Artists are the backbone of our society. Their work is all around us, and shows up in everything that we have and do.
That billboard you drive by every day on the way to work? Designed by an artist. The host of your favorite radio show during your evening commute? Also an artist. The shows you stay up all night bingeing on your go-to streaming services? The actors, directors, designers, and editors are all professional artists.
If this is you, you also know that you have to support artists if you want these products and services to last for years to come. But aside from becoming an artwork collector in your spare time, how can you contribute to supporting the arts in your community?
Read on for five ways to support artists in your community, from buying original artwork to supporting artists indirectly, and everything in between.
The most obvious and direct way to support an artist is to buy their products. Whether you buy a painting for your home, purchase a photoshoot from a photographer, or download a musician's latest single from their online store, your money goes toward helping the artists put more of their art into the world. Plus, they get the satisfaction of knowing that someone liked their work enough to buy it!
If possible, purchase these products directly from the artist. This is easy if you're buying in person; just go into their store. When buying online, do your best to purchase directly from an artist's website rather than through a third-party seller.
To take this a step further, leave an online comment or review on the product or service you purchased. Upwards of ninety percent of people consider other customers' reviews before buying a product online, so your comment may help someone make the decision to purchase this artist's product over another.
We live in a digital era, and savvy artists know that they need to have digital components to their businesses as well as in-person.
Even small, one dollar per month subscriptions to platforms like Ko-fi and Patreon can contribute a significant amount to an artist's yearly income. Some artists also do subscriber-only content online, like audio episodes or video content.
If you can't contribute monthly to an artist's platforms, many artists also create a lot of online content for free. In addition to following their social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and other platforms, you can also subscribe to their podcast channel or follow them on Spotify to get notified of new content releases.
If the artist also sends out a regular email newsletter, subscribing to that helps them to know how wide of an audience you're reaching and helps you stay up to date on their latest work.
In artistic businesses and small businesses in general, marketing and advertising often receive the least amount of financial investment of any budget category. To make up for this, artists rely on word of mouth from their patrons to spread the word about their business and products.
Talk to your friends about the artists you love. Keep a print on your desk at work, and if someone compliments it, be sure to tell them the name of the artist that created it.
You can also tell the artist themself how much you love their work. While words of encouragement won't pay an artist's bills, they will give the artist the motivation to keep creating. If the artist is open to it, you could also write them a client testimonial for them to include on their website and other marketing materials.
Every day, more and more products move into the digital sphere, and art is no exception. If you're looking to participate in a global marketplace and use cryptocurrency to support your favorite artists, this is the method for you.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique tokens that exist within blockchains. Unlike Bitcoin and other forms of crypto, NFTs are totally unique and non-exchangeable; no two NFTs are identical. Because of this, buying an Art NFTs is like the digital version of buying an original copy of an artist's painting, sculpture, or another form of physical art.
In some contracts, the original artist even gets a portion of any future sales of the NFT. This means that if you end up selling the NFT down the line, the artist will benefit as well.
This is touched on briefly in an earlier section of this article, but social media is so important that it deserves a section of its own.
Organic traffic is free advertising for artists, and this is a great way for you to show them your support, especially if you have limited funds for purchasing their work directly.
Share their posts on your own stories and timelines. Comment on their content and send it to your friends. If your favorite artist hosts a giveaway on their page, tag as many people as you know in the comments.
If you purchase an artist's work, make a social media post about it and tag them in your post. If they host live video or audio rooms, join as many as you can and participate when it's appropriate. Every small bit of organic reach helps artists to grow their online platforms.
Use these ideas to support artists in your community and beyond. Buying their work, sharing it on social media, and contributing indirectly to the arts all ensure that you will have access to a thriving and vibrant artistic community for years to come.
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