MARCH 18, 2020
A Message from Art Storefronts CEO Nick Friend
Our statement on COVID-19 and what we have done to help independent artists maintain their livelihoods in this uncertain time.
The coronavirus will impact every industry, and unfortunately this means the art industry will be impacted as well.
How exactly? Given that festivals have already canceled, major sporting events, and the fact that the governments across the world are promoting “social distancing” can only mean one thing — you can no longer rely on selling art in-person.
You can expect the usual art shows taking place this year will (and likely next year, according to experts) to either be canceled outright, or their attendance will be greatly reduced. You can expect retail establishments to suffer greatly. Art galleries included. Art galleries have already been closing down across the country in great numbers, and this certainly isn’t going to help.
So what can you do?
The bottom line is that you MUST have an online art-selling strategy. And not just any strategy, but a really, really good one. This is no longer optional. This is no longer a luxury that you can play around with, maybe you get it to work, maybe you don’t. Selling art online is something that must be taken seriously, and right now, while you still might be able to gain an edge.
The photographers and artists who listened to the market and made a serious effort to build their online art business a year or more back are thanking themselves. They are in a great position to succeed. Especially the ones who also sell a lot of art in-person — they are lucky, because they already took the steps to diversify their business. Those that did not take this seriously need to move quickly. And they will.
That said, there is something extremely positive about this unfortunate circumstance.
First, “social isolation” means that people will be spending a lot of time at home. This means they will be spending more time online, on their phones and computers, than at any other time in history. Online usage is going to explode. All the consumers will be there, shopping for what they want and need, because the alternative way of shopping is no longer viable. People will buy things online that they have never bought before. And every family will spend more money online than ever before. Ecommerce sales, in all industries, will explode to all new heights. As a result, if you are properly positioned to take advantage of this, it could be a serious opportunity.
Second, running a home business as a photographer or artist happens to be a completely viable home business. Relish in the fact that you are not a restaurant, you are not a physical art gallery, you are not the type of retail business that is going to get absolutely crushed during times when people can’t leave the house or are afraid to do so.
These two factors make it a very interesting time to be a photographer or artist. While everyone will feel the economic impact, you are actually in a better position than most entrepreneurs and you should be thankful for it and figure out what to do with it and quick.
So what is going to happen next?
For our part, we have:
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