UK artists struggle because of Coronavirus

Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic, theatres, cinemas and all kind of performing art venues have closed down, and some of them have not had the chance to reopen yet.

In 2020 the creative industry is projected to have lost £77billion in revenue and 409,000 creative jobs. 

But advanced technology has kept artists going during these times of crisis, through online galleries and art shops as well as social media livestreams.

Joanna Radecka, a professional painter from north London, said the lockdowns were not easy for her as an artist.

“Due to Covid-19, I haven’t been working freelance for months. Also, my husband who is a motion graphic artist doesn’t have any job for more than six months. We wouldn’t be able to survive as a family without grants offered to the artist by the government,” she said.

“This situation pushed me to think about other options and places where I could showcase my paintings and offer them to a wider audience for sale. I opened my own Etsy shop where I offer my artwork for lower than in the gallery prices.

“The beginning was quite difficult, but in time my shop got a bit of recognition and I managed to sell 20 of my paintings so far.”

According to Radecka, online galleries and shops are essential for artists during the pandemic as they are the only places where they can still showcase their work.

Vane MG, another artist and designer from London, said that her personal Covid-19 experience was not bad thanks to the internet and social media, which gave her a platform to showcase her artwork while all galleries and museums were closed.

“I have been having a lot of commissions through this kind of new activities. It’s really interesting as well because we have the opportunity to learn new worlds where art could be,” she said.

There are a number of government grants and loans that artists who are struggling can apply for, including National Lottery Project Grants available to individuals and community and cultural organisations

They can all be found on the arts council website.

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