April 2018 was when I sold my first piece of art. Now, 10 months later, I’ve created and sold almost 70 pieces of art and incorporated a business that I’ve coined as the “Calgary Art Market”. To say I saw this coming, couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve spent hundreds of hours (pushing thousands) dedicated to two things that I love: Art and Business. Finally, the Calgary Art Market is in a place where I can start BETA testing the platform and inviting select artists to try and break it.
So tell me again... What exactly is the Calgary Art Market?
I could tell you it’s a low-commission online marketplace to help kick-start emerging artists’ careers while also making original art more affordable and accessible to Calgarians but… let’s listen to Sarah’s story instead:
Sarah graduated from ACAD in 2015. She loves painting with oils and has a definitely skill in capturing the most beautiful landscapes. However, she’s in a rut. Galleries won’t sign her on (not that she wants to forfeit 50% commission at this stage) and she really doesn’t want to have to ship her artwork because of 1) the cost, 2) the risk and 3) the logistics. Not wanting to ship her art really narrows her options. She’s done a few art shows but they cost a decent amount of money and they aren’t happening as often as she needs them to. She also gets so stressed out having to prepare “inventory” for these shows. Slowly, she’s stopped painting as much and has even tried to sell her older pieces on Kijiji (a guy low-balled her and she thought “Eff this”). What is Sarah to do?!
(in walks the Calgary Art Market in a stunning velvet pant suit holding a deliciously tempting cocktail…)
With the Calgary Art Market Sarah can list her art, pay the lowest commission in the industry (10% yeah, I said it) and actually shake hands with her clients. She meets every one of her clients and learns what they like about her technique. Who knew it was the little owls in her paintings that they seemed to love?! Not only that, the buyers are getting an incredibly authentic experience having met the artist first hand, one on one. The fact that she can host her portfolio, client testimonials, “as featured in” links and a beautiful profile page is a huge plus (sayanora, GoDaddy web packages!)
You're telling me this doesn't exist?
Nope. Not even close.
So what's the next step?
I’m in the process of signing on local artists that are willing to list a few pieces or art to make sure everything is just tickety-boo with bells on. Once I feel really confident with the quality of experience that the artists and the buyers are having, I will expand the reach out more, inviting dozens more artists to party.
If you are a Calgary artist or know of a Calgary artist trying to get their art “out there”, complete the Artist Application Form and I’ll do my best to get you rockin’ and rollin’ as soon as possible!