Open letter to artists: Make our venture your own

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Fellow artists,

Thank you for the enthusiasm with which you have so far embraced our undertaking to create an art patronage platform especially tailored to the needs of visual artists. I’m writing this to let you in on the venture’s progress and to bring to your attention what is most likely the key factor in determining its success.

As you know, this is essentially an artist-run initiative. Having first-hand experience of what is on offer for artists out there in terms of support for their practice, and having had to reject models that, while claiming to help artists, actually don’t do much more than prey on them, I have come to this conclusion:

New structures need to be put in place that put artists and the sustainability of their practice at the forefront.

What we are attempting here is quite ambitious: To prototype and introduce a new model of support mechanism for artists at odds with the logic of the “online art shop” and that of crowdfunding that taps into the artist’s “fan base”. What we are interested in, instead, is creating a network of support for artists by reviving elements of the traditional, mutually beneficial patron-artist relationship, and uniting them with the power of the Internet. This initiative aims to breathe fresh air into a field at risk of being overtaken by cynicism.

The insights provided so far by our Artist Survey are significant (there is still room for more data, so if you haven’t taken it yet, please do). The message we are getting from artists is quite clear: This is something much needed and long overdue.

The next step before we move onto the design of the platform is to get input from art lovers and collectors as to how we can make this an attractive destination for them, too. For this purpose we have prepared a Patron Survey. We ourselves can only reach out to so many people and the online survey tools available cannot provide us the specific audience we want for our survey: Art lovers and collectors. In order for it to have a broad reach we call for the artists that have supported the initiative so far to actively participate in this stage as well.

You guessed it: Artists, the key factor that will determine this venture’s success is whether you will adopt it as your own.

So, artists, invite the art lovers, collectors and potential patrons in your circle, maybe even your own potential patrons, to take our Patron Survey.

Tip: When the link of the survey is shared publicly on Facebook it is not obvious what it is about because it advertises the Survey service.  Please share the survey link through e-mail or private messaging.

Featured image: “Idea! Why not ? It will work ! “, vintage comic image

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