I finally made one of my dreams a reality. I am a strong believer that there are certain subjects that feed each individual’s source of life. These subjects are an alternative source of energy. They provide a break, an escape from the solid realities of life. Those subjects have been art, music and food for me so far. The interest in art became absolute with artandseek, while the others are mostly in dormant phase so far.
I co-founded artandseek in July 2008 to provide emerging artists like myself a platform where they can display and sell artworks to a private community solely focused in art. It started serving members as an exclusive online art auction house, giving its community the opportunity to also promote art events around the globe. Joining artandseek (http://www.artandseek.com) is completely free and the only source of revenue for it is the 15% commission charged on the artworks sold through the site.
Throughout college I have taken several art classes to advance on the art genes I have most probably received from my mother. Only then did it become apparent that I needed a platform outside the classes to improve and price my work. I have been approached several times by friends for selling my work. I rejected the proposals each time believing there wasn’t a sufficient crowd to objectively price the art pieces. I desperately searched online for a comprehensive and slightly exclusive art site I could become a member of. All my attempts were failures. Most of the sites were overcrowded and they were choked with millions of tools, making it hard to navigate through the pages. Outside the online community, galleries were too expensive with 30-40% commissions for an artist who is not well-known with works raging USD 500-1,000. Auction houses would not go near any artists unless they were already known worldwide and have proved to be a good return on capital in their own niche market. My own art portfolio has not gone beyond 25 pieces, but I strongly believed that other emerging artists must have had the same problems I had.
With the push of my business partner we took the first steps of artandseek in March 2007. The construction of an online auction house has been much harder than I have imagined. The name evolved from the idea that emerging artists are like players of hide&seek who are hiding, but eventually want to come out. The name “artandseek” was the perfect mix between the idea and the focus. We found it extremely difficult to narrow down ideas when there were no limits on the tools we could put on the site. So many tools were first introduced and then taken out. We decided to make the site slightly exclusive to overcome the overpopulation issue I faced on the other art sites. Exclusivity would also make our users feel a little special for being part of a community who are well-rounded in art. artandseek was to be a community for art, not a social networking site. Making prospective users fill out a short mandatory application would confirm the interest in art and the site.
There are still so many things to be learned and challenges we face on artandseek. Still it has given me that alternative source of energy I have been yearning for. It has been a break, an escape from all the things we have to (not want to) make happen. I hope I can soon construct similar projects in music and food.
If you are interested I would love to make you a part of it. Check it out at http://www.artandseek.com