ArtsHaus was created to help art lovers and less experienced buyers discover artworks in their local area or throughout the United Kingdom. In 2018 the fine art market is largely present online and it seems a guaranteed process to acquire a great and original artwork. It is getting easier and earier either to a new buyer or a well-known collector to trust this new, advanced and more impersonal online system in order to make a reliable and resolute buy. Concerning the idea of a precarious customized acquisition, online art platforms such as ArtsHaus also provide personalized assistance analysing and pointing out the buyer’s personal taste when it comes to make a tailored inquiry.
Words: Yannis Kostarias
Highlighting significant parameters such as quality, affordability and accessibility, the founder of ArtsHaus, Daniel Lee-Jacobs, created an art start-up that stands out regarding selling art online. Aiming to decomocratise the art market and offer more opportunities by presenting many artists from UK based art galleries, the idea of making art more accessible seems a feasible and liberal process. “I noticed that many people thought art was reserved for the rich, something intimidating and intellectual. They didn’t believe that finding art could be easy, affordable or enjoyable” he interestingly mentions.
The young art entrepreneur also underlines his great interest to help more first-time art buyers; when matters of taste and budget could be an obstacle for a potential online buyer, Daniel Lee-Jacobs points out that his start up is “in a unique position to independently advice and support and it would be great to help more individuals with that process”. ArtsHaus has been shortlisted as finalists for the 2018 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards– Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year for the North.
“ArtsHaus is a platform designed to help you discover the amazing, affordable and original artwork for sale in your local area and throughout the UK. It provides inspiration, education and free advice on buying art for your home or business. Working with independent galleries and studios across the country which offer quality as well as affordability, ArtsHaus helps you find artwork that you love, that matches your style and transforms your home”.
Art Verge: Could you mention any three key-words that identify the vision of ArtsHaus?
AV: “Invest in living artists” -Is this motto representative of your start-up’s ethics?
Daniel Lee-Jacobs: The purpose of ArtsHaus is to help people discover amazing artwork in their local area or throughout the UK. I started the business because I wanted to make art more accessible to people. To help those who might be scared of the word ‘art’ by showing them how art can be incorporated into the home, educating them about different types and styles, and ultimately helping them discover the great art all around them. By working with independent galleries around the country that provide quality and affordability, we support a huge amount of early and mid-career artists who are practising right now. This means people can invest in living artists, helping them earn a living and supporting them as they improve and progress as an artist.
AV: If you could provide some advice to a buyer, which are the top tips for buying art online?
DLJ: When it comes to buying online, my tips would be:
- Investigate the artist – have a look at their body of work and get to know their style and their story. See if they are being represented by a number of galleries or if they have won any awards for their work. If they have – then it’s a great sign of quality and gives you an indication whether the price you’re paying is fair.
If it’s possible, try to see some of the artist’s other work in person. Even if it’s not visually similar it will give you an idea of the artist’s signature style. If you’re a fan of their style then it’s simply a matter of finding the perfect piece online.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – it’s difficult to know whether an artwork will look the same in the flesh as it will online. So don’t be scared to ask for further images, or to talk to someone about the artwork in question. They should be more than happy to provide details about the artwork or the artist which put your mind at ease, including information about returns.
- Make sure you know what you’re buying – in the market for prints especially, things can quite complicated, or at least obscure. For example- make sure you know whether you’re buying an original hand-made print or a reproduction. Is it an open edition or a limited edition? This will affect the price you should be paying. Ensure you have all the information you need before purchasing.
AV: What’s the last exhibition you visited?
DLJ: ‘Beautiful world, where are you?’ at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool as part of the Liverpool Biennial.
AV: As a founder of ArtsHaus, what do you particularly wish to achieve in 2018?
DLJ: Awareness of what we’re trying to achieve!
I’d love to work with more great galleries around the UK, expanding from our base in Manchester. At the moment we work with 30 galleries, and I hope we can start working with 20 more before the end of the year. I’d also love to help more first-time art buyers! It can be a really difficult process trying find an artwork which matches your taste, your home and your budget, especially for the first time. I think we’re in a unique position to independently advise and support and it would be great to help more individuals with that process.
AV: What makes ArtsHaus stand out from other platforms?
DLJ: There’s a couple of things that make ArtsHaus a bit different:
- Flexibility – ArtsHaus is the only online platform that offers buyers the flexibility of buying online or in person. The purpose of our platform is to allow people to discover amazing artwork and connect with quality vendors all over the country with the power of the internet. From there they can make the right decisions for them about how to buy!
- Quality + Affordability – I don’t think there’s any other platform out there that offers the same great balance of quality and affordability as ArtsHaus. By working with carefully selected independent galleries around the country which share our ethos of offering great artwork for a fair price, we can ensure buyers have choice, but quality is always guaranteed. Whether you’re a collector or a first-time buyer there’s something for everyone.
- Accessibility – we want to make art understandable and engaging for all. You’ll find that the way we talk about artwork in our blogs or with our customers is simple and down-to-earth. We’re not trying to bamboozle anyone with fancy words, we’re simply there to help. That’s why we offer anyone who wants it, free independent advice to help them find the perfect artwork for their home, style and budget.
AV: What’s the best advice someone gave you while developing your art start-up?
DLJ: ‘You can never stop learning’. Once you’ve stopped learning, you’ve stopped improving.
© All images are courtesy of ArtsHaus