I first became interested in showcasing the work of artists in 2008, when I was designing a lot of websites. I realised that most art sites our there were really awful looking and went against how people approach viewing, browsing and buying art. So my initial idea came from a wish to make an art website that had great UX – over the years, this has evolved to where I am now, in that I love to tell the artists’ story.
My name is Rachael Page. My professional career has spanned 22 years since 1996 when I graduated with a B.Eng in ‘Product Design’ from a UK university. Since then, I’ve worked as a Programmer, Graphic Artist, Web Designer, Business Analyst, Digital Producer, and UX Consultant.
I’ve always worked in some kind of Design because I’m a very visual person (diagrams mean more to me than words). I’m inspired to make life better via design. In the past 10 years working in User Experience (UX), it’s all about great experiences. I’m currently living in Berlin and moved here in October 2018 to be with my partner.
Right now, I don’t have a full-time paid job as I am concentrating full time on scaling my own business – artfuly.com, which is a global art marketplace & magazine. I’m working more as the Marketing Manager / Growth Hacker on top of the day to day running of the business, which includes creating a monthly magazine, acquiring customers, and improving the design of the site.
I love writing and designing, which is what’s mainly involved in running Artfuly. I started Artfuly with a blank page in 2012 – I did competitor research (there weren’t any decent art marketplaces back then) and came up with design ideas. I contracted a small dev company to build the site, and then held a launch party in a cool Sydney loft called ‘Somedays’ after an ex-work colleague had worked for me part-time in artist acquisition – she has a great eye for art and brought in many talented & original artists. Nowadays, artists are coming to me asking to join!
My target market with Artfuly is art collectors (i.e. wealthier people) between the ages of around 30-65. This age range means that they cover millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers. Most online art sales are in the $1000-$10,000 range according to the 2019 art market report which Artfuly was recently featured in. Online art sales are still seeing a healthy percentage increase every year, and I know that there will be some really exciting tech developments in the next few years. I’ve also recently partnered with ‘Art Money’ to allow art collectors to purchase artworks in 10 installments, so a $1000 artwork becomes $100 per month for 10 months and becomes far more affordable.
Our other market is the artists who we represent and provide our publicity package to – i.e., the instant online shop and magazine feature for €96. Artists can be any age from 18+ and we love to discover new, original talented emerging artists. We also happily represent mid-career and established artists.
The kind of experience I want to create for artists is one that is genuine and personal. Our publicity package is very affordable and gives a huge amount of coverage (a long article featuring a minimum of 6 artworks) when you compare it with a tiny advert in an art or home decor publication. We are boutique and offer genuine publicity services for a very fair price (because our commission helps us to pay for delivery admin, publicity, and website maintenance/improvement costs).
There are millions of artists online, so most of my initial business name ideas were already taken. I brainstormed for hours and liked the misspelled version of ‘Artfully’ [with only one ‘L’] because it means something done with ‘creative skill’, which was relevant to me for both for artists and my own UX profession. It’s also good because it includes the word ‘art’, which is important for search engine ranking.
I’m still pleased with the name choice and think it stands up well and has longevity. I found it pretty easy to design the brand, as the deep purple (think Cadbury’s chocolate) is often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. Once I found the font, which to me is reminiscent of the timeless art-deco style, I was happy with the branding. I try to keep the site very simple so that it doesn’t detract from the artworks on show.
I also publish a monthly magazine with Artfuly. The need for the magazine sprang from the strategy I decided to implement on the advice of my SEO & strategy advisor. Being a small business, updating the website page templates to the designs I have prepared is very expensive. Whilst the current artists’ bio page does the trick, I would like it to be far more visually appealing and have more content – I decided that it would be ideal if this could feel like a magazine experience. The online flipbook magazine has been really well received, and most noticeable is that people coming from reading it to the website via the interactive links then go on to spend 2.5 times longer browsing the website (http://bit.ly/ReceiveArtMag).
For the magazine, I tend to feature at least 3 artists with minimum 3 x double page spreads each, with lots of large-sized artworks and 250-440 words in the article. We like to keep it concise and interesting – the last mag was 48 pages and looks great in hardback (http://bit.ly/MagPrint). I also like to show artworks in-situ in rooms so buyers can see the art in context, plus I offer a service to superimpose artworks into an image of the buyers home – (http://bit.ly/TryArtOnMyWall). The back section is 2 pages of newer artworks which fit in with that month’s theme. For example, the theme of February 2019 was the #Brightscollection at http://bit.ly/BrightsCollection, and all the artworks in this magazine are in that collection so it’s easy for readers to view the whole collection together.
I also interview artists – every one of them has something fascinating about them and a story to tell and I love to share that in my magazine. I believe that people buy art when they connect with the artist; art collectors are often ‘buying in’ to the artist as much as the artworks themselves. Artists enjoy being interviewed and appearing in the magazine and they often order prints of the magazine they have featured in, so I’ll be making Magazines available to order in print from the artfuly.com website soon.
There are many artists that I regularly promote with Artfuly. Ben Stack is an established artist who I’ve represented right from the start – he was a Sydney acquaintance from when he used to throw legendary warehouse parties at his studio in the inner east. I managed a commission for him from a lovely Melbourne couple in autumn 2018 which was called ‘The Optimist’. We had regular 3-way video chats between Sydney – Melbourne – Berlin. The commission was delivered in early December and now hangs on their wall in a beautiful Versace inspired property. Another person I regularly promote is Indigenous Australian artist Garry Purchase, who has really blossomed since we started representing him. My personal favourite is Elizabeth Barsham’s surreal-looking expressionist works.
The feedback for Artfuly has been very positive. I love receiving the compliments and thank you’s from artists and happy art collectors or even those who I’ve worked closely with to manage their commission. You can see some of these compliments on our Trust pilot page at https://www.trustpilot.com/review/artfuly.com.
In the end, Artfuly is down to earth and refuses all the art-world snobbery that has plagued the industry for decades. Artfuly Art Hub is a place to read, relax, learn, get to know artists, and buy wonderful original art to beautify the home. I would like the business to pay me a wage because, since moving to Berlin, I’m finding that not speaking fluent German is holding me back from finding a full-time UX Consultant position. I would also like Artfuly to be the recognised boutique yet affordable publicity choice for artists and the place to discover the world’s most exciting original fine art & artists for art collectors.
In summary, if you want to be a successful artist with decent sales, you need to approach it like running a small business and you will need a good understanding of Marketing. I have recently partnered with Artists First Official who offer a specialised training course for artist marketing, and so most of what new artists need is covered in this course (see https://artfuly.com/diary/?p=1589 – I’ve also secured 30% off the course fee when ‘Artfuly’ is entered at their PayPal checkout). I think this is an important investment for all artists who are serious about their art sales.
I also give out regular advice and opportunities on my linked in ‘artists Marketing Advice’ group at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8715684/ – so I recommend joining that. I have an article called ‘How to be a Successful Artist’ here, which can be a great help to get anyone started: https://artfuly.com/diary/?p=847.
I think it’s important that we find creative, smart ways to solve the world’s problems and reduce the suffering of people and animals while preserving the planet for future generations. There are some very exciting new ways that tech is solving problems in quite unexpected ways. Art will always have the potential to change the world by communicating new ideas.
To see some of the services offered by Artfuly, be sure to check out the following links:
Current magazine (free to read online) – http://bit.ly/ReadMagMarch
Subscribe (free) to the magazine – http://bit.ly/ReceiveArtMag
See & order magazine prints – http://bit.ly/MagPrint
Instagram – http://bit.ly/artfulyart
Recommend an artist – http://bit.ly/recommendartist
E-commerce offer – https://artfuly.com/artists/sell-your-art
Magazine offer – http://bit.ly/artmagfeature
Apply as an artist – https://bit.ly/artfulyapply