A London Big Issue vendor has sold his original artwork for £200

David Martin’s abstract coloured card piece caught the eye of reader Sabine Zanker

A Big Issue vendor’s original artwork has been sold for £200 to a reader who fell in love with the design after spotting it in the magazine.

Arty David Martin’s coloured card arrangement of a modern black and yellow oblong on a red background inspired Sabine Zanker to buy his original copy after she discovered it on our Street Art pages.

She got in touch with David, who has sold The Big Issue for seven years, before meeting him on his pitch outside Tesco in Hammersmith, West London, to do the deal last week.

David Martin Sabine Zanker
David Martin's artwork is a top addition to Sabine Zanker's art collection

And the 56-year-old admits that the sale is a personal record for him.

“She came to my pitch and we went for a coffee and did the deal,” said David. “It went pretty well and she even brought me some homemade cake too – she was a very nice lady.

“I was quite surprised actually – I’ve never sold one for this price before. It’s like a new benchmark for me. I know that prices can get up to the thousands but I’m not quite in that company yet. But it helps pay the bills!”

Sabine has since put the piece pride of place in her hallway. “He is a remarkable gentleman and it was a pleasure to meet him. His work hangs above a German, Japanese and British artist, very good company,” she said.


The Big Issue has inspired the launch of 120 street papers globally, including sister titles in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.

David started working on his artwork while on placement through our charitable arm, The Big Issue Foundation, at the Northern Trust Bank in March 2016, inspired by his love of Henri Matisse’s work.

By the end of the year, he had completed 70 designs and his body of work will be on show at an exhibition in association with homelessness project Shine in September.

David Martin
You can get your hands on a print of David's work from The Big Issue Shop

“A lot of people have said that they like my work and I have sold a few bits and pieces,” said David. “I’ve shown this piece to a few of my customers and they like it so I thought it would be quite popular and when I can get my work to an exhibition, I’m sure I’ll get a few people down there.

“I even showed my stuff to an art critic and he said that a lot of my stuff was not his cup of tea but when he saw that piece he immediately said ‘I like that’.”

While Sabine has purchased the original, you can get your hands on your own replica of David’s artwork in The Big Issue Shop here

Image: Sabine Zanker