Every so often I get the courage to ask another artist if they would like to trade artwork. For some it is not an option, but others are thrilled by the opportunity to acquire new work via the barter system. There are so many ways you can barter artwork with others: trade existing artwork, make new work, and a split-trade where one artwork is created in reaction to an existing piece.
When I was the Gallery Coordinator at the Rosewood Gallery, I was introduced to the work of Carrie Longley and asked her about a trade, to which she said yes! She showed me available work and the prices associated with them. I selected the ceramic piece, Hummus Paddus, as the work I wanted and offered to create a new painting on a 10"x16" canvas for her. She trusted me to create something without her knowledge, a blind trade, and she even gave me her piece in advance!
That was very kind and very brave of Carrie to do, and not something I would recommend most artists doing with a split-trade. This is the story of a successful art barter, but I have severel stories where the trade did not go through, and work is currently collecting dust because the other artist did not follow through on the agreement.
The time lapse video at the beginning of this post shows the process in more detail.
Trades can happen with close friends or artists you find online. Do not be offended if the other artist does not want to trade. Some artists must sell their work to feed their family, some are overwhelmed with artwork already, and some will not connect with the work you make. Trust your instincts and never feel bad about telling another artist "no thank you" or that you would feel more comfortable with exchanging the work at the same time. A successful barter can be an exciting experience and a wonderful way to stretch your creative muscles!