Art News

With Own Art It’s easy to be an art collector now

We know choosing the perfect art for your walls is a big deal; making decisions about the artist, medium, colours, where you will put it and how much it costs is all part of your thought process. We’re celebrating our long-standing partner Own Art, allowing you to worry a little less about the payment and focus on the important part – choosing the piece you love. Part of how we ensure art is for everyone at The Other Art Fair is through our partnership with Own Art, making our affordable, original artwork even more accessible. Own Art is a national initiative (run by Creative United) providing interest-free credit to buy original work, making it easier and more affordable for more people to become art buyers. We spoke to Siobhan Garrigan, Senior Marketing Manager at Creative United, to share with you how they’re helping to transform the art buying process for both art lovers and artists.

How is Own Art beneficial to artists selling their work?

Own Art opens up the market for a much larger and broader range of consumers. It also provides opportunities for artists to ‘up sell’ higher value works of art that might otherwise be seen as out of reach for customers buying on a budget. Selling work through the Own Art scheme also means that artists can be confident about increasing their sales without having to take on any of the financial risks or administrative work managing the repayment process as this is covered by Creative United in partnership with our credit provider, Novuna Consumer Finance.

How does Own Art help to demystify the buying process for first time buyers?

Sometimes art galleries and fairs can be intimidating places for the uninitiated, especially if you’re worried about price tags being unobtainable. That’s where we come in. Own Art empowers first time buyers with the confidence they can pay for the art they fall in love with, in a way that suits them and their budget. It’s also incredibly simple, a repayment plan of 10 months just means you divide your ticket price by ten and that’s the amount the customer pays on a monthly basis – a £500 painting becomes £50 a month for 10 months!

What impact has the scheme had so far for the arts and culture industry and societally?

Since the launch of the scheme in 2004, over £70m of contemporary art and craft sales have been purchased using the Own Art scheme by c.78,000 customers across the UK. Own Art helps our network of over 300 member galleries, art fairs and artist-led collectives to engage new audiences and generate sales for the benefit of the sector as a whole. In short, by enabling more people to purchase art, we’re supporting the UK’s creative economy by encouraging increased sales of work by living artists.

How do you believe class and economic barriers in the arts industry can be tackled?

There’s no one easy way to answer this. In one instance, the internet has broken down barriers by giving artists and galleries a much cheaper, efficient, and effective way to reach people who have previously been excluded from the industry and it’s important to keep up with developments in technology so that we can continue to increase that reach. It’s also important for those selling art and craft to understand that by working with and representing artists from different backgrounds, they can increase the number of people both buying and making art. The more diverse a range of people there are creating and selling original work, the more diverse the range of people buying it, and being inspired to create themselves. We see the Own Art scheme as an important part of this process. By allowing buyers to spread the cost of art and craft, we’re significantly reducing the economic barrier to buying art. This doesn’t just mean that more people are owning art (although that’s what we’re all about!), it also means more people have access to the industry as a whole, demystifying a world that can sometimes be all too opaque to those on the outside.

What are the main changes you hope to see in the industry over the next few years?

Like everyone, we are hoping that the current economic pressures that we are experiencing in the UK and associated cost of living crisis will subside. In the meantime, we are working hard to make sure that we are responding to the evolving needs of artists and wider industry through the development of new products and services that can help stimulate and grow the market for contemporary art and craft.

Purchase a new piece of artwork using the Own Art scheme at The Other Art Fair, London.