art:i:curate is a crowd-curating platform with a mission to redefine the concept of “curating” by encouraging people to build their own collection, share the art they like and by doing so, co-curate future exhibitions. Irina and Nur, the two founders of the platform, explain how art:i:curate works.
The concept of crowd-curation is highly fascinating. How did the idea come about? What pressing art world problem do you aim to solve?
There are two problems we are looking to solve. Firstly, talented artists have a hard time displaying their works and putting them up for auction. It is difficult for them to find good websites where they can showcase their work. Secondly, we feel that there is no real dialogue between the art world and individuals. These days, individuals rely on what they are supposed to see. We think that you should ask people what they want to see and we do exactly that at our platform.
How does art:i:curate democratize curation?
We hold physical exhibitions with the art our network likes on www.articurate.net. In addition to that, we have smaller events on a monthly basis with the aim of helping people to discover art. These include dinners with artists, casual drinks and so on.
How exactly do you make money?
Our business model has two main components: we charge a commission on the sale of each artwork and there is a membership fee to attend our smaller events (note: signing up to the website is free!)
And what about marketing? How do you promote your events as a start-up?
As a start-up, the main marketing channels we use are social media and our newsletter. It’s all about maximizing your resources. Also, it is important to have the key influencers in your network – they can spread your message much more easily.
Irina, I know you come from a finance background – why a start-up in the arts?
I have always been interested in art and have tried to engage with it. Initially, I pursued a career in finance because you can build great experience in working with diverse companies in different industries and develop a strong general skillset that you can apply later in a start-up environment.
What are some of the main trends you see happening in the art world now?
There are more and more online galleries, inventory management systems and start-ups which facilitate communication between artists and buyers.
And finally, what are your top tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Our advice would be as follows: test your product well before launch, gather feedback from different parties and as far as choosing a co-founder goes, it must be someone you trust and can rely on.
Inspired? We look forward to seeing you at the Startup Weekend Art London in October!