Covering The Cost of Creating Art

Tackling Price Increases for Art Supplies

covering the cost of art text on background with rising arrow
Covering the Cost of Art 

With the rising cost of inflation and a world heading towards or already in a recession, on paper at least, the outlook for working artists might seem desperate and bleak. But, this isn’t the first time that the creative industry has had to weather a storm and it’s unlikely to be the last. This time, we take a look at navigating the swelling seas of an economically challenging art world, just as many artists have had to do time and time before.

An end of year deep dive!

We made it folks! 2022 will shortly be giving way to 2023 and despite a seemingly bleak outlook with escalating inflation and all of the other drama the world has had to face throughout 22, there are plenty of opportunities for artists to continue creating art.

This time I will be reflecting back on the turbulent times that many artists have faced over the past few decades and we take a deep dive into thinking creatively about how we might respond as professional artists.

The Benefit of Hindsight…

With the hindsight I wish I’d had back in 2007/2008, if I had written this post back then I might have said something along the lines of the art world is about to enter a bumpy period but it won’t necessarily affect every market in every country in the same way. Today, I think post-pandemic, the situation in Ukraine, I’m not so sure that the current climate won’t be far wider reaching than other financial meltdowns that we have endured in the past. Whether other regions fall into recession just as we are now seeing here in the UK, is something that I’m sure will pan out in the coming months.

Something else that I wish I had known pre-the last recession, was that I would see a slow down on mid-price works, smaller works would be more popular than previously but would take a little longer to sell, but larger works would be mostly unaffected. I’m certainly not an economist but I would go so far as to say that I don’t necessarily see that being any different this time around because my sales today are beginning to follow a similar path to my experience back in 2008.

seascape painting with boat on calm sea and seagulls
Ethereal Seas by Mark Taylor - One of the few seascapes I produced in 2022!

I can only base my experience on what happened here in the UK back in 2008 and the downturns I experienced before, but if economies elsewhere follow a similar trajectory this time, I do think at the lower price end of the art market, buyers will be more discerning about what they buy because whether we want to hear it or not, the majority of art at lower to mid-price points that is sold outside of galleries is sold to provide an aesthetic. There’s often a link with any shift in house prices, something that we last experienced in the pandemic when people would purchase art because they were busy renovating their homes.

That’s not to say that what the majority of artists produce is decorative art, neither is it a statement intended to be dismissive, but the function of art at a lower price point is more often purchased to serve this purpose. If people are spending money on redecorating new homes, they tend to purchase new art. If money is flowing less freely, art sales at some price points can be negatively affected.

There are a lot of caveats with this. If you regularly sell in a region that isn’t affected by financial markets hitting a wall, you might not see any difference, but I think there is one thing we can all agree on and that is that prices of art and craft materials are definitely on the up no matter what type of art you create.

Prices Going Up, Up, Up…

If you are a traditional brush and canvas artist you will have noticed pretty big hikes in the cost of art supplies lately. Over the past few years art supplies have been increasing in price more rapidly than ever before. Raw materials to produce paint have increased between 50% and 100% as pigment manufacturing has moved away from heavy metals.

Artists have for a while been on the lookout for cheaper alternatives that maintain quality, but there is only so much excess cost any artist is able to consume in order to maintain a sustainable business and keep prices consistent with what they charged before.

vintage telephone dial artwork
Vintage Dial by Mark Taylor - Originally created as a commission, you can add your own telephone number on the dial!

Even creating digital art has become much more expensive than it was even just 6-months ago. With rising energy costs, increasing digital subscription prices from a nervous technology industry, chip shortages and seemingly never-ending lead times to take ownership of new technology, never listen to anyone who tells you that creating digital art is an inexpensive endeavour.

In the past six months, the outgoings to create my own digital work have mostly doubled, and that’s just to cover things like server hosting, application subscriptions, and the constant supply of printer inks and good quality paper and canvas stock. Add to this the cost of shipping and export duties for the physical prints and incoming supplies, professional digital artists are beginning to feel the pinch.

Many digital artists are having to do things differently, like having to transfer digital assets electronically for printing elsewhere. That can be a pain point for many artists who will, by doing this, be forgoing quality control of the prints and taking a risk that their assets don’t reappear somewhere else.

Recessions are rarely if ever great for small businesses and it still surprises me when I hear that some people still believe that small businesses have small overheads. Mostly the overheads for any small business is usually much higher than the corporate giants and that’s when inflation is low. When inflation is high, there’s an added burden to business to meet the costs and explain any increases that need to be passed on to customers.

abstract art by Mark Taylor
Spectrum by Mark Taylor - Because we all need bright in our lives!

Many small businesses will often shield buyers from the additional costs wherever they can in order to compete with the big corporations, but it’s not a level playing field for these often independent ventures because they rarely if ever see the same level of supply discounts that are offered to the big players.

For most artists, increases in production costs are costs that you can’t really pass on through non-commissioned work, casual art buyers will only ever pay what they’re willing to pay, and art, whether it is purchased by a causal buyer or a hardened collector is only ever worth as much as the market is prepared to pay.

As for commissions which are notoriously more expensive to produce because you might have to use specialist supplies or carry out revisions, the production costs have risen considerably over the past year. I’m just about managing to absorb most of the extra costs for now by offsetting the increases through print sales and second gate activity and because I lucked out by buying a lot of supplies pre-price increases, but it is becoming challenging when prices for everything are increasing so quickly and there will be plenty of artists who don’t already have established second gates to their business.

Just like many other small businesses, my prices will inevitably need to rise at some point. For many artists working in the non-represented space this is a pain point for their regular buyers, even more so for casual buyers or those purchasing art for aesthetic rather than artistic reasons. As an independent artist, increasing costs isn’t something you will probably be able to avoid long-term in the current financial climate.

There are usually options to reduce costs for artists but those options right now are fewer than they were. Digital might have been the most cost effective option few years ago and I championed the practice for many years as a wallet friendly way to continue creating art without the expense of buying traditional art supplies, but that’s certainly not the case now and less so if you are just about to start out with a digital art practice.

I also paint using traditional materials, historically this is a practice that would cost more to produce a piece of work than creating a piece digitally, but creating professional art using a digital medium is now becoming the more expensive option because there are way fewer options to cut costs.

wind turbines mountain landscape artwork by Mark Taylor
Kinetic Fields by Mark Taylor - Available now from my Pixels Store or Order Directly!

This is in part because of the global chip supply chain issues and in part, because digital doesn’t necessarily follow the rule of thumb around economies of scale, if you scale digital you tend to see increases in costs rather than reductions.

So, as a digital artist you really don’t have the same options that traditional artists might have when choosing between say a variant of white paint. There are fewer areas that you can look towards to cut down on essential costs, and there are very few digital tools that now don’t require an ongoing subscription. 

When you can find the technology you need to buy to continue creating your digital work, it now carries what I call a technology tax that originates from that lack of silicone chips and a pandemic when the entire world decided to go online at the same time. This increase in buying meant that existing supplies that were supposed to last longer in stores were rapidly depleted and couldn’t easily be replaced. It was the perfect storm in that regard and few could have predicted the fall out in the way that it has happened. With hindsight, the signs were there for the chip market, but it was too late to do anything.

printer artwork will work for ink print
Will Work for Ink by Mark Taylor - At this point, we are literally working for ink! There's nothing quite like the thud of a dot matrix printer!

To give you an idea of just how much digital production costs have increased, a quick look at some of the percentage increases I have experienced might give you some idea.

Printers – 2022 increase of between +15% and +20% - Printers are not built like they once were, they’re more complex yet don’t seem to have the build quality of previous generations. This year I had to replace a wide format dye-sub printer that was just 14-months old because replacement parts were not available and in all likelihood, might not be even available post-supply chain problems. It looks like the manufacturer has completely changed the production method for new models to make supply easier.

Printer Ink – 2022 Increase - +5% to +15% for regular inkjet supplies, and up to +30% for specialist inks for use in dye sublimation printers. If you use premium inks that retain their colour there are few options other than to buy original inks from the printer manufacturer. Ink was already expensive but today the premium inks really are on another level.

Premium papers for archival prints +38% increase in 2022. This was mostly because of the situation in Ukraine and increased shipping costs but what really affected supply was the industrial action being taken at paper mills.

Application subscription increases in 2022 – median increase across a range of services is +18% (annual subscriptions) Lifetime licences are now a distant memory for most applications.

Specialist Print Masters (this is a people cost) to prepare work - +12% but I do wonder how many of the print staff are seeing that level of pay increase in their pockets.

Power for digital production equipment +150% and increasing. Rising energy costs make it much more expensive to run the technology.

Replacement digital equipment +15% on average but with lengthy lead times too. Where technology is in short supply, the increases are often more. A good example of rising costs is a Raspberry Pi 4, a single board mainly hobbyist computer which usually retails for around £80 in the UK for the 8Gb model. Pre-used ones are now routinely fetching more that twice that on sites such as eBay as the devices are not currently being manufactured due to chip supplies.

To compound matters, scalpers who purchased in bulk as demand initially increased are now charging a premium because production of these devices has been suspended due to the lack of chips. There are other electronics that are currently being scalped so it’s inevitable that we will see more increases next year. The chip supply issue isn’t looking great, but it is slightly better than it was. My guess and the information I’m being given right now is that 2024 might be the year we start to see any kind of normality return.

Cloud Storage across a number of storage providers – Median +50% per year. Remember that costs will always increase as you use more storage but base storage fees are on the up too.

Shipping – With industrial action frequently taking place in the UKs mail service, you have to look for alternatives and some of these services are charging up to 400% more than pre-pandemic levels. Whilst shipping looks like it will stabilise next year, it’s unlikely that companies will drop all of their newly increased shipping costs.

I think there is a real risk that todays prices could become the new normal for shipping in the future and that’s a major issue as people have been conditioned to expect free shipping. Services such as Amazon Prime have made us expect free shipping and even though Prime is an annual membership that covers shipping, people place the monetary cost on Prime membership against all of the benefits that come bundled with it rather than thinking of it as an upfront payment for unlimited shipping with added benefits.

So looking at this, you start to get a picture of how significant some of these cost increases are, and these are costs that don’t just apply to artists, many small businesses buy similar products and have similar logistics needs. It doesn’t matter to the suppliers whether you are a small independent business or a large corporation, arguably as a small business your costs are always going to be more expensive because you are working with lower volumes.

What I haven’t included here are things like hosting, and other consumables, and the day to day expenses of running any business which have also increased. The cost of shipping is a standout example of excess costs because while the prices have massively increased for getting product from A to B, the speed of delivery has massively decreased, especially here in the UK.

The big one here in the UK is Brexit. Forget the land of opportunity that Brits were promised, a lot of my paper stock originates in Italy and import taxes now also have to be considered. With Brexit came the additional burden of bureaucracy, import duties and additional taxes, and the increased time to get things delivered due to added customs checks which has created some serious challenges for many businesses based here in the UK.

So the next time someone asks you to justify the cost of producing digital art (there are a lot of people who still believe we pixel pushers just press a button!), tell them to come and read this blog!

sunset over beach with boats
Adrift Under A Neon Sky by Mark Taylor

The Major Art Markets are Fine, Mostly…

It’s not just the cost of art supplies and materials that have increased, there is some good news in the art world as a result of higher costs. Some sectors of the high end market are seeing more positive signs with prices going up as a result of demand.

Major artworks have been seeing a leap in value with collectors who have an eye on rising inflation and then bidding big money at auction. Works priced at over $1 million nearly doubled in sales from 12% in 2021 to 23% in the first half of 2022, those figures are on a par with levels last seen in 2019. If the market turns out to be anything like it was in 2008, it might fluctuate up and down for a little while longer.

Recessions almost always have a positive impact on art prices at this level because collectors tend to hold on to works. It is literally the classic tale of supply and demand. For a few buyers at this level, it really is about the art, for others, art is seen as little more than a commodity to be traded down the line. It’s a cold world this art business, at the high end there’s little appetite for emotion, it purely a transactional process.

In practice, the reduction in supply tends to keep prices stable for established artists who sell into the major primary markets. The one problem with art, is that it is a sentiment-driven asset that is mostly tied to surplus wealth, it’s not a widget that solves a problem. The art market is pretty resilient at this level because it is one of the very few industries that self-regulates supply and demand both in times of a financial slump and in times of financial excess.

During the 2008 crisis, some aspects of the high end fine art market eventually succumbed to a depression, but only in certain areas and genres. Established artists and genres held out really well before eventually recovering completely, but works with a shorter history or from less popular artists and genres struggled for a while longer before recovering, although some never did quite recover to previous levels.

Recession Rich…

In recessions, there will always be a number of people who do extraordinarily well, but, there are also usually more people that don’t do very well at all. I always think of a recession as a microscope that amplifies inequality.

There are also people who sit somewhere in the middle, the recession rich, yet they’re still a long way off being a high earner. These are people who just happen to be slightly better off and are able to afford slightly more than those around them. They are people who find themselves in a position where they might have access to a greater cashflow or credit than most other people around them do. Those investing in top-end artworks priced a million and above also tend to have enough of a financial buffer behind them to weather the storm better than most and they tend to be the most able to self-regulate supply and demand too.

Visit a show such as Basel during an economic downturn and you won’t see people shying away from major purchases, and besides, those buyers are coming from a place of power and galleries, whilst not admitting it openly, absolutely know how precarious the business can be at times like this.

During the pandemic, many galleries had to pivot to online sales but where gallery owners retained physical spaces, they’re not immune to energy price increases, nor are they immune from inflationary costs of running a business. The galleries and artists that survived in 2008 and during the pandemic, were galleries and artists who continued to move works out of the door. Many of them had to discount work to make this happen and I suspect the same will be true this time around.

1984 artwork cables and eye
1984 by Mark Taylor - This looks brilliant printed on acrylic block!

Whilst few gallerists like to admit that prices are lowered at times like this, because that’s akin to a cardinal sin in the art world, the place of power when you do have access to money puts the recession or cash rich buyer in a much better position to negotiate deeper discounts behind closed doors. That’s not peculiar to the art world, those who can least afford excess are the ones more likely to have to find it.

Technically, the discounted artworks are never offered for less than their original value and discounting is never an openly admitted practice in public. In challenging times you can bet that there will be plenty of gallery owners who will be quietly negotiating better offers or offering deeper discounts than at any time before. If you are in the market for fine art, now is probably a good time to buy if you can find what you are looking for and can afford it, but if it’s not on the market already it might be a little too late.

The depth of the discount you might find will vary between galleries. If you were expecting a 5% discount before for loyalty to a gallery or an artist, in times of economic turmoil you no longer have to be loyal to either. In the past month alone I know of collectors who have been offered double digit discounts to switch from their usual galleries and a couple of collectors I know have been doing deals that have realised discounts as high as 20 - 25%, something unheard of even a few months ago. But bear in mind that in many cases, the discount is usually coming out of the artists commission, not necessarily the galleries profits.

Flippant Increases Year on Year…

The here and now at times like this is frankly, for most working artists more about survival, and to an extent we have generally had a good run over the past decade at least up until the pandemic. Some artists and galleries have had it even better than most whereby they have unjustifiably raised prices for the weakest of reasons and they have continued to make sales, and they have been really stretching the bubble.

The physical galleries and to some extent artists, that won’t survive will be the galleries and the artists who would, during the good times, regularly increase prices on a whim without any real justification. If an artist won an award, a social post went viral, there was a Y at the end of Wednesday, prices would be increased.

Insert Coin coin op door
Insert Coin by Mark Taylor - Thanks to the many buyers who have purchased this print recently - More coin-ops on the way!

If you raise prices, they have to be justifiably increased, never artificially inflated which can and sadly does happen all of the time in the art world. In a cost of living crisis when small businesses are facing massive hikes in overhead there are legitimate reasons to increase prices for some works as production costs have risen, but the more casual buyers might not fully appreciate that it’s a supply driven cost for materials and the artist isn’t suddenly making more money. It’s not that the art is worth more, it just costs more to produce and the excess costs are passed on.

At the opposite end of the art world, the end where the majority of working artists work and who are not repped by a big gallery, the competition is fierce with more people than ever before turning to the creative sector after seeing it as the ideal work from home gig during the pandemic.

Of course, not everyone who started a side gig in the creative sector during the pandemic will still be creating today, many would quickly find out that while it’s a great gig when the sun shines, it’s often easier to do anything else when the sun goes back in. But, there will certainly be more competition today than there was during the recession in 2008, not least because it is easier to surface your work today with all of the services that have appeared online over the past decade or so that make it easier to become published.

This sector of the art market it is a much more volatile market to work in than the high-end, high-value gallery markets. At the lower priced end of the market there will be fewer buyers who are immediately immune from the effects of a recession, no matter how small or big the recession is. At this level there is a choice to be made by buyers, do they spend a hundred bucks on a new print, or save that hundred bucks to counter rising inflation. If there’s a limited pot of money to start with the options become clear.

How to weather the storm…

If there was one thing I learnt during the recession back in 2008, it would be to keep a level head, try not to panic, and definitely don’t start lowering prices as if you are having a fire sale. If your market needs you to reduce prices, price sensibly and be respectful of what your market will be willing to pay, but don’t make reduced pricing your new norm. Before the purists begin to scream that you should never lower prices, mostly I would agree, but in a recession, in the art world that isn’t repped by the major galleries, as an independent artist your goal should be to survive.

ocean art by Mark Taylor
Adrift on a Building Sea by Mark Taylor - One of 2022s most popular seascapes!

In good times I would always advocate never offering a discount or at least a discount where every work becomes a loss leader, and at any time, good or bad, you should try to never place previous collectors in a completely precarious position whereby lowering your prices means that you have irrecoverably devalued what they have already purchased.

Many artists though, won’t necessarily be completely affected by this, reducing a fifty dollar print to forty dollars isn’t going to make a major difference either way but it might tempt someone with forty dollars to buy it. Selling a previous thousand dollar print for a couple of hundred dollars, that’s slightly different.

That said, you do have to have a pricing strategy that makes sense, puts the work within reach, at least for those who find they still have a little more to spend, but I think more than that, ensures that you can continue to move enough work to survive. That’s surely in the interests of previous collectors too.

The Art of Diversification…

Diversifying your portfolio is never an easy thing for an artist. We are taught early on that work should be consistent, follow a genre, follow a theme, follow a medium, and every piece you work on should look exactly like every other work you ever created. You know, you probably attended a similar class, and I mostly think that’s the right advice for artists repped by big galleries who are deeply rooted in historic practices and who are stoic in their outlook.

But the majority of working artists are independent and there are no rules that say you absolutely need to be glued to one thing or another. I might even go so far as to say that will harm any chances you have of finding commercial success outside of a gallery if you are so completely rigid. One thing that I might say though, is that if you do diversify, it should make sense to any existing buyers, but it’s totally fine to stretch your creative wings and reach entirely new markets.

deckchairs on a beach art
A Perfect Day by Mark Taylor - Still one of my favourite works, just how I remembered a beach in Jamaica a few years ago!

The trend of the trend…

Looking for trends is one way a lot of artists diversify their portfolio but in my experience, trends are only ever short term fixes. Ideally, you need to start a trend rather than join it otherwise the fruits are short lived, but starting a trend, well that’s not an easy ask.

Diversification can also be making smaller pieces at more affordable prices, offering smaller sized pieces in editions and in limited numbers, or it could mean offering something completely new. If you venture down this route though you really do need to do your homework. A limited edition is just that, limited as in available to the few not the many, and the size of the edition should never be more than you would usually sell as an open edition.

As a rule of thumb, limited editions in very small numbers are more prized by collectors, but if you are looking for volume, personally I would never create an edition any bigger than 10% of the regular number of works I would expect to sell in an open edition.

A lesson I certainly learnt during the 2008 downturn, and a couple of downturns before that, was just how important it is to look at second and third entrance gates which buyers can continue to afford to walk through.

For a while, galleries have created second gates by opening bars or coffee shops in the same physical space, it’s another reason for people to arrive at your door which in a financial downturn could turn out to be your primary entrance gate until things become more like business as usual once again.

Second gates are really important for independent businesses of any description. If you can find the right product or service it can provide continued cash flow so you can continue to focus on your main body of work. Your primary work might be aspirational for some for a while during a recession but the really important thing to do is to continue to sell aspirations to own your work when things become financially easier again so if you can provide a second gate that reminds them of your primary business, that’s a win. 

You have to think creatively when it comes to offering a second gate. It doesn’t have to be something that you sell, a second gate could just as easily be a blog, or a podcast or a YouTube channel, maybe even offering training. Monetising these things isn’t easy, online ad-spend is generally down and for most people, and online ad-revenue was never great to begin with, no one likes or even expects advertising to appear all over a blog post these days, they might expect it with podcasts but it probably won’t be enough to cover all of the costs.

But remember that continuing to sell the aspiration to own your work is important and these are well trodden paths that have proven to be a life source of many an artist to raise and maintain awareness of them and their work.

watercolour stag
Chase Stag by Mark Taylor - A work inspired by my local area!

Increase Prices, Find New Markets…

Before we carry on with second gates, it’s worth looking into diversification of markets a little more broadly. The notion of a starving artist might seem romantic to many looking in but the starving artist badge isn’t a badge that you should ever feel compelled to wear as an artist. It is a right of passage that should remain optional, but mostly, remember that you need to eat.

It is a good idea during any downturn to revaluate your position and your place in the art world, I would even go so far as to say that you should be at least reviewing your current position at least every year. I know of artists who did just this back in 2008 and came out of the experience in massively stronger positions by repositioning their work and surfacing it in front of new audiences.

Art is no longer something that has to be sold through a brick and mortar gallery in the back end of nowhere, you can migrate to new audiences relatively easily these days with the power of the internet, so long as those audiences understand and appreciate what you have.

You might even have to revaluate what you present and make it more relevant to other audiences and cultures, but this is all part of becoming more entrepreneurial, something that you absolutely have to become during a recession.

Changes in your work, style, audience or practice, shouldn’t mean that you have to completely turn your back on what you did before or your previous markets, you just have to find that same connection with something else and with someone else who can afford to pay either your regular prices or even a little more.

I know that for most people, that’s easier said than done. It’s a bold if not even a brave move for any artist who takes on this shift in direction but the rewards could be significant. When I did this back in 2008, and again in 2014 when I first sold prints online through print on demand, I had no idea at all if I would ever be able to connect with a new audience yet despite some very long hours over a couple of months I was able to find some new connections in new markets.

With this in mind,  if you take the opportunity to reposition yourself and your work to enter new markets there is some consideration that needs to be put into the prospect of raising prices in the new market, particularly if you have experience of other markets prior to entering any new space.

This might sound counterintuitive in a recession, but there is precedent set by many artists throughout history to move your game up to meet higher end markets where the effects of inflationary price increases are not as impacted as they might be at the lower cost end of the market.

There’s a risk in doing this, mainly in alienating all of those people who previously purchased your work at lower prices. But remember, we are repositioning here and potentially introducing a second gate in a new market, maybe even in a new region. The beauty of a second gate is that it can be very distinct from your primary market, so long as you don’t introduce confusion.

Ultimately, when the recession is over and things begin to normalise, if sales are going well in your new market with higher prices, you absolutely don’t have to go back to lower cost works. Those who purchased your work at a lower cost than you currently sell work in the new market might at this point even be elated that they now own work that is worth more than it was.

It's best not to sugar coat this strategy as being easy or suggest it might even be feasible for everyone. It’s a challenging approach to take in regular times. In a recession, not only will you need to scout out new markets and figure out your place in them,  you are to some extent starting from scratch albeit with the benefit and hindsight of working in previous markets, so whilst it can be incredibly challenging, it should also be a little easier the second time around.

I took this approach back in 2008 with over a decade of previous sales and experience and some existing collectors, and I have to say it was one of the most challenging times I had ever faced in an art world which for many years had enjoyed the benefit of people having slightly more disposable income year on year.

I hadn’t planned to make any change on the spur of the moment, I had spent almost 12-months before I made the leap looking into other markets to find a second gate that I knew I would be able to offer. I had to find new tribes, make my work relevant to those new markets and cultures, yet despite this planning and preparation, it was at least initially, a very slow burning candle.

yin and yang clockwork art print
Clockwork by Mark Taylor - a technically challenging work, every piece was hand drawn!

Create new inventory…

If you are still looking for ideas on how to diversify your offer, especially if you do want to take on the challenge of looking into new markets, then you might want something different to offer them. This is something else I found myself inadvertently doing a few years ago when I began to create art work out of waste electronic components which led to me becoming even more involved with the vintage computer community who were eager for technology related artwork very much like the artwork you can see on this site today, but this had the knock-on effect of raising the profile of my regular retro art.

The Cricut…

You can use your creativity to offer something different that still makes sense to your buyers by creating similar works but maybe on new products. If you are looking at markets such as those through Etsy, you could even offer personalisation as an option, or create accessories. My daughter owns a bakery yet her second gate is to supply cake toppers to other bakers or as an upsell to her usual buyers. There are all sorts of options here and there are plenty of devices that can make creation really easy.

The Cricut Maker 3 is a very good example of an incredible cutting machine that can cut out from more than 300 materials. Machines such as the Cricut are essentially, with some imagination and a few good ideas, businesses in a box.

Sure, you are going to need some practice and some up front investment, but the end result is that you get to retain the relationship between you and the buyer and there’s no need to introduce a third party to create the products for you. The whole point of this is that you get to be involved in the wider hand made community and your imagination is the only block to finding new things to create for new audiences.

With these kinds of machines you can also enter the world of personalisation, create small gifts, add logos to clothing and shoes, create stickers, and with dye-sublimation and the addition of a mug press, you can even create a range of dishwasher and microwave safe mugs for every occasion. In short, you can relatively inexpensively set up a small Etsy business to produce smaller gifts that might provide you with a lucrative second gate.

The downside, the initial outlay can be prohibitive for some, the Cricut, mug press, and some materials and tools to get you going might need somewhere in the region of £1000 UK/$1,000 US, before you make anything, which definitely isn’t insignificant, but once the investment is made, you essentially have the tools to build an entire business.

My advice if you do think about doing this, is to shop around. You can usually pick these kinds of machines up for less than the recommended retail price if you look online, and there are cheaper alternatives from Cricut, they’re just slightly less able. One area I would advise not skimping on is by buying cheaper Far Eastern produced machines with questionable power supplies, kit like the mug press gets hot and that’s a potential problem with dodgy electronics.

As for the mug press, I’ve tried various mug presses over the years and most have one major flaw, as soon as the mug goes in the dishwasher the print starts to peel off. The Cricut uses dye-sublimation, the print becomes at one with the mug and the process is much quicker than many of the other presses I’ve used over the years. The flaw with a lot of them is that they often tend to not heat up too well, they overheat or they never quite get consistent heat across the surface. If you are looking for any equipment that uses a heat transfer process, it is worth paying a little more and not having to then replace it over and over again.

adrift under a glowing sky artwork by Mark Taylor ocean boat
Adrift Under A Glowing Sky by Mark Taylor - thanks to the more than 500 people who purchased this print in 2022! Love you all!

Change to a subscription model…

With platforms such as Patreon it’s easier than ever to consider reviewing your business model or at least offer alternatives to the way people currently buy your work.

I wouldn’t recommend artists start up a Patreon in the expectation that people will subscribe to receive a piece of full price art each month but this is where editions and smaller works begin to make a lot of sense. If you could come up with a range of collectibles, maybe with the use of something like a Cricut machine, there are options that could provide you with a regular income if you offer the right rewards. Even in an economic slump, people will still buy things that make them feel good, your mission is to make sure that what you offer is what they want and what they’re able to still afford.

When offering a subscription model through something like Patreon, you need to make sure you can commit to the time needed to fulfil any pledges made. Time isn’t something that should be underestimated and it can get complicated once you begin to offer more and more reward tiers.

You need to be mindful when setting up any rewards that pledges might come from overseas so you might have additional shipping costs to consider, but it can, if managed properly, become a lucrative side business especially if you work with digital mediums which can then be sent electronically.

There are other rewards that you can offer that don’t always mean that you have to commit to sending out product via the mail, many of the podcasts that I listen to are supported by Patreon campaigns and they offer exclusive access to early episodes, an invitation to a community discord server, Patreon only web chats hosted on Google or Zoom, but you also have to turn up which might be more of an issue for some people who don’t particularly enjoy the people thing, and there are a lot more people post-pandemic who no longer like the people thing.

You need to be mindful that you won’t be the only artist offering their work through Patreon too, so have a look at what others are offering as rewards and see if you can provide a value add with your offer. Make no bones about it, it’s a competitive space but as I say, the rewards for those who are committed can be lucrative and you don’t especially need that many subscribers to take the edge off any financial pressures.

Abstract tree art print by Mark Taylor
Happy Summer by Mark Taylor - available now to brighten up your day!

Offer Prints…

If you only sell original works it might be time to look at the print market. There are lots of options here from print on demand services such as Fine Art America, but there are other options if you have the time and can afford the equipment you need to produce your own prints. Utilising an e-commerce platform such as Shopify would allow you to take orders online and fulfil them either by outsourcing the printing or fulfilling the orders yourself. 

The benefit of producing your own prints is that you are able to control quality and you can more easily create, and more importantly, control limited editions. There’s only one POD company that I have ever come across that allows limited editions, although signatures through this service would more than likely be applied remotely with an auto-pen and right now, auto-pens are becoming controversial with the recent news that Bob Dylan used one of these devices to sign his latest book.

There are a few things you need to consider when setting out in the print business, firstly, print on demand is a lot more work than you think it is despite many promises about how easy it is from the services who fulfil the orders. It’s not an easy gig and is possibly more reliant on building relationships on social media, and that could very well turn out to be problematic in the long-term with the way social media is changing.

Irrespective of whether you use print on demand or your own website to take orders, you still have to bring the people to your work as none of the print on demand services conduct any marketing on your behalf, unless you’re a really big name with huge sales potential.

The good news here, if you make the right noise in the right places, have an idea people can rally behind, and get some positive press, there is nothing that can really stop you from finding new markets. But, because there’s always a but with these things, print on demand isn’t for the faint of heart. For most artists, it will be a single tool in a much bigger toolbox.

The main benefit of print on demand is that payments are processed by someone else, the order is then fulfilled and then sent directly to the customer, it is a zero touch business beyond creating the work, uploading it, and promoting it. But that’s also print on demands weakness from an artists perspective, the service owns the relationship with the customer and you are unlikely to ever find out who the customer is. That makes future sales with the same buyer next to impossible unless the buyer reaches out directly to you.

Another consideration is what can you realistically produce with your own printer if you want to handle the printing in house. You will ideally need a good quality dye-sublimation printer and if you want to offer anything above copier paper size, you will be looking at a wide format dye-sublimation printer and the investment that needs to be made in this level of technology isn’t insignificant. You also need to consider the cost of replacement inks. If you are only receiving infrequent print orders then print on demand or outsourcing your printing to a local company will be more cost effective if you can live without owning the relationship with the buyer.

I use a mixed economy of printing in house, outsourcing to a team of specialist print masters and print on demand. It takes a little more planning but for the most part, most of my work is either printed directly by me or a local print company who specialise in fine art prints and this means that I tend to get the benefit of owning the majority of the relationships I have built over many years with existing collectors. Just make sure that your pricing is consistent across every channel you sell through.

Maybe more importantly right now, I can offer the biggest range of print mediums to meet any budget and there’s an inbuilt access to a more global audience with print on demand. The local print company I use is one that I have complete trust in and have worked with for a number of years. They have access to an encrypted Cloud based service to access my digital files and they have access to the relevant ICC profiles that go with each work.

All I then have to do is provide the size and filename for each print and decide the medium before I collect the work and send it on its way. If you can build a relationship with a local printer you do get added benefits, and it contributes to the local economy. I can’t overstate how well this works if you can build that initial relationship and establish trust with someone who can offer you affordable, quality print services.

electric guitar in front of British Union Jack Flag artwork
Brit Pop by Mark Taylor - Another one that looks brilliant on acrylic block

Content Creation…

There is a huge demand for online resources to support teaching and learning, there’s also a demand for the creation of assets to use in computer generated environments and user interfaces. If you are a digital artist then creating content and digital assets can prove quite lucrative, even in a recession as more and more organisations look to transition some of their learning and services online.

Using tools such as Articulate 360, Rise 360 or Storyline, whilst initially expensive and with an ongoing cost, you can easily learn how to create interactive materials for use in all sorts of tasks. Learning the nuances of platforms such as Unreal Engine (ideally Unreal Engine 5) will also give you a platform that you can utilise without any initial costs for the development platform.

Unreal Engine 5 will become the default environment for environment and character creation within the next few years. At the end of the recession you will also have a healthy second gate and a bunch of new skills to continue to create from, and I think that’s a really important takeout, take every opportunity to develop your skills so that your future options are never quite so limited.

Own Direct Relationships…

I can’t begin to tell you how important it is to have a direct relationship with your clients. One thing that I have discovered during my own career is that it is much better to have 10 collectors than to have 50 casual buyers. If you own the relationship directly with those buying your work you have an opportunity to keep them up to date with everything you do and if you look after your tribe, they will become your most vocal ambassadors through word of mouth advertising and that’s advertising that is not going to cost you a penny.

Many of my existing collectors have been with me through thick and thin, there are even a few who have stuck with me since the 1980s when they first purchased some of my earliest pixel work I had created on 8bit computers. In the years since I have supplied them with everything from book covers to restaurant menus and many have gone on to continue collecting my retro works and landscapes.

There have been times when they have been less able to afford work but during these times I have always made sure they haven’t been forgotten. Those who have purchased work from me over the years have become firm lifelong friends who might just call me for some advice on setting up their own computers, or they have continued to commission the same kind of 80s inspired work they were purchasing back in the 80s.

I know that by looking after them and hopefully being a good friend the money and more importantly, the work will continue to come when money isn’t quite so tight as it is during a recession.  My key takeout here is that you should take any opportunity to connect with your tribe whether they’re currently buying or not, and definitely, be sensitive to when they might and might not want to buy.

eighties toy keyboard musical instrument
Eighties Toy Keyboard by Mark Taylor - If you didn't own one of these, you missed out on making soooo much noise! They're used in professional music tracks today because of the distinct and unique noise/sound!

What you definitely shouldn’t do during rocky times…

The benefit of age is experience, I can’t really think of any other benefit right now, but experience has certainly guided me away from making some pretty huge mistakes, mostly because experience reminds me of the pretty huge mistakes I’ve previously made.

Vanity Galleries…

The vanity gallery model was more prominent pre-pandemic where you could rent wall space to display your work alongside other artists. The galleries still exist, some are good, but there were and probably still are, a number that are questionable. I honestly haven’t looked into vanity galleries since before the pandemic because I learnt enough back then to avoid them in the future, but each to their own and maybe you can find one of the few good ones.

The upside is that you get to display work in a space where in theory, footfall would be expected to flow. The downside, most of the vanity galleries I came across in the past required you as the artist to do all of the work to bring that footfall into your space. You would need to hang the work, be present to take payments or be charged for the service, and then you either paid rent for each piece, or you paid for an area in which you could display your work. In addition, some would also apply a commission on each sale. If you go down this route, figure out up front what the real costs are likely to be.

Another downside to this model is that it would be rare for the gallery owner to do any kind of marketing, where they only charged rent and didn’t take a commission they would be paid whether the work sold or not so there really is no incentive for them to do anything except take your money and keep the doors open. Any marketing would usually be done by artists or the artists would be charged an additional fee for the gallery to perform any marketing duties.

Bear in mind that with this model, usually it would be down to the artist to bring in foot traffic but in doing this, you are also bringing in traffic for everyone else in the same space.

Many of these places were never curated, this meant that your work would be displayed next to work that you wouldn’t ideally want it displayed alongside, or there would be sub-par work that generally put any visitors off before they came across the good work.

I spent a month in a vanity gallery before taking my work out and moving it into a local coffee shop. In that first month I sold one piece of work in the gallery, but more than 20 pieces from the coffee shop during the following month. I paid something like 30% commission to the gallery and a hanging fee, yet only 20% to the coffee shop. Both still better than traditional gallery fees, but the vanity gallery really didn’t earn any of the commission at all.

information Superhighway art print vintage technology modem
Information Superhighway by Mark Taylor - Remember the noise? Remember how fast we thought it was? There's nothing quite like the sound of a modem from the 1990s! All hand drawn, even the texture of the cardboard on the box and a little nod to Memphis Design!

Avoid the get rich quick schemes…

Another area to avoid is the get rich quick Ponzi-like schemes that appear frequently online with promises of rags to riches in one or two easy steps. These are usually portrayed in a way that almost makes it a no-brainer to sign up, and just as I have been saying for the past couple of years, this includes falling for the lure of things like those non-fungible-tokens (NFTs).

Sure, some people have made a lot of money through NFTs and good luck to those who have, but they’re rare. We’ve all read the headlines, “artists are being lifted up out of a life of poverty through NFTs”, or, “this technology will revolutionise the art world”, and then back in April 2022, NFTs crashed, big time.

The lure is often how much on average an artist could make if they minted a new collection of NFTs, but the problem with averages, and bear with me here because math really ain’t my super power, is that to find an average you need to add up a whole lot of numbers and divide that by more numbers and you will find that the final number is pretty high.

But averages are fallible, they are skewed by numbers that are high and numbers that are low and you only need a couple of high numbers to influence the low and make everything seem better than it really is. As a metric to measure the economy, an average is about as reliable as a chocolate fire guard.

While we were looking over here at the averages, the real story was being shown over there by the median, those were the real numbers no one wanted you to see. This is where all of the numbers are listed in ascending order and the mid point is the median. What you might find when you look at the median is that there are relatively few numbers that are high but there are plenty that are low, and the high numbers are eye-wateringly high.  When you then look at the median and see how far away it is from the top, you begin to realise that your chances of hitting those high numbers is relatively low.

Lots of artists who have created NFTs haven’t made anything at all after taking into account things like gas costs, not the gas you put in a car but the fee you pay to mint the NFT, and that’s not including the environmental impact from the power needed to perform this task. A lot of lower priced NFT based art is sold, yet more often than not it is sold for a price that ultimately the artist might, with a very high probability have to subsidise.

The gas fee is frequently framed as the cost of doing business, but in some cases the gas fee and wallet approval fee can turn out to be more than you make, meaning that at the end of the sale you owe more money than you earn especially where in some cases the gas fee can be 105% of the sale. Unless you sign up to what we regular folk in the UK now call the Kwasi-Truss school of economics, there’s no sense at all in spending ten bucks to make eight or more likely, six.

retro vintage technology
Retro Peripheral by Mark Taylor - did you know they're still making compact cassette tapes today! Not an NFT in sight!

The promises  and testimonies proffered by many of the crypto-based online services seen online represent a miniscule number of artists making a considerable amount of wealth off a small number of high value sales. In short, there are a few people who are making serious bank but many artists are losing out

However, the majority will find that their work never sells and there are a lot of artists who mint a series of NFTs which never find any market traction at all. Those artists will still need to promote their NFTs just as they would with any other platform they sell on.

Mostly, what you are more likely to find in the NFT space is that there will be a lot of artists who are making very little if anything and in some cases, are having to pay for the privilege of being able to say their work is available as an NFT.

The problem, which in fairness is a problem shared by any service that is by design, complex for the majority of regular folk to fully understand, is that none of the NFT services are very transparent about the hidden costs or the amount of sales previously made. If it’s clarified at all, it’s often in the small print that is buried within the small print of the small print or it is presented as a range (you’ll pay between X% and Y%). 

These issues aren’t especially peculiar to the crypto-industry, it’s the same story we hear in every market where the few amass the greatest wealth. That’s kind of how the art world works, it’s not always fair, but the difference with the markets for NFTs and such like is that there’s a heap of hype that has encouraged many artists to climb on board without fully understanding the complexity of what they’re entering into and what tends to happen is that very few will go on to make any real financial gain from it.

Add to this that some crypto currencies used to purchase NFTs rely on the greater fool theory. A good example is when you buy Ether which you can’t actually buy anything with (it’s a transactional token), so it’s value is only determined by the demand for it.  You can sell it at a higher price than you paid for it but only if you can convince someone else to buy into it, but this sounds very much like every Ponzi scheme in the history of ever. Again, in the UK, it’s a bit like British politics, where inflation is now measured by the eye watering cost of a Freddo Frog chocolate bar.

There is no scarcity in Ether, there’s a never ending supply, and when there is a never ending supply of anything and the people following stop buying into it, the bubble will eventually burst, even my bad math recognises this. If you’re that gullible, I have a bag of air you might be interested in.

If you think that the recent news about a certain ex-politician creating NFTs is news you can comfortably hang a future NFT business on, I wouldn’t be minded to hang anything on that one with regards to potential future value. They will increase in value short term, longer term however, most likely not. Like I said, much of this is really about the greater fool theory and that particular sale of NFTs demonstrates really well that the greater fool theory is still a model people buy into. I’m British, that statement shouldn’t divide us, it’s an observation from experience of NFTs and we have bad politics here too, but still, here’s another bag of air you might be interested in…

That said, the technology behind NFTs and Blockchain has always shown promise, but it needs to evolve and mature into something that the technology can be used for that more people can easily understand. If people begin to understand it they’re more likely to get behind it or at least be informed enough to make a more informed decision.

More than that, the technology also needs to resolve the issue and clean up its image around its use in elaborate pyramid schemes and those promoting it need to address the public need for them to be better educated in what it is, and what it isn’t because the evangelists who need followers to buy into it are drowning out the noise of it doing anything good.

landscape painting snowy valley with trees and mountains
Winter is Coming by Mark Taylor - My official landscape for Winter 2022! 

Right now, the technology has a trust problem, people don’t understand it because it is complex, overly so in most cases, and no one has explained it in very simple terms so that the public could feel comfortable in understanding it or confident enough to get behind it. It’s a PR problem that all sorts of cloud services encounter but NFTs, Crypto, Blockchain, there will be plenty of people who think they are one and the same.

That in itself is a problem in that the public hear the same words to describe these technologies in the same sentence as scam. As much as you listen to the hype around NFTs in the art market, more art is sold outside of the NFT eco-system than within it.

Its PR problem is maybe its biggest downfall. There are plenty of people who don’t trust either their smart speaker at home or the cloud service they use to upload the photos they shoot on their phone, so expecting them to trust something that has so much negative press with the potential to lose so much money is a very hard ask. Its very complexity automatically locks regular buyers out of the market.

Blockchain technology (which is not a crypto currency) can be useful but it too needs to mature and find someone who is really good at PR to lead the charge. None of this technology is some kind of golden panacea that promises and delivers immediate riches, but the concept behind its use for proof of stake and provenance is commendable. Even Blockchain is not without its own problems right now.

If people were thinking these would be democratizing technologies, what crypto currency businesses have mostly done is create a parallel universe that’s a duplicate of the one we’re already in and then it has managed to go even further and give it the image of some really dark mafia plot.

From experience, the lesson we should maybe take from earlier financial crisis’s would be to  hold your nerve and avoid getting sucked into the evangelistic over-hype of promised riches or British politics it seems. You’re quite correct in thinking that I’m not a fan of either or Ether.

Become More Social Savvy…

If I had to make one prediction for the next decade it would be that social media as we know it today will either change unrecognisably or die, and if I were to pick one, as it is currently on life support it’s only a matter of time before that support is switched off.

If we can find something new to fill our time and keep our scrolling fingers busy before then, its final days will be lonely with tumbleweed rolling through data centres around the world.

I might have said this in an article I wrote a few years ago, but social is clinging on to the cliff edge with its finger nails and it might just be worth taking advantage of any downtime through a recession to rethink how you might connect with your audience in the future.

If it stays, it will change almost unrecognisably so. There’s little doubt that monetisation will only ever be sustainable from those who gain the most value from using it and the introduction of monetisation from users should have happened years ago.

We have become so accustomed to having access for free, blindly and conveniently ignoring that we are the product, that to pivot and charge users real money now will be a massive uphill struggle for all of the platforms unless they offer a value that guarantees amplification, and that will only work while users who access it for free or at less cost choose  not to turn down the volume.

vintage phone with snake retro game
Retro Snake by Mark Taylor - One of my latest Retro Inspired works! I remember playing this over and over, but the graphics were nowhere near as good as this! Time for a remake... anyone!

I think at the moment every other social network will be looking towards Twitter as some kind of litmus test to see if pay to play is a viable option. If ad-spend is down, there’s literally almost nothing that can bring in the revenue needed to support these platforms, at least at their current size. The only other option beyond people is whether any of these platforms could potentially find a way to harness a users technology power to harvest cryptocurrency whilst they use the platform but beyond that I have zero idea how you pivot from free to paid without losing big numbers.

Maybe we might get back to basics and reintroduce the idea of real community, but there are already a lot of community based portals that face similar challenges around ad-spend and the very idea of community seems to be becoming more and more like some antiquated idea. Ironically, the divided world we live in today could really do with some community love, but I can’t see technology fixing it.

Your lack of privacy on social media is exactly the product the tech giants need to sell in order to fund your free ride. Their revenue right now is generated a lot less by large business ad-spend and more by small business small ad-spend so again, even my almost non-existent math skills are screaming, recession, small business and precarious.

With this in mind, thinking about raising your online presence in other corners of the internet might be a wise move. Podcasts which I have covered a number of times before on these pages, are increasingly popular in a world where the only downtime most people have is on their commute. As a business, it has to be up there in the top five of great ways to make a connection with an audience.

If you’re looking for ideas, I think there’s a niche for a podcast that isn’t too much up its own derriere when it comes to the art world.  The majority of working artists aren’t too interested right now in the high-end big spend art markets already covered by a number of fine art websites and podcasts. Most artists might raise their eyebrows when a piece sells at auction for tens of millions, but the majority of working artists will be more interested in how to generate more leads on platforms such as Etsy, or figuring out new ways to go about their creative process. Independent artists who want to own the relationship with their customers might also be looking for tips on setting up their own e-commerce sites.

There are a few podcasts that do this already, but not many. Most that spring up are fleeting when the initial listener numbers are in the single digits. The trick with podcasts is to not provide something that sounds a too much like radio, they should be more like a conversation amongst friends. You have to maintain quality but equally, I think the best ones I listen to on a regular basis also manage to add in a touch of authentic humanity too.

When it comes to listener numbers we’ve come to expect immediacy a little too much in this world so we expect that if we build a website or deliver a podcast the viewers and listeners will come, except they don’t, at least for a while. Those with a value add and who keep going are the ones that will eventually build a following, and this can then lead to a third gate in the form of subscriber power.

Y2K artwork computer millennium bug label
Y2K by Mark Taylor - Back in the days when all we worried about was the Millennium Bug!

So what next…

During a recession, it’s inevitable that things will become slower. It’s a tough time for any small independent business and especially a small independent that is focussed on selling a product that isn’t essential to either life or death. Unfortunately that’s the category art falls into.

I mentioned earlier that prices should be reviewed but not lowered to a point where you are neither covering costs or having to live a life of resentment towards your buyers, neither are healthy options for artists. But you do have to be flexible and you need to be flexible quite quickly after the immediate onset of any downturn. From experience, the first weeks and early months of any long term recession are going to be critical in how well you then move forward.

In any recession, discretionary spending reduces for the majority of people. Even when life is rainbows and glitter, art is often an incredibly hard sell and in the art world where regular artists work hard to sell every print or every hand made gift, being flexible is about survival.

Whether you decide to raise prices or lower them, whatever price you sell your work for doesn’t change the artwork, its message or intention. I think you do have to remember that it’s the same painting, painted by the same artist, the difference is that you can either sit on a thousand dollars worth of collecting dust or a thousand dollars that see’s you through the tough times and at least gives you back the material cost of the work.

retro storage mediums art print
Storage Wars by Mark Taylor - Hello World! With the exception of punch cards, I use all of these mediums almost every day! Each piece is individually hand drawn and painted, the original drawings of each item here were at least 6000 x 6000 pixels at 300dpi!

Have a plan B...

One of the things that always struck me as amongst the strangest things I took from art school was that there was always a reluctance to talk about having a plan B as an artist. That might have had a place in the days of the gatekeeper, the thinking was that you needed to only focus on the one goal, but the art world and the world more generally has moved on. People buy and consume art very differently today. Having a plan B is as critical as having a plan A.

Art is a gift from artists…

Artists are incredible. At least the hundreds I have ever met are. They have unique talents, are able to communicate the complex and the contentious, make a statement, and send a message, in a way that few other professionals can.

We often talk about art becoming democratized, but here’s a thought, it’s not NFTs, or Ether, or even online platforms or social media that have democratized art, it’s not the mega-galleries and the gatekeepers,  they’re all simply tools an artist might choose to use.

What has democratized the art world is the dedication of artists themselves, the support they provide to each other, and the opportunities that they often share. It’s the positive impact that they have on society, and above all, it’s their resilience that has done more than anything else to democratize the art world and move the needle forward.

Art is more accessible then ever, it’s part of our fabric, it is a foundation of society, and more people than ever are beginning to view art not as some stuffy elitist society that can be enjoyed by only the few, but as a significant part of our culture that is needed not only to provide some aesthetic or investment opportunity, but something that has the power to bring people together in ways that no government or regime ever could.

It builds bridges between cultures, opens dialogue and conversation, it can embody values that are meaningful to everyone. Artists have the power to do all of that and make an impact.

So in these dark days where recession and contraction are the most popular trends of the day, remember as an artist you can and do continue to change the narrative and make a difference. Focus on that and you will get through this just as so many artists have done so many times before.

Highland Nights art print by Mark Taylor
Highland Nights by Mark Taylor - Still one of my favourite landscape works, I really must create a follow up in a similar style! 

Happy New Year!

2022 has been quite a year for all sorts of reasons but as we move in to 2023, just know that as an artist, you’ve got this. Until next time, stay creative, look after each other, and Happy New Year!

About Mark…

Mark is an artist who specialises in vintage inspired works featuring technology and is also known for his landscape works and the occasional abstract! He lives in Staffordshire, England. He has been creating professional digital work since the 1980s.

You can purchase Mark’s work through Fine Art America or his Pixels site here:   You can also purchase prints and originals directly. You can also view Mark’s portfolio website at

Join the conversation on Facebook at: connect on Twitter @beechhouseart or waste hours on Pinterest right here:


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