Service Shop: Art for All
Words Sammiey Hughes Images Various Artists at Service Shop
Before COVID-19, both the opportunities for freelance creatives to produce art on limited budgets and the opportunity for people to purchase good quality art made the creative industry difficult to navigate without access to plenty of money – making art almost a sacrifice. These economic disparities have been highlighted as of recent, with articles and social media accounts documenting the rise of the underpaid creative.
Add a global pandemic to this culture and suddenly the lifestyles of many freelance creatives are under a further threat of not being able to fund their art. An uncertain economy could also make it harder for a wide market to invest in art.
Here’s where Service Shop comes into play, a charitable online print store run by London-based photographer James Holborow, developed at the start of the lockdown measures placed in the UK. It functions as a way to help support freelance artists who could benefit from some income, no matter how small, and a way to give back to the community with a donation to charity. When talking to James about the creation of the store, he emphasises the importance of the art-for-everyone philosophy: “Accessibility is one of our core values, and I think that is something that is hugely important in art”. This democratisation of accessibility to artwork and the opportunity to connect creatives with a wide audience is mutually beneficial.
‘Breakfast’ by Lauren Doughty
The online store offers a range of photographic and artistic prints, recently adapted to price all of its limited edition artworks at a flat fee of £65. The store pays half of its profit back to the artist – thus helping out in these hard times- and in an effort to give back, Service Shop also donates 50% of it’s profits to charities. These include Create!, ArtFund, ArtBox London and Young Urban Arts Foundation, which all help to preserve and encourage the arts to a wide audience. Advocating this sense of community uplift in it’s idea of supporting both artists and the art world gives hope for the future creative world.
And this shouldn’t be limited to a global pandemic. Service Shop has a model for potential longevity in it’s platforming of creatives. A sustainable source of income with a good cause behind it, it helps to positively add to the conversation of artists being paid fairly for their work. Our material purchases may be forever changed in the wake of the pandemic. With an optimistic estimate- more meaningful, sustainable consumption could be a positive consequence. In conversation with Service Shop founder James, on working past the pandemic, he acknowledges: “I do see the project having longevity. As artists have expressed their interest in joining, the platform will continue to grow. Art is something that enriches our lives and is part of a true green economy, it passes down knowledge. The more that people are able to engage with art, the more they can discover”. The proactive opportunities that hard times have inspired could enable an eventual international range of artists at this accessible level.
And on this subject, we select some of our favourite works from creatives presented on Service Shop, and invite you to enjoy and invest in some inspiring artwork.
‘Juan’ by Sam Wilson
‘Nude I’ by Leonie Sinden David
‘When my heart is deep blue’ by Nadia Ryder
‘Package Holiday’ by Tom McCarten
”Zürichsee’ by William Pope
“Art is something that enriches our lives and is part of a true green economy, it passes down knowledge. The more that people are able to engage with art, the more they can discover.”– Service Shop founder James Holborow
‘Above’ by Daniëlle Siobhán
‘Sand’ by Thea Løvstad
‘Lou, Mauritius’ by Sam Copeland