Buying and sharing unique work for ourselves and those important to us AND supporting the artists who make it
This week is Just a Card’s indie week. If you haven’t come across this campaign, I’ll let them introduce themselves.
‘JUST A CARD is a grassroots campaign on a mission to encourage people to support, value, and buy from artists, makers, independent shops and small businesses. Every sale, even just a card, is vital to their prosperity and survival’ www.justacard.org
As an artist, it is well worth checking them out and seeing how you can join in with the campaign and learn from the approaches used by other artists -as well as feeling part of a community of artists with a common mission.
I’ll let one of our Living from Art members, Anita Saunders, explain why people valuing her work enough to make a purchase is so important to her.
‘As an artist, I spend my time alone in my studio working away creating, experimenting and agonising over the pieces I feel compelled to make. It's so difficult to know whether what I have produced will strike a chord with anyone. There's no greater endorsement than when someone invests in my work and makes a home for it in their own home. @justacard not only helps to promote the work of the hundreds of other artists and makers all working alone in their respective creative spaces to prospective clients but helps us continue to do what we do...offering unique and original pieces to those seeking something unique and original. The campaign message that buying 'just a card' from people like me actually supports all the months of experimentation angst and failure which have gone into the making of the image is certainly my reality. I appreciate every card sale from my Etsy Shop @anitasaundersartist and value every investment in my paintings and original prints. Thank you for being awesome and purchasing from me and thank you fabulous @justacard family for getting behind the independents!’
The ‘Just a card’ campaign began when the founder, Sarah Hamilton (@sarahhamiltonprints) was talking to the owner of a beautiful independent craft shop forced to close down The owner said that if only everyone who said how much they liked the shop had bought ‘just a card’ she would have been able to carry on trading. Of course, I don’t want any visitors to a Living from Art exhibition to feel pressured in any way, but when I see people who say how much they enjoyed the exhibition leave without buying ‘just a card’, I do wonder if they realise what a difference their purchase would make to the artists. It's not only the boost from knowing someone wanted to buy their work and share it with a friend or family member, but it's also important financially. Card sales can play a big part in helping artists to meet the costs of exhibiting and so continue to share their work. It’s particularly hard for new artists to be able to keep painting and exhibiting, whilst waiting for the ‘right’ person to invest in one of their original pieces.
Sadly, life is REALLY hard for far too many people in this country worrying about safety, warmth, shelter and enough food for Christmas, but for everyone else who can cover the basics of life and wants to spread happiness and joy at the end of another tough year there is a real opportunity to make the cards, presents and luxuries we want for ourselves and our loved ones also support the things we value. Shopping small, buying local and supporting independent artists and makers are all things we can do and for many of us this makes the cards and gifts we choose much more meaningful.
There are a wealth of opportunities to buy from local artists and makers in the run up to Christmas. As Living from Art, I support my member artists and the wonderful variety of work they make – but of course there are many other artists who may all be selling something which will gladden your heart and bring lasting joy to whoever receives your card or thoughtful present – and knowing something of the artist’s story and how the piece was made makes it even more meaningful.
There are so many different ways to browse and buy: art and craft fairs and markets, open studios, galleries, and online. You may still find an artist with time to make a bespoke piece before Christmas and watch out for special sales – Some artists are joining in with pre-Christmas sales allowing you to buy something you couldn’t otherwise afford, whilst they make space for their new work from January.
I will be posting regularly on Instagram and on Facebook at Living from Art and Art Playground. https://www.facebook.com/ArtPlaygroundCheltenham began life as a Community Arts organisation and still has a good following of people interested in all kinds of creative activities. I post information about art exhibitions, workshops, and other creative events –primarily in Gloucestershire although Worcestershire and Warwickshire are also included. Do check it out if you haven’t already.
Do get in touch if you are looking for something special and can’t find what you want and I will do my best to help you find an artist who you might want to consider.
Wishing you many happy times enjoying the warm glow of Christmas Art, Christmas lights and mince pies!
Anna Poulton Living from Art.
07747032912 firstname.lastname@example.org www.livingfromart.co.uk