Growing online marketplace to help artists

Filed : Arts and funding opportunities .

We are a global community. One positive outcome of the Covid-19 crisis has been the rallying of communities to help those most vulnerable in the face of adversity.

A prime example is #Artist Support Pledge, an initiative set up by the Sussex-based artist Matthew Burrows, which is offering a self-sustaining lifeline to an ever-expanding number of fellow artists across the world.

The concept is simple:
Artists are invited to post pictures of their works for sale for £200 ($400) or less on Instagram using the hashtag #Artist Support Pledge. Every time an artist makes £1,000 in sales they then pledge to plough back £200 on purchasing the work of another artist using the hashtag.

There are no enforcements, it is a system based on trust.

The original aim was simply to create a “small but dynamic market”, but the success of #Artist Support Pledge has surpassed all expectations.

In just one week of existence (the first post was on March 17) there have been nearly 9,000 pledges, meaning that around £9m has been generated.

“It’s been unbelievable—after about four days it went absolutely crazy and I didn’t really have a lot of choice but to run with it because it was too big a wave to duck under,” says Burrows, who himself has made four pledges from selling his work. “The goodwill has been unbelievable from everywhere in the world—from El Salvador, to America, Germany, New Zealand, Italy and Australia.”

“I have always felt that there should be another economy that drives what works for artists. You’ve got to build a culture of trust and generosity,” says Burrows, who receives no payment beyond the proceeds from selling his paintings like everyone else on #Artist Support Pledge.

“What we are putting out into the world is a movement not a business.

The formula is simple: you give generously, you receive gratefully and you give back. That’s it.”

Read more here and if it feels right for you, make a pledge and post your work:

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