brought the worldwide arts community together. It has been a fantastic incentive for me to keep producing work, and has resulted in a few sales. People are still keen to buy art. They are still buying and wearing jewellery! I’ve also generated a few gift purchases, sending directly to friends and loved ones for birthdays etc.
Based on my experience, I would encourage other artists and makers to consider getting involved.”
“#artistsupportpledge has proved to be very valuable to me both financially and also creatively. I’ve been hugely inspired by the whole experience and I really hope it or a similar initiative will continue after the Coronavirus lockdown has been lifted. It’s fantastic to have direct contact with art buyers and the feedback I get from them and others who’ve seen my work via the #artistsupportpledge hashtag has been very encouraging.
I’m trying to put a couple of things out each week to keep up momentum and I’ve offered original paintings along with some etchings and a few giclée prints too. The max price of £200 does mean it’s really just the smaller, more affordable pieces I can sell via the pledge, but that brings in a whole new market who might not ordinarily want to buy art through a gallery. I think buyers also appreciate the personal touch from the artist and the connection too. I’ve made a few new friends too, which is wonderful.
I think something like this has been needed for a long time, both for artists and the art buying public. It’s a great leveler and that can only be a good thing for art, artists and hopefully everyone else too.”
“I have found it very useful as it has made me engage more with social media and email marketing . In the past I had concentrated on face to face selling at trade fairs or retail events so doing this is taking me out of my comfort zone . I have gained followers and sales plus have been able to buy some ceramics from Lara Scobie and Vanessa Bullick as part of the pledge.”
Caroline McGonigal Artist
“The #artistsupportpledge on Instagram has incentivised me to create new work. There have been times during lockdown, when I just haven’t felt creative at all, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt like this. All artists I know have lost selling opportunities, so we are very grateful to Matthew Burrows for starting this pledge. I’m pleased to have sold 3 works so far, but to be honest, selling anything in this climate is a bonus.
The Pledge is more than just recycling of our art income. It has brought creatives together, motivated us, promoted our work, and allowed us to appreciate the support that Artists are getting at this difficult time.
I haven’t reached sales of £1000 yet, but after I sold my second piece I purchased a small work, and after my last sale, I donated an emergency parcel to Refuge. So I feel I’ve done what I can in the circumstances, and that is all any of us can do right now.
This period is a learning experience too, I’m trying to improve my social media skills, and build a new website. I am working either in my garage or garden and am having to be resourceful with my materials. The good news is that a body of work is starting to form that I am calling ‘Drawing on Nature’ as that’s exactly what I’ve done during lockdown. So I’ll hopefully be ready to make some exhibition proposals soon.
My advice would be to get involved, it gives you a focus to make work, and then offer it up under the Pledge. If you don’t normally use instagram, I would suggest trying it. You will grow your network and hopefully become part of the generosity chain.”
Thank you to the artists for their valuable insights and contributions to this post, hope it may have inspired you to get involved if you were thinking about it! Keep us updated if you do and we can share your stories or social media. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or Tag us on instagram @fifecontemporary