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Week Three - An Artist's Perspective

Jen Scully

Here we are. Week three of social distancing, working remotely, kids home from school; and all around us, stories of terrible sadness and desperation.  People who are sick, overrun hospitals without supplies, businesses closing, people who can't pay rent.  No definable end in sight, and the potential of cycling through again when this is all over. 

When I planned to release my new collection in March, I could never have predicted the climate we live in today.  Let's face it - people are NOT buying art.  People are scared.  The economy is suffering and basic necessities like groceries are the focus of daily life.  So, like all of the other small businesses out there, artists are seeing a sudden decline in sales - AKA, their livelihood.  Yep, I said it.  See, for some reason it feels a little icky for artists (at least me) to talk about money.  Art is so personal.  I'll just speak for myself here - I did not start painting to make money. Quite simply, I started painting because I need to paint. But somewhere down the line, if you are going to be a successful artist, it becomes a business.  An artist creates art, yes.  But they also do all of the purchasing, shipping, accounting, marketing, customer service, inventory, and so on.  All of the things necessary to make a sale.  So when you see an artist on Instagram, you are seeing a business person. 

So, again, here we are.  Week three, and people are NOT buying art.  This is not a plea to buy art.  You probably shouldn't be buying art.  This is a time to support small businesses, including artists, in other ways - ways that don't cost thing.  Like and comment on their IG posts (it really does help).  Share their post or story and tag them.  Do your own post on your favorite artists and tag them.  Share their website with friends.  Post a picture of their art in your home and tag them.  Share this post.  Help build their community so when they do come out of this they have a chance at thriving.  

We're all in this together.  Let's choose to do what we can now so that we can come out of this stronger than before.


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