For independent creatives, lockdown has been tough. With stores and galleries closed, spending on non-essentials in freefall and artistic opportunities stifled, thousands of small businesses, studios and artists have found themselves fearing for their futures.


But away from the admin of self-employment support schemes, benefits and grants applications, a grassroots movement that started on Instagram is now helping many of them through the worst, generating an estimated £20 million in sales so far.


Set up by artist Matthew Burrows, the concept behind #artistsupportpledge is simple. Artists post a picture of an item they are willing to sell for under £200 using the hashtag on Instagram. Then, every time they reach £1,000 in sales, they pledge to buy £200 worth of work from other participating artists.


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