Art a porter – there is a way for contemporary art to be available to everyone
The idea behind Art a porter is that there is a way for contemporary art to be available to everyone. They believe that by offering high-quality digital prints of artwork of brilliant local artists, works of art will no longer be reserved for collectors, museums and galleries, but will deservedly find their place in homes, offices, cafes, restaurants, hotels… In the meantime, they have incorporated the original art paintings in their offer as well.
Today, we are presenting you another idea that became a reality. Meet the Art a Porter team!
Who is the „main culprit“ for this idea?
For a long time, I’ve wanted to start a project that would focus on art and thematic creative visual projects. I was particularly interested in the idea of disseminating contemporary art making it available to a broad audience. We have come up with a simple way to do this: on our website, clients select the works of art that they like the most, they order them online and high-quality prints of those works are delivered to their home address ready to be hung on the wall. Curator Saša Janjić and I worked together devising the concept and selecting works for the first collection ˮHappy Beginnings“, later on I continued on my own.
How long have you been developing your idea, and what stage are you in now?
Art a porter has existed as a company and online shop for a little over two years now. Currently, we are in the stage of promotion and brand positioning in the context of providing unique, creative and complete solutions for furnishing commercial spaces such as hotels, restaurants, cafes and big office spaces with artwork. In collaboration with artists and designers we create solutions that are in keeping with the values and the ambience of the space and we carry the project through to the final installment in the interior.
How do you handle the issue of copyright?
We have signed agreements with all our artists that regulate the purchase of copyright, which is something we are very proud of, because we believe that is the only right basis for development of this type of business.
Do you collaborate and to what extent with local artist? How much are they interested in the collaboration and how much do you support each other?
So far, we have had great experiences with artists. The last collection, TRUE LOVE is evidence of successful collaboration, because, apart from creating great works, the artists and designers Monika Lang, Aleksandra Jovanić and Sonja Bajić took an active role in the promotion of the entire collection.
What type of problems have you encountered along the way and how did you solve them?
Creating the website as an online gallery and shop was a major undertaking that lasted for an entire year. It was also very challenging to show printed art in a way that gives buyers a real understanding of how it looks, because they haven’t encountered that type of print before. We’ve noticed some hesitation on the part of the buyers, because there is still widespread belief that art, especially contemporary art, is reserved for the select few experts, and buyers fear they will make a wrong choice and embarrass themselves.
Have you participated in any startup programs or mentorships, and what is your general view of the support system for young entrepreneurs such as yourself that currently exists in Serbia?
So far, I’ve relied mainly on the support of my friends, colleagues and other entrepreneurs that I’ve exchanged experiences with, as well as my own business experience from working in a big system. I’d say that things are changing for the better in Serbia, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
What will it take for your startup and the project you’re working on to become the first thing everyone thinks of when they are furnishing a space or they simply love art and wish to decorate a part of their household in this way?
Far greater online and offline presence and promotion, sales promotion, and continued increase of artwork on offer. The positioning that targets bigger clients such as hospitality units and office spaces is particularly important. I would add that it’s also important to take action to educate buyers about art and interior design.
What are your experiences so far? Do people like the idea and what kind of feedback are you getting?
People like the idea and they are pleasantly surprised with the quality of artwork and prints. The fact remains that they are still hesitant when it comes to making a purchase, because for many people, art still has that element of the unknown and it’s not a priority.
What are your plans for the future? What are some of the immediate goals and what do you see on the horizon?
Soon, we will present a new collection that deals with local phenomena in a witty and lucid way, and it will be very interesting for both local and foreign audience. We are preparing a creative solution for a hotel and that project will most likely be carried out over spring. As far as the goals on the horizon, we certainly plan for our creative artistic solutions for furnishing interiors with artwork to reach clients in the region and abroad. One thing that would help us significantly in that respect is the improvement of regulation regarding placement of services and goods abroad.
Marija Simeunović- Art a porter
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