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The suffering of artists in the crisis

The corona pandemic has changed our world. Many people are suddenly faced with unexpected challenges. Many artists around the world can no longer go about their normal business either: Galleries have closed or at least cannot hold vernissages to the usual extent, trade fairs have been canceled, orders have been canceled due to the economic crisis, studio visits or painting courses cannot or only to a great extent due to the contact restrictions The already and often precarious living and working situation of many freelance artists is suddenly moving towards a tangible existential need. Those who are “lucky” are only part-time artists and have a second mainstay that still works.

New business models are developing

But artists would not be artists if they did not develop creative ideas in this situation as well. After the first shock, new business models emerge which can often be implemented with little effort and little financial investment and whose products can be purchased for little money in order to create quick and easy purchase incentives.

Artists also help each other where they can. In Spain, during the tough and long curfew, an artist network developed in which artists offer low-priced works for EUR 200 in order to promote them together and sell them to artists without livelihoods or other customers. Each participating artist undertook to invest the proceeds from the sale of the fifth work for EUR 200 in the purchase of the work of another artist from the network.

The SommerKunstBlog supports artists who have ideas

The SommerKunstBlog would like to offer artists to the public and present such business models. These are mostly very affordable offers that are implemented with simple means in order to keep the threshold for customers as low as possible. A first contribution on the topic has already appeared: 139 | WhatsApp painting course with Alejandro Carpintero from Madrid. This example shows how you can even give great painting courses via WhatsApp. The payment model was simple and inviting: the first weeks were practically free, the artist asked for donations and in the later weeks for a small double-digit contribution for further participation. As he said, this was also done out of consideration for those who had lost everything themselves. However, since he had several hundred participants during this time and many in the groups were absolutely enthusiastic, it can be assumed that he was able to survive the long weeks well.

Art as added value in a society

But it’s not just about art. It is also about how we want to live together in the future and what kind of society seems valuable to us. Many people are currently consciously supporting shops or restaurants in their immediate vicinity because it is important to them that they are still there after the crisis and because there is also a personal connection – in other words, added value. Whereas the new T-shirt from the great shop in the city has not been the focus of attention in the last few weeks. Art also provides added value. Now consciously support (other) artists so that they can make ends meet. In this way, artists can create added value for society with (new and additional) low-threshold offers and expand their customer base.

Two more articles will appear shortly in the SommerKunstBlog, in which other simple business models will be presented: The Indian photographer Anjan Gosh is currently promoting his new photo book in digital format. And the Cologne artist André Böxkes has developed an exciting Polaroid project.

What you can do?

  • Support artists during the Corona crisis by buying a low-threshold product from them!
  • Share offers from artists on social media channels so that they can expand their customer base.
  • As an artist, tell others what strategy you have found and inspire them to develop one themselves!


Nina Davis

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