The Artist Roadmap

How To Support A Charity With Your Art

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Hannah Blackmore Artist

Once you start gaining some momentum as an artist, and your works starts selling regularly, it is nice to give back in some way, and I think it is a great idea to support a charity with your art.

The type of art you produce may determine who you support, and you may have a charity you want to support due to personal reasons. It feels good to be able to donate artwork or money to a charity as part of your business purpose and artist vision.

A wildlife artist may donate to a conservation charity, a dog portrait artist may donate to a dogs home, however, your chosen charity may also be unrelated to what you make, yet close to your heart.

I have donated to many charities over the years. When I lost my childhood friend suddenly to cancer, I wanted to support cancer research and the hospice that looked after her, so I ran a marathon and sold a few paintings to raise money for both.

I also love animals, and wrote and illustrated a children's book called 'A Devil Called Rodney' which helped raise money for the Save The Tasmanian Devil Appeal.

Last year I was training to do a 500km bike ride across Thailand to support an Australian charity called Hands Across The Water, who provide healthcare, education and safe homes for underprivileged children in Thailand. The ride got cancelled due to COVID, but we are hoping to still do it at some point. I auctioned off some of my paintings, ran workshops and donated part of my exhibition proceeds along with donations, raising $5000 which I am proud of!

It is wonderful to link your art to a cause that you believe in. It makes it much easier to sell your work if you know some or all of the money is going to a good cause, and people are more willing to help and support you. It can also help your sales overall so a win win situation, plus it feels great to give back.

This photo above is of a painting I did for a dear friend who lost his life to a brain tumour in 2017. The painting is a beach he loved to walk on, and his daughter and I created a plaque for him which we recently donated to palliative care in Hobart.

I can see myself supporting more animal and homeless charities in the future, and I am also passionate about supporting and helping artists make a living from their art!

I know this kind of work can feel like a long way away when you are just starting out and barely making enough money for yourself, let alone anyone else, however, a few dollars here and there is always appreciated and can make a difference, and you can always donate your skills and time.

 

ACTION

  • Have a think about what charity or charities you would like to support. Is your art related to an obvious cause, or is there something you'd like to support for personal reasons? 
  • Once you have chosen your charity, think about how you can support them. They may hold a fundraising auction once a year, like some cancer charities do, so you may decide to donate a piece of your art to this. You could donate a percentage of what you earn each year, or auction a piece of your work yourself. 
  • You can also donate your time, and teach a workshop or run an art class in an aged care home or after school club. I am running a free painting workshop for nurses soon, just a thank you for all that they do, especially over the past year.
  • Don't forget to share what you are doing. Create posts for social media and link your charity. Not only will you be raising awareness for your chosen cause, but you will also be getting more people onboard, increasing your visibility as an artist, and supporting what you are doing.

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