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Six Easy Ways to Buy Art & Support Artists - Some of them for Free!

"Celestine" by Claire Keane on Society 6

Buying art and supporting artists is a way we can give back to our community. It's also an alternative way to contribute to our own and society's cultural life.

"... the largest subsidy of cultural life, comes not from governments, corporations, or other patrons, but from the artists themselves," Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists.

Here are 6 easy ways to support the artists we love and by default the cultural arts in general:

1. PASS IT ON: Go to local markets, fairs or artist studios. If we spend more than 10 minutes admiring the artists work and talking with them, buy a piece of art. It could be a magnet, card, print, bookmark or catalogue. Buying from the artist means more money goes directly to that artist.

Artists also love other artists work and buy from them too. So in effect our contribution to one artist is actually filtering down to many artists. How cool is that!

We can also support the artist for free by sharing our experience on social media.

2. SHARE: When we buy something from an artist we can share it on social media. Better still we can connect with the artist through their social media and tag them about how happy we are with our new piece of art. Sharing helps the artist connect with more people, also art is often a solo gig so it's nice to hear from the outside world.

Even if we don't buy an artists work but love it, we can still share it on our social media so others can find them and love it too.

3. DONATE: The next time we're thinking about donating to a charity, what about donating to a local artist instead? It won't be tax deductible though, unless we make an eligible work related purchase.

Ways we can donate to an artist could include:

... display their art at work and encourage people to buy it. We should pick artwork that we like so our promotion of it is authentic.

... sponsor printing publicity for the artist.

... donate money for a specific purpose like buying art supplies, studio equipment, to put towards printing costs or just donate out of good will.

... get to know our local artists and keep an eye open for how we can help, for example, my sister is a hairdresser and she sometimes gets free aprons from her product reps, she asked me if I wanted her spare aprons. At the time I was actually looking for aprons!

(Disclaimer: please don't barrage hairdressers for aprons)

4. GIFT GIVING: The next time we need to buy a gift or business gift think about buying from local artists. It's a great way to pick up a totally unique gift. If we become familiar with our local artists and artists online, then shopping will be a lot easier than running out last minute looking for a gift.

5. PRINT ON DEMAND: Have we checked out artists print on demand sites like Zazzle, Society 6 and RedBubble for unique art inspired gifts and home decor? Zazzle even provides a way for us to add a custom message and photo to the item we would like to buy.

Print on demand introduces a variety of ways for us to bring beautiful art into our homes at different price points.

6. AFFILIATE LINKS: An affiliate link is a special link artists may have on their website. It might be attached to a book review and take us to Amazon or Fishpond or it might take us to an online store like Zazzle and Society 6.

When we click on the link from the artists website but don't end up buying their art or book but buy something else, the artist whose link we originally clicked on will still receive a commission on what we've purchased.

So every time we need to shop on Amazon or another store, think about clicking through from an artists website so they can benefit too and it won't cost an extra dime. Two for one BAM!

It's easy to find artists, buy art and support artists these days, even on a small budget - some of them for free!

Have you supported artists in any of these ways? Or do you have more ideas on how we can? I'd love to hear from you, connect with me on social media and share your ideas.


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