The Crafts Council will work to broaden the reach of the Pledge to the craft community, to engage more makers in the initiative, and provide support and expertise.
#artistsupportpledge is an artist-led movement on Instagram that supports artists of all types, including makers, during Covid-19. It was founded by artist Matthew Burrows on 16th March 2020.
The #artistsupportpledge asks artists to post their images using the hashtag and giving details of their works and price to a maximum of £200. If people are interested in buying, they message (DM) the artist. Every time an artist reaches £1,000 of sales, they pledge to buy £200 of work from other artist(s). This spirit of mutual support and generosity is enabling artists to maintain a vital income stream at a time when most sales channels have disappeared overnight.
In under four weeks the #artistsupportpledge has become a global creative economy supporting artists worldwide. The pledge has seen over 130,000 posts by participating artists on Instagram worldwide and driven millions of pounds worth of sales across the globe from the UK to Europe, North and South America, Russia, Taiwan, Japan and many more.
A snap survey of makers in the first week of the lockdown in the UK undertaken by the Crafts Council, painted a bleak picture for makers – who face the same challenges as artists – fairs and markets cancelled, galleries closed, teaching cancelled. More than 67% of makers surveyed were experiencing an immediate decline in their income, and with the majority self-employed, few have reserves to support them through this challenging time.
Impressed by the simplicity and agility of the #artistsupportpledge the Crafts Council is working with Matthew to encourage makers to get involved in the movement and sell work as part of this dynamic new market. Together, we will work to expand and sustain the momentum of the movement.
How makers can get involved
The idea is simple – makers post images of work they are willing to sell for up to £200 (not including postage/shipping) using #artistsupportpledge. Every time they sell £1,000 of work, they buy £200 of work from another maker or artist. The @artistssupportpledge Instagram account has simple guidance on how to participate!