Buy US Arts Our Mission: Fair trade for artists – better options for retailers


Welcome to Love from the Artist.

We are a small community organization (just a handful of art lovers really) and with your help we're hoping to make a big difference to American artists, photographers, designers and illustrators so they can earn fairly from their creativity.

What we're trying to do:

Funding for the Arts is difficult and not easily found especially for independent artists and creative individuals. It’s just a fact – some things are simply more important than others and prioritisation-in-giving is the natural sibling of austerity.

In our minds (here at LoveFromTheArtist), trade would seem to be a really good way to fund artistic endeavour. Trade, unlike dependence on philanthropy and public generosity, is far more sustainable. Or, at least it should be. Trade, to us, represents the most sensible way to push money into the arts and help the sector develop, without perhaps needing such reliance on giving. If you like arts – buy arts! We aim to bring you a great choice of original work but in formats you can enjoy at everyday prices.


The principle is perfect. Artist creates work, sells work, earns money, creates more work, etc. What’s so difficult? For too many the situation goes more like this: Artist creates work, doesn’t know how to, or doesn’t have a route to, reach the potential buyers, artist engages ‘middlemen’ (apologies for the sexist term) like agents or publishers, middlemen earn their profits from the sale, artist gets…, well, not a whole lot of the proceeds is the polite way to put it.

In areas of interest to us, like greetings cards, the middlemen now also generally control what the artist can present for sale. So commercial pressures dictate artistic output and availability, and so what little you and I get to see of the artists’ works. This means that huge amounts of artistic work, that could make fantastic products like greetings cards, will never see the light of day because they might not have the mass appeal needed for commercial development.

But many people like to aim at getting the one case greeting card that suits the intended recipient most precisely and that’s not necessarily the most mainstream commercial option ubiquitously available in the big retailers and malls.

What makes this even more annoying to us at LFTA is that we all come from the world of digital ‘print-on-demand’ so we know better than anyone how easy it is to give the buyer their own choice of what to print for that one unique greeting or occasion.

So why doesn’t this happen all the time? The simple fact is that producing a one-off digitally printed product is fractionally more expensive than mass producing millions of middleman, middle-of-the-road, generic products. Offering you, the buyer, a greater choice means the middlemen make less profit.

When we dreamed up LFTA in the UK, we wanted to create a platform that could offer the widest choice to buyers and that could connect buyers with artists without the ‘assistance’ of middlemen. We felt that the price of a typical transaction, such as buying a greetings card, must inherently hold enough value to justify the slightly higher unit cost of individual manufacture if you can cut out the amount normally earned by the middlemen and instead route the proceeds directly to the originating artist.

So, this is our mission. We want to create an environment in the US for the widest range of works to be offered in such a way that sales are made directly and fairly by the artists creating the work in the first place. Wider choice, fairer trade. We’d like to think that, if you like an artist’s work, you buy from them and they earn from their work in an open, honest and genuine way as they are entitled to do.

We also rather like the idea that when you buy from one of our artists in some part of USA, the money is staying in and benefiting your domestic economy. A lot of the ‘conventional’ card content out there is manufactured overseas by commercial ventures based in other countries. Our cards are manufactured in the USA and sold by artists within the USA.

To see the range and quality of work we offer in the British market and the number of British artists we already support, see www.lovefromtheartist.com

We believe you will like the principle as much as we do.

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