Why You Need to Support Independent Visual Artists in 2018

Why You Need to Support Independent Visual Artists in 2018

support independent visual artists 2018

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I was busy writing over the weekend and finally getting out the last of my direct orders, and it dawned on me that another year has flown by. It seems like only five minutes have passed since January but here we are again a few short days until Christmas and just over a week until another brand new year. 

So this week I wanted to give thanks to everyone who has supported me over this past twelve-months and indeed since I started this blog a few years ago. It doesn’t seem that long ago when I would only have a few hundred readers each month and yet today thousands of you return again and again. Thank you to each and every one of you. 

And thank you too to everyone who has purchased a piece of my art. I hope that you get as much pleasure out of it as I did creating each work and I especially want to thank you because you make this blog possible. Each of my sales contribute to maintaining this site and allow me to share my experiences with other independent and local visual artists, art lovers, collectors, and those who continue to contribute to the arts in many other ways. 

The art world is one of the toughest industries to break into and for independent artists it can feel impossible at times. Yet independent artists produce some of the most unique and amazing work, work that for the most part you would be hard pushed to find in the best galleries. I’ve visited many of the worlds finest and when I see the work of my independent visual artist friends, it’s every bit as great and all too often better than anything on those walls. 

It’s the Colleen’s and the Shelley’s, the Don Pedro’s and Caroline’s, the Richards and the Johns, the Laura’s and the Tanya’s, the Kelly’s and the Walyd’s, the Leah’s, Jane’s, and the Joshua’s and Jim’s, of this world who make our timelines on social media as worthy as any physical gallery. The list goes on and on, but these are the people who always bring something new and something fresh to the art world, all independent artists just like so many others. 

Many independent visual artists seek inspiration from the people, land, and cultures which surround them unlike all of those generic prints that seem to have become so popular lately. When I own a piece of art be it an original or a giclee print, I want to know that the artist has put everything they have into it and that they feel passionate about their craft. 

I also want to own art which is unique and not something that hangs on every neighbour’s wall, I want art that moves me, and not just another made to match the decor work. 

I also want it to last not just for a few months or even a few years, I want art that lasts for generations so that it can be handed down, so that at least a small part of art history can be preserved. I know that many independent visual artists care and work only with companies who place a high value on such things. 

I know how important the dream of being an artist is. I know first-hand how difficult it can be to get your work seen and I know that for many artists their art is often a sole source of income or they are having to work multiple jobs to be able to afford to create. They create because they have a deep felt love for art. 

Independent artists are working people whose efforts are dedicated to creating something that people will enjoy. Producing art that can represent their communities and life experiences, or a representation of a region or idea, but above all I know that for many independent visual artists their work is much more than just a product and I know that there is something within that art that comes from deep within the artist. I just don’t get the same feeling when I look at some works which have been produced not out of passion but out of necessity to fill a current trend that will pass very soon. 

We all know that the best coffee isn’t served in the large chains, it often comes out of those independent coffee houses who know exactly what beans to use and how fine they need to be ground and at what temperature the water needs to be. It’s the same with independent artists, they know their product and they take time and care deeply for the work that they produce. Yet for so many people the world of independent art is rarely if ever seen. 

Independent artists are more accessible too, they bring people closer together no matter how personal opinions and tastes differ from one person to the next. Independent artists such as me or the many artists I featured in my article showcasing the very best artists on print on demand which you can read here  and who can be reached out to too. They will take the time to build relationships and they care about those who buy their art. 

Going the extra mile is something that you wouldn’t get from buying mass produced works from corporate chains whose real aim is to sell only a product or a service. When you do buy from those chains, there is often no interaction with the artist at all. Buying from an independent artist allows you to connect with the very artist who created the work and that is very special indeed. 

The quality from independent artists is often on a par with the very best galleries and more often than not they will be able to support you through the buying process to ensure that the piece of art you buy is going to provide you with quality that will last for generations. 

Buying from independent artists means that you are also supporting small businesses, and it is those small businesses that play an integral part in spearheading the fast-paced growth of local economies around the world and they contribute tremendously to the unique identities of communities everywhere. 

Art and culture have the ability to enhance the quality of life for any community, bringing with it personal enjoyment that binds communities together and promotes economic growth. The evidence of this is clear, think back to the art projects such as those in SoHo, New York, which in the 1970s saw a renaissance of art and culture. 

Back then the area was filled with buildings that had little benefit to industry but the art community grasped the opportunity filling loft spaces with an abundance of natural light and lower rents.  As more and more artists moved into the area, the region was invigorated and they created a legacy. 

In time SoHo drew in more and more affluent residents who were attracted not only to its great location but also its reputation as a thriving artist’s community. It was these beginnings that made SoHo what it is today, a vibrant hub. Whilst the artists may have decamped to alternative areas such as the Lower East Side and Chinatown, galleries still thrive in SoHo, and the Lower East Side is now home to more than 200 galleries. 

Not just in America, stories of artists benefiting and reinvigorating local communities can be found around the world. Supporting independent artists is to also support all of our respective creative freedom and you will support the artists so that they can continue to express themselves creatively and freely and allow them to continue creating some of the most amazing art you will find anywhere.

Whatever the reason each artist has when creating their art, whether they choose to be revolutionary or not, artists really do make a difference to local communities. They value quality at a time when society is heading towards more and more mass production and mechanisation. They shorten the ever increasing distance between the creator and consumer that is inherent with many of today’s processes and businesses. 

support independent artists

Other ways to support Independent Artists…

Buying art from high end galleries and non-art retail chains can become expensive either financially or through a lack of quality, yet so many independent artists offer their work on smaller pieces to make it even more affordable and in some cases they produce other items such as furnishings for the home. Above all, whatever product the independent artist sells you can be sure that it will have a uniqueness that you won’t find anywhere else. 

It’s not just about buying their work. There are other ways that you can support independent artists that won’t cost you anything at all. By attending open studios or exhibitions where the artist’s work is displayed you will be giving them encouragement, and letting an artist know just how much you love and value their work, and that can make all the difference to an independent artist. 

A thoughtful note showing some appreciation for the artist’s work can often be a priceless gift of support and these are the kinds of things that offer an artist some validation. I recently wrote an article about self-doubt and confidence for visual artists which you can read here.  

Many artists go through times of self-doubt, and confidence can drain especially if work goes unnoticed. But a heartfelt note that lets the artist know that they have someone who cares about their work is often all that is needed to inspire them to not give up on a dream. 

With more than 2-billion people having an account on Facebook there are so many opportunities to share the work of your favourite independent artists. Introducing those artists to your friends is often the only way that many artists will gain exposure, and by doing this you are not only introducing the artist’s work to your own friends, those friends too might become collectors of the artist’s work even if you are unable to be just yet. 

By doing this you are not only supporting an artist, you are supporting the social impact that the arts have. Over the years there has been much said of the research that has been carried out and each piece of research often concludes that the arts lead to more social cohesion, higher quality child welfare, improvements in academic performance, and that it can lower overall poverty rates. 

The arts drive tourism again driving up the economies of nations around the world and those who visit arts events spend more widely in the community they are visiting too and this benefits everyone. 

And buying from an independent artist is one of the most affordable ways to enter the world of collecting art. Whether you purchase a fine art print or an original, a work from an independent artist offers that uniqueness that is so missing from the generic products on sale in the large retail chains who have no real ties to the arts, it’s just another product for them.  

I have said many times that collecting the art of independent artists is one of the best value ways to own something that is truly unique. Independent artists just don’t sell their work in the quantities sold by those high street and retail park stores, so even if you choose to purchase a print of the artist’s work, the probability that many people or sometimes even anyone else will own that work is reduced significantly.

Let’s think about that for a moment. We can buy generic prints usually created for a set retail price and often where the quality is below par. It will often be printed on a support that is never going to provide the longevity needed for art. Not only will thousands, sometimes even hundreds of thousands of people own that very same print, but those prints will rarely if ever last for generations. 

Buying from an independent artist means that you can find something that will match your own unique identity. These works can act as conversation starters, add warmth and beauty in a way that mass produced prints cannot and there’s a real chance that very few people will own that same piece of work. 

You might be aware of all of these reasons already. For the most part they are the exact same reasons that you might consider using a small business for buying other things too. We know that it makes sense but if you are still not convinced about buying from an independent artist then think of it as investing in communities and people. 

Artists create because they are truly and passionately devoted to their craft. They have something and often something important to express. They are keeping the art world alive and fresh with new ideas. You are paying the artist so that they can continue to create new and fresh art for the world to see, but most of all you are supporting an individual, a human, often a community and not a faceless organisation more concerned with its shareholders and profits. 

Some of these artists could go on to exhibit at the world’s greatest art shows and exhibitions and at that point you will know you were amongst the very first to discover them. You will own a piece of art history. But even those artists who don’t quite make it to the likes of Basel, well they will be able to keep on creating and continue to add their own uniqueness to the world of art and contribute to society as a whole. 

merry Christmas from Beechhouse Media

Merry Christmas…

If you only make one New Year’s resolution this year make it that you at least look at the independent visual artist’s scene and consider buying a piece of their work. Maybe share their work on social media and help to get them the recognition that each of them deserves. But above all else be supportive of each of them because they are each shaping their own part in art history. 

I started this post thanking my own collectors and readers of this blog, but I would also like to thank each and every one of the independent visual artists who support me and each other too. Without them as I have said before, I would have given up on the art world a very long time ago. 

Through my darkest days of battling with Crohn’s or just offering some often much needed advice, these independent artists are the reason I keep on writing and keep on creating. So I wish them all the very best over the holiday period and beyond and I hope that in 2018, you all continue to create your magical works, that you have every success, and know that your friendship is truly valued. 

And thank you to the thousands of members of our artistic communities on Facebook, The Artists Exchange, The Artist Hangout, and The Artists Directory. Whatever your faith, whoever you are, hold on to those dreams and continue to create.

Art brings us all a little closer to each other, but if you are thinking about buying a new piece of art in 2018, take a look at those who sell via print on demand sites, those who are independent and unrepresented by galleries but who create some of the finest work you will ever see. 

About Mark…

Mark A. Taylor is an independent visual artist and blogger who specialises in abstract and landscapes. His work is available to buy from https://10-mark-taylor.pixels.com or from more than 150 retail locations across the USA and Canada including The Great Frame Up, Framing and Art Centre, and Deck the Walls. 

You can also follow Mark on Facebook here.


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