In February 2017, a light bulb went off.
I was talking to a software engineer working at a physics research company, and hearing her talk about her fear of and love for the art world. She was an aspiring artist, had worked in watercolors for years, but was too scared to take the final leap of dedicating herself full-time—something I could tell she wanted so strongly.
I understood her fears. She had already spent time, money, and energy creating a website for her artwork (both original and commissioned pieces) and worked frequently at updating her Instagram account. She had paid for Facebook ads, and Google ads, and had read books upon books about marketing yourself in the art world.
And still, she was coming up short.
It’s a familiar struggle for artists
I had other friends who were saying the same thing but in different words. Showcasing work, finding new clients, and completing commissions was necessary, but it always felt like a chase—a chase that seemed impossible once you added in the need to juggle multiple jobs, create a personal collection, and somehow also find new venues to market your art.
Portrait Study, by Shannon Fody
Each artist I talked to had a different story and vision, but their experience in getting their foot in the door was similar. Technology made it possible to share their work online, but it had yet to connect these artists with a community of clients who were both interested and currently unaware of their work.
Sure, some platforms existed, connecting individuals with artists, but none connected them directly, and specifically for commissions – one of the main ways that artists can make good money.
So we got to work.
Our mission was simple: create a platform that would allow any artist to showcase their work and offer commissions.
We would mimic the experience of entering a gallery, giving each artist a professional, solo show to showcase their work on their page. And the commission process? Now it would be simple, and clear.
Artists would be able to specify exactly what they would be open to creating, showing specific examples and costs, without the back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth email chain or awkward price negotiations.
Flash forward to today
Easel is now live at easelforart.com. We have kept true to our initial mission, keeping the site open and free to sign up for all fine artists.
Siesta Key, by Taylor Cox
In that time, we’ve seen artists find new clients in their hometown and across the country, and it’s amazing.
Our hope is that Easel continues to grow and continues to build a community of hardworking and authentic artists with a passion to create and connect. If that sounds like something you’d want to see as well, we’d love to have you join us.
Special thanks to Negah Nafisi for sharing the story of how Easel started. To learn more, visit easelforart.com.
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