Julia Swaby has found international sales success online, selling over her paintings to countries including the UK, the US, New Zealand and Norway, since joining Artfinder in 2019. Artfinder’s annual impact report, released this week, reports that 61% of artists now find digital sales platforms more important than physical galleries for selling their work.
Julia has just made her dream move to Bordeaux in France, buying a house with two outbuildings which she uses to paint and varnish her paintings. After moving house 22 times in the UK, often painting in cramped attics, her ability to sell her paintings online has allowed her the freedom to move abroad.
Her work is inspired by growing up in Richmond, Julia’s mother worked at the Royal Ballet School in Richmond and had keys to Richmond Park.
Julia says, “It's been nothing less than a miracle to have sold so much art at this difficult time. I've sold more than ever before and this has allowed me to make the move of a lifetime. Many of the pieces I've sold have been expressivist works, depicting joy and hope. I currently exhibit through several major online galleries but the vast majority of my total sales come through Artfinder and during the pandemic this has been a God-send.”
"Moving to France has impacted my art in so many ways. The studio space is just fabulous but another important element is the local region. It's easy to be vegan here because we can buy local produce directly from farmers; the strawberry farm is almost on our doorstep! Even more than this, the landscape yields incredible peace. I encounter an increased sense of harmony within myself when I work now. 'Shinrin-yoku' is the Japanese theory that 'forest-bathing' is healing. I live next to the forests of Gasgogne, which are some of the largest in Europe and spend at least an hour a day there, with my dog Massimo."
Demand for buying art online has soared in the last year, with Artfinder recording its best sales quarter in its eight year history in Q1 2021, with 145% growth on 2020. The Art Basel Report, published in March, reports global online art sales doubling to a record high of $12.4 billion in 2020, accounting for an all-time high of 25% of the art market’s overall value, up from just 9% in 2019. The global art market dipped 22% overall, to $50.1 billion.