Supporting Independent Artists
We've all been exposed to the "buy local, eat local" & other similar catch phrases.
I know I'm not alone when I say corporations & large retailers seem to be taking over the world!
But seriously, sometimes it's convenient & even more affordable, but I do feel there's still a price to pay.
Some smaller, independent producers & stores are finding it harder to stay afloat as general costs keep rising.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather have uniqueness & originality over mass produced, generic items any day of the week.
The world is a richer place because of artists, by supporting them the world only becomes more beautiful.
Plus, there's a sense of well-being when supporting local artisans.
You find an original & unique piece that has some meaning behind it, rather than just a department store print.
You often get to speak with the artist & every creative is always pleased when their work is appreciated enough that somebody buys it.
It's a win win situation.
Buying Local Art Online
The Internet has definitely made purchasing art & home wall décor not only more convenient, but easier for exploring the many choices available.
It also means that an artist doesn't have to live in your neighbourhood for you to support them.
Local & independent artists, myself included, can now market & sell their creations online.
So you don't need to sacrifice convenience if you wish to support local & independent artists.
You can buy a "locally" created work from an artist in New York, Cape Town, London or anywhere in the world in fact, as easily as purchasing from a creative living & working in your local city or hometown.
You can simply search online for art &you'll come across many independent artists.
But there are a few platforms that artists leverage to promote themselves & can be a great resource for finding something unique.
Often an overlooked platform, there's many artists selling their wares.
The good thing with Pinterest is it's easy to create an account, then stuff you fancy can be saved to your boards, another way of bookmarking.
A platform that's well suited to visual creatives & is still very popular.
You do need to create an account though.
Only downside is you can only click through from the persons profile, not directly from the post or image.
Many say Facebook is dead & in many respects it is.
I have a page for my photography, but it's not a great marketing tool like it used to be.
In saying that, they are many buy & sell art groups.
Don't forget Facebook Marketplace too.
Again, you need to create an account.
4. Fine Art America
I'm probably biased as I use Fine Art America to fulfill my print orders.
But there's a staggering array of artists of all levels & all styles.
Much of the art is available on many print mediums & varies in price according to the individual artist & the value they put on their work.
Another significant platform when it comes to purchasing art & hand made goods from the artists.
You won't be lost for choice & you're bound to find something original & unique.
I'm happy to be an affiliate for Canvas Cultures as they support their artists.
To be honest, the list goes on & on.
There's many platforms where artists sell their designs from Zazzle, Redbubble to Society 6.
Maybe one day Ill put together an entire resource.
That said, here are some other offline ideas for sourcing local artists.
Where To Find Local Artists In Your Area
If you're the type who enjoys getting out & about & physically seeing art & meeting the artist, then here's some places that your local area may offer.
1. Local Galleries
Every major city & town will have an art gallery.
Even smaller towns can have some sort of local gallery too.
The bigger galleries often sell original artworks, but can be more expensive.
2. Art Exhibitions
Many artists will set up an exhibition to sell their own work, again it may be a pricier option.
But smaller art groups & communities also have exhibitions with more affordable work.
3. Art Festivals
Like an art exhibition, organizers will put on an art festival.
Festivals can offer a large amount of choice at good prices.
There's usually food trucks too ... bonus!
4. Weekend Markets
Great for finding original & unique pieces at decent prices.
You won't find a collectable, but there's the possibility of discovering something unique .. as well as food trucks too!
5. Art Schools
Art schools & colleges often hold exhibitions & sell their students work at reasonable prices as well.
What better way to give an up & coming artist confidence in their work but by purchasing it.
As well as high end art, they also deal with deceased estates.
Although original artworks are auctioned, it's often by more established artists & can be more expensive art.
Usually sold below cost, it's a good opportunity to resell & recoup your outlay or even make a profit if you want to sell the art later on.
7. Garage Sales
Okay, the chances of finding a Monet or Picasso is pretty slime, but you're bound to find a bargain.
People that are moving house, or even moving to another country, often want rid of their wall art.
Sure, most of it may be generic Ikea art or something similar, but if you're one of those weekend garage sale junkies, you may as well keep an eye out for original art at the same time.
Cafes will often have local artists work for sale, the prices can vary depending on the artist.
But it can be a nice day out .. Brunch, lunch & coffee!
It was Oscar Wilde who said: "Be yourself, everyone else is taken."
Original & independent artists have their own unique style & message.
It's important to keep supporting creatives, especially with all this talk of AI.
If us humans don't keep striving to create something new & different, then we're just living in an echo chamber.
Support local artists, they'll love you for it!
Please feel free to pass this article around & spread the word.