A major new survey about art materials in the USA has been announced. The last survey was conducted in 1997 and since then there have been all manner of changes to the art that people make and the nature of the materials they use and how they buy them.
The International Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) and "American Artist" magazine have announced the launch of a new three-part industry study. There are going to be three different surveys which ask questions of the three different important audiences which exist in the marketplace. These are:
- the Artists - this is their survey
- Art Materials Retailers - this is the Art Materials Retailer Survey 2009
- Art Materials Suppliers - this is the Art Materials Suppliers Survey 2009
What's the survey about?
"Artists & Art Materials USA 2009" is the first large-scale survey of industry size and trends, business best practices, and the needs and preferences of artists in more than a decade. It's also the first comprehensive survey of art supply stores and art materials suppliers. The last large-scale survey of artists and their use of art materials was done in 1997 by The Artist's Magazine and only involved artists.
The first phase "Artists & Art Materials USA 2009" study comprises the surveys. In the second phase of the study, the survey data plus government statistics and company financial reports will be analysed to build a comprehensive picture of the evolving activities and needs of artists and different aspects of industry size, trends, and best practices.
The study is being independently researched and written up by Hart Business Research. It's being sponsored by NAMTA (an organization of more than 550 professional arts materials businesses dedicated to supporting the art community). The survey indicates it's also being sponsored by American Artist but frankly I can find no reference to this on their website. However I do have a quote!
"We hope to hear from artists across the country with feedback on a variety of subjects, including the kinds of art they make and how they use it, their art supplies, and how much time they spend on their art each week. This new report is much needed, as much has changed since the last major report was conducted in 1997, including the rise of the Internet and digital art,"Why should you take part?
says "American Artist" publisher David Pyle.
In my view, the best reason for taking part is that the survey offers an opportunity to make sure that your voice is heard. What you have to say may influence the nature and organisation of art supplies in the future.
Make sure you don't miss your chance with Q63 Is there a category of art supplies you wish were better? (Please list any improvements or changes you'd like to see.) Let them know what you think are the ways that the art materials industry can improve.
One of the most frequent questions we receive in the NAMTA office is "Why can't I find statistics on the art materials industry?" And the answer is simple—because the statistics don't exist. This information is crucial to art businesses and working artists, but we need your help to make it happen. The more participation we receive in filling out the survey, the more accurate the data will be.What happens to the results?
Sid Smith, NAMTA's Executive Director.
The results of this survey will be compiled as part of the landmark report on art materials and artists in the United States: "Artists & Art Materials USA 2009" to be announced in Fall 2009. An executive summary will be made available to all survey participants.
Artists & Art MaterialsUSA 2009 will include the results of three 2009 surveys:Who can complete the survey?
- Art Materials Consumers. Trends, growth areas, spending by store type and product category, store feedback, project details, Internet use, impact of classes, etc.
- Art Materials Retailers. Trends, growth areas, best practices, financial benchmarks, margins, sales by product category and retail type, feedback for suppliers, etc.
- Art Materials Suppliers. Trends, growth areas, best practices, discounting, incentives, financials, sales by product category and retail type, feedback for retailers, etc.
The consumer survey is open to all artists working in the USA in all aspects of art - including oil paintings, acrylic paintings, watercolors, pastel drawings, pencil, ink, or marker drawings, mixed media or collage, murals or wall art, handmade books, cards, or scrapbooks, functional art, three-dimensional art, conceptual or installation art, communication art or graphic design, digital art, quilting arts, fiber arts, and more.
How to complete the survey
You can complete the artists' survey online.
I've taken a look at it and as these things go this survey is pretty comprehensive.
One of the questions asks " What art-related Web sites, blogs, e-newsletters, or online communities do you look at? ". If you read Making A Mark or Making A Mark Reviews on a regular basis please don't forget to mention them!
I've raised with NAMTA the issue about non-USA residents buying art materials from USA-based art suppliers. Apparently global online sales and global consumers hadn't been identified as an aspect which needed investigating so I guess that already counts as a research finding!
If you'd also like to participate in the two surveys I'm running on my "resources for artists" art supplies information sites you can do so at by clicking the links below. You can also see how other artists have voted.
- Art Supplies in the USA - Resources for Artists - The buying habits of fine artists - in the USA
- Art Supplies in the UK - Resources for Artists - The buying habits of fine artists - in the UK
Artists who participate in Artists & Art Materials USA 2009 Survey will be eligible to win one of five $100 gift certificates to an art materials store.
Participants must register to receive the executive summary and to enter the sweepstakes by clicking on the link on the thank-you page after submitting their completed survey. The sweepstakes and executive summary sign-up is separate from the survey to keep the survey anonymous. All survey responses are anonymous and confidential to Hart Business Research and will only be reported as part of totals or averages.
NAMTA also tell me that you can raise money for visual-arts scholarships, help advocacy for art education and funding, and gain a chance to win one of five $100 art aterials store gift certificates by completing the survey online. NAMTA is donating $1 for every completed survey (for the first 2,000 completed) to visual-arts scholarships through the NAMTA Foundation for the Visual Arts.
- The International Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA). NAMTA is the only organization catering specifically to those who sell or manufacture art and creative materials. NAMTA unites members in a common goal to grow the art materials industry by sharing information, creating networking opportunities, and providing benefit programs to its members.
- American Artist - "American Artist" is the leading monthly magazine for representational and figurative artists seeking inspiration and instruction on improving their craft.
- The Artists' Survey