Whilst browsing around the web over the past couple of weeks I discovered Just a Card, a campaign to encourage people to buy postcards/greetings cards from artists and independent galleries on the basis that even these very cheap purchases can help keep artists making artwork and keep galleries open.
Just a Card was launched last year by artist Sarah Hamilton, and its origins are summed up neatly by her on the front page of the Just a Card website:
“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card we’d still be open.”
When I read this quote by shop keepers who’d recently closed their gallery I thought - enough is enough - we need to fight back! As an artist and designer, who also makes cards, I know just how valuable each and every sale is, not only to independent shops and galleries which make our High Streets unique, but to their artists and designer suppliers. Regrettably it’s too late for that gallery, but others need our valuable support, and this is why we started our campaign JUST A CARD - to encourage people to appreciate just how invaluable every single purchase is.
Artists often get postcards (and greetings cards) printed. I’ve got two sets of postcards available—one of my drawings and another of my Medea photographs—and I’m planning to get another set of my more recent photographs printed soon. They’re a great way to make art available to people at a very low and affordable cost: as small businesses, artists like myself are all very aware that money is very tight for a lot of people at the moment.
Buying a postcard from an artist whose work you like may not feel like much, but it’s incredibly important for the artist. I’ve stood behind stalls at art-fairs and received many compliments on my artwork by people who’ve then moved on to the next stall. While I’ve deliberately kept my prices as low as I can, I appreciate that many people just can’t afford to buy original artwork—that’s just a financial fact—but if you can stretch to a postcard (or set of postcards) then it really helps the artist keep making artwork.
And finally if you can’t afford a set of postcards, then a retweet/share/reblog helps too - attention is scarce and every bit helps.