Monday, May 25, 2015

Artist Spotlight with Artfinder CEO












Today I'm pleased to introduce an exciting segment featuring Artfinder.com, a London-based online fine art vendor selling artwork from around the world.  This website has the most extensive collection of fine art, available for purchase globally including the United States.

This multi-part Artfinder collaboration will showcase 3 Artfinder artists over the course of this summer, who I've personally selected for the Interiors by Jacquin Artist Spotlight Series.  Today I'm interviewing two great members of the Artfinder team: Jonas Almgren, CEO and Liz Hipkins. 

An Interview with Jonas Almgren, Artfinder CEO































Jonas Almgren, Artfinder CEO photographed at an Artfinder event

Jacquin: Hi Jonas!  I'm excited about our collaboration and the opportunity to learn more about you and the Artfinder team.  What's your favorite thing about your job?

Jonas: Nothing beats hearing back from artists, to hear first hand what our efforts accomplish.  It's made me truly understand the challenges most artists face, and what a dramatic difference it can make for an artists when their art is validated through a sale.  Also, customer reviews can be great, as this one we recently received from a customer in Australia:





















Jacquin: Show us your favorite contemporary work of art right now from Artfinder! 

Jonas: There are so many great artworks on Artfinder, and I see probably a dozen new works every day that I find exceptional.  I really like when an artwork surprises me, forces me to see something with new eyes, though exceptional technique can be very exciting too. 

Recently I've been paying attention to the abstracts by Richard Kuhn, a German artists that's been with Artfinder for quite a while.  He started out selling brilliant evocative portraits, but has recently ventured into large abstracts, that I find very compelling.























Photo of German artist Richard Kuhn at work.  
















Richard Kuhn acrylic painting, unknown model, 2015

Jacquin: What's been the most exciting thing about your work so far?

Jonas: As with all startups, it's about building up something from nothing.  When we started out, we had a handful of artists and a few hundred artworks.  Now we are proud to say that thousands of artists have sold work through Artfinder, and the Artfinder Community includes artists from 95 countries. 

Gradually we hope to eliminate the "starving artist" syndrome as we enable more artists to live from selling art, while helping buyers find unique artworks that they often can't find anywhere else.

Jacquin: What does Artfinder have in store for the future?

Jonas: We're planning a massive US expansion this year, but we're also launching several new product features that, among other things, we will support interior decorators and architects with key tools to enhance their project processes.  We believe there are plenty of opportunities working directly with businesses and retailers, and this year we intend to give them our full attention. 

An Interview with Liz Hipkins, Artfinder Community & Events Manager














Jacquin: How did you train for you job with Artfinder?

Liz: Prior to working at Artfinder, I worked for 5 years at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, building out the Membership community and working on a very varied program of events.  Before this, my background was actually in music, studying it at university and working for an orchestra, basically submerging myself in the London Arts scene as much as physically possible! 

Jacquin: How did you come to be interested in art or fine art, specifically?

Liz: It is hard to say, my parents have always had a huge interest in culture, visiting historic places of interest, virtually every weekend.  I grew up in a very rural part of England and so it wasn’t really that easy to pop to galleries and exhibitions, but I always remember coming on a trip to London as a child and going to the National Gallery for the first time and being surrounded by amazing and admittedly very large artworks!  Since then I have always been interested in art and the wider art scene.

Jacquin: How does Artfinder promote its amazing artist? 

Liz: We promote our artists through our community events. We host Artfinder Pop-Ups which are still in there early days, but these involve displaying physical art by local Artfinder artists, alongside an interactive experience using touch screens which enable visitors to curate their own exhibitions to promote on to the venue walls. 




































Artfinder Pop-Up Event featuring interactive screens, London

By hosting Pop-Ups, it enables Artfinder artists from all over the world to have their work included and enables us to promote thousands of artists, rather than just been limited by the size of the space.




















Artfinder Pop-Up Event, London

Jacquin: Show us a work of art in your home?  Why did you choose it?

Liz: This is a work called ‘Baron Samedi’ by artist Jayne Evans, an artist based in the UK (see below).  This work was actually chosen by my boyfriend who saw it and instantly liked it, plus he has always been a fan of the Bond series.  It is an acrylic painting, which came framed, as it includes a striking red color again white and black, I wasn’t sure where we would hang it, but as it turned out it looks fantastic against our open brick fireplace, it provides a lovely contrast to look at. (see Liz's at-home artwork below)

































Artwork by Jayne Evans hanging in the home of Artfinder's Events Manager, Liz Hipkins

There are several different layers to the work.  (see above) Jayne Evans actually took part in an artist demonstration at a recent Artfinder pop-up and it was quite incredible watching her processes and the painting evolve over the time.  She is also a lovely artist to speak with!

Jacquin: Where do you go for inspiration in London? 

Liz: We are very lucky in London that inspiration isn’t hard to find, with wonderful architecture and art around every corner.  I love walking along the river on the Southbank, especially at night when all of the lights are out in full.  With new buildings going up every month, the city landscape is every evolving which I just love.  (see below)













Tips for Selecting Artwork for Your Home:

  • (1) First and foremost you need to look for art that's inspirational and at some level reflects the personality of the owner.  With over 100,000 unique artworks to choose from, it's very much like a matching process.  The art you will fall in love with is out there, you just need to find it. It should be art you're happy to live with.
  • (2) Secondly, you need to consider the interaction with the environment.  What impact do you want the art to have on the room where it is placed?  Do you want to add colour, do you want to create sense of peace, maybe add some energy, or a fresh feeling of open water or green overgrowth?  It's easy to underestimate the tremendous impact art can have on a room, especially if the art is large.  Take advantage of it!
  • (3) Lastly, consider the practical aspects.  How do you want to hang it?  Do you want it framed, or perhaps a ready to hang unframed artwork with painted sides?  If it's a photography work, be careful with direct sunlight, as it will bleach the colours over time.  If you cover it with UV protective glass, consider how the glass will reflect light (but from lighting, and from windows).
If you're looking to add artwork to your space, Artfinder is THE place to search.  Honestly the best collection of original fine art I've seen available for sale on the Internet and it's so accessible.  Stay tuned as I showcase three Artfinder artists this Summer personally selected by me, Jacquin!  In the meantime, take a look at my earlier feature on Artfinder artist Sal Jones
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