Two gentlemen were walking down Green Path in search of a painting. As Janaka Perera shared, "Usually, Green Path is a place where you could find artwork of local street artists. But it was a gloomy and a drizzling day and we could only find one artist who was selling his artwork from the back of a van.
This was an artist who made his living by selling his paintings on the street and most of his business depended on tourism". After this encounter Perera, who has years of experience in business administration and marketing, identified a dire need that's there in the Sri Lankan market for a proper platform for the local artists to sell their work. With the pressures of marketing and selling their work, artists were not able to solely focus on their craft. This was the inspiration that urged him to initiate Aartzy. It is an e-commerce platform that sells paintings, sculptures and digital prints, becoming a middle ground between artists and the buyers. Among many other online art stores, what would make Aartzy special?
For instance, as a business currently based in Canada, it was able to win the 'Art Store of the Year' award for the 2020/2021 period
First and foremost, it is not just an online platform that provides an opportunity to sell the crafts of artists. It creates an international identity for them, thereby generating international recognition for the artists and their artwork. According to Perera, Aartzy Managing Director, the international art market is valued at 73 billion USD and the exponentially growing online market is currently valued over 1 billion USD. So, this platform provides a great advantage and opportunities for the local artists, who get access to this wider international market, without solely depending on tourism, opportunities to share work in local art galleries or the meagre local market.
However, given the nature of the businesses that operate in the market, locally and internationally, it is essential to ascertain the reliability and the credibility of any platform before utilizing it. It has been two and half years since the initiation of Aartzy and according to Perera, they were able to carry out the operations of the online platform successfully for one and half years. While it can be considered as a relatively young e-commerce platform, Aartzy has already gained international recognition. For instance, as a business currently based in Canada, it was able to win the 'Art Store of the Year' award for the 2020/2021 period. This was offered by 'The Corporate Livewire Canada Prestige Awards', recognizing small and medium scale businesses in Canada and the effectivity and success of their operations.
It has been two and half years since the initiation of Aartzy and it has been able to carry out operations using an online platform successfully for one and half years
With this recognition, many internationally based artists have approached Aartzy to display their art work. While they are accommodated at this e-commerce platform, Perera stated that they like to give priority to the Sri Lankan based artists who can greatly benefit by signing in. He also stated that "engaging in their respective crafts and improving their artwork should be the responsibility of the artists. Selling and marketing should be left to professionals who can do a much successful job in this process.
When asked how an artist can become a part of this network and benefit from all it perks he had this to say. "It is quite a simple process which is accessible through the website www.aartzy.com. Initial contact has to be made by the seller of artwork. Sellers can register using the website, drop an email or send a WhatsApp message to the contact details shared in www.aartzy.com. Then an Aartzy representative will contact the artist, explain the procedures and sign a contract, protecting the interests of both the artist and the organization.
Many internationally based artists have approached Aartzy to display their art work
"Afterwards, the artist is supposed to share a simple bio about themselves, few good photographs of the artwork, their sizes and medium used for the artwork etc. With this basic information, Aartzy will continue the processing, costing of the product and the entire process of marketing".
Perera said that they charge only 18 % of the art work as commissions, which can either be added to the price of the art work or to be subtracted from the final amount received. He also mentioned that this is a highly profitable arrangement for artists. This way, artists would receive majority of the profits, as opposed to an option like selling artwork in a gallery or in another online platform, which usually demands significantly higher percentage of profit from the artist.
Moreover, once you register with Aartzy, they will create the artist's own portfolio, with all the pertaining information and their artwork. This portfolio can be used and shared elsewhere, to further improve the digital presence and the international identity of the artists.
The journey so far for Aartzy has been difficult, especially in the beginning, trying to get local artists on board. However, as a reliable and effective e-commerce platform oriented towards creating unrivaled content, while offering riveting value additions to the artists and their valued customers, Aartzy has traveled a long and hard journey towards success. With roots firmly set within the local soil, the opportunities Aartzy provides for the local artists with a futuristic view are unlimited.
s Salvador Dali has said, "A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others." However, to create great art with inspirational quality, an artist must have the time to practice their craft and to improve constantly. If an external entity is willing to hold the responsibility of marketing and selling artwork in an international market, the artists would have more time to produce quality artwork with inspirational and imaginative perspectives. The times artists had to travel the streets, trying to sell their own products at a substandard price can come to an end, with timely initiatives like Aartzy
The complete article can be found at http://www.dailymirror.lk/news-features/Aartzy-offers-futuristic-platform-for-artists/131-204340