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Revolutionary: Convert Your Art Into Business

Revolutionary: Convert Your Art Into Business
Image credit: Unsplash
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Building a startup is an art and what’s better when startups are built from art.

Industrialisation brought great changes in the world, but it also led to the segregation of art and technology. Prior to that, they made their way into the world clinging to each other like twins at birth. Some great pieces of art from Renaissance and Roman times are evident of the same. These separated domains intertwine from time to time and this time they are back together in form of start-ups.

Over the past few years, the startup industry has seen a boom in creative business. Once startup was a domain of people from technical and business background only, but recent years seem to be going in a totally different direction. This industry is progressively becoming more artistic. More and more artists are crossing the threshold of art towards technology and presenting their work to the world. They are converting their art into startups and this relationship has proven to be mutually beneficial.

Startups promoting art

Everyone wants to make a living out of their passion. Some succeed; however, of all those who are left behind not everyone lacks talent. They merely fail to find a platform to showcase their talent. Startups like PosterGully and TouchTalent in India are doing a fantastic job in promoting the same. Founder of PosterGully, Bharat Sethi, a graduate from University of Delhi in Economics, thought the same when he came up with the idea of selling art online. They started with posters, moved towards artworks by local artists and are now thinking of adding home decor, furniture, kitchenware and even footwears designed by amateur artists. Presently, they have more than 900 artists on board producing art in abundance.

Artists have skill but a startup team compensates for their lack of sales and marketing skills.  At present this business is growing so rapidly that a report from Hiscox states that 71% art collectors buy art just by looking at the digital picture.

Shravani Vatti, founder of Ardizen, had a different idea. She understood that the new artists should to be promoted. However, though young Indian businessmen would want to work in a creative environment, they rarely have time for that. Moreover, only some would actually spend a huge chunk of money to buy art rather than investing in business. She found a midway where these budding businessmen can rent paintings from these artists. What PosterGully did for paintings and posters, Unmute and Qilla Records have been doing for music.

Artists promoting start-ups

Where startups provide artists a stage, artists provide with startups new ideas. From self branding to selling unique apps like James George’s Deathkit, it is quite evident by now that the world does not lack in creativity. In an interview to Motherboard, James George admits, “If the cubists could have made an app for doing Cubism, they would have.” With Deathkit, he is working on the idea by creating an app like Instagram where you could create a series of images and videos that look dreamlike.

Artists have been promising investors of ideas for start-ups. One such example is Sayon Chaterjee who recognized the vitality of handicraft market in India and the lack of variety in eye frames. Mixing the two, he started designing chic wooden eye frames and now has his own startup called Sayon.

 In Berlin, this industry has reached new heights. According to tech.eu the shift of art to internet is so drastic that startups like Deloitte and ArtTactic launched “300 online ventures in recent years covering everything from data to social communities and auctions to B2B art transaction platforms”. Apps like Vastari have come up with the idea of borrowing art, which is, collectors lending art to big museums for exhibitions.

The startup industry is transforming from the world of B2B and B2C to A2C. 

Can artists survive business?

Artists and business can go a long way when together, but at some point one of them has to compromise. And mostly, it’s the artist. Startups respect different thinkers but at the end it is business. They are in the market to sell products and not for the satisfaction of a particular artist who might have different ideas for his art. An apt instance for this is Jonah Peretti, founder of BuzzFeed, who moved from working as a fellow at the arts incubator Eyebeam to starting websites like Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post. To survive investment, artists have to adapt to business and work in that manner. A successful art startup could be corrupted by the flow of money, losing its essence all together. Therefore, in the world of business, artists have to stay focused, stick to their ideas and work on new ways of showcasing the same.

Do you agree that artists are the new face of startups? Share you views with us at our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India.

Edition: October 2016

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