It’s the story of 3 girls, Armelle, Yiching (known as Rery as illustrator and active blogger)and Nathie. Once upon a time, they decided to launch “Artchipel”, a digital hub making contemporary art a living & accessible enjoyment for a broader audience. A “Made in French” project so to say. Good news for us: Nathie Nakarat and I had a coffee last week in lovely Shoreditch. Inspiring moment.
Hi Nathie: when we met, you were working for Grazia; what’s happened?
You’re right, I was working for Grazia online edition, a brand that we were launching in France. During this experience I could notice how weak was the link between the media and the brands. Today I am working for a luxury brand on the web side of its communication, and in the meantime I’ve co-created with 2 partners, Armelle and Rery, the artists’ communauty space: Artchipel.
Its mission : be a media and a mediator of the emerging contemporary art for art lovers who can get to know artworks , and buy art at affordable prices, for brands and art professionals. This is to my mind the ideal of what the web should be : a platform where people can exchange, swap ideas and passions, for everyone who believes that the content can bring value to our daily life as individuals or as a brand. That’s why we have a powerful blog on Tumblr and why we are developing our art shop with a new person in the team dedicated to all technical developments. We have also integrated a business developer who can help us co-creating the relationship with the brands.
·Artchipel is highly influential on Tumblr: when did you start to see the phenomenon rising?
Rery launched the Artchipel art blog in February 2011. At the beginning we wanted to gather a public for Artchipel art shop. We quickly realized that the community trusts and has passion for Rery’s daily art spotting, while in July 2011, Tumblr referenced Artchipel on its Spotlight, where feature the most talented creators on Tumblr, in the category “Art”. In may 2012, to celebrate our 50 000 followers, we created with Tumblr team the first Tumblr art meetup in Paris to keep on in real life the art connected experience between artists, art professional, digital experts, art lovers. One of the artists that we had featured announced that, thanks to our referring mediation, she has been contacted by 5 galleries for exhibitions and will have her first exhibition in NYC.
Today, with more than 110 000 followers on Tumblr, not only should we improve our art shop, but we above all should reinforce the mediation of emerging contemporary art on social networks and keep on confirming it in real life for the artists mediation, for professional and brands who want to highlight their contents and identity online.
Do you have daily sources of inspiration?
Several! Rery, the artistic eye of Artchipel, draws her inspiration from her own art favorites, her perfect knowledge of our community and her interaction with curators well-known on Tumblr. Her daily life and her emotions are also an inspiration as we believe that art and life should be reciprocally inspiring.
Armelle is passionate about digital innovations, and her own paintings and collages are drawn through her personal journey.
Concerning my inspirations…well, I dream about making art accessible and spread it to the brands as a part of their enchanted speech, I share my inspirations with all the believers: connected webzines, enthusiastic entrepreneurs, brands innovators, the artists’ curiosity, digital dreamers…
- How do you pick artists?
Rery spots the emerging artists, mainly on the Internet, Tumblr or on webzines. She also interacts with Artchipel art community and selects every week a curator who presents her his/her favourite contemporary visual artist. It is a real connected spotting that completes Rery’s great personal art knowledge.
Sometimes, our encounters with artists outside the virtual life inspire us as well. We also feature the artists that we met while the physical events, as long as they have an online visibility that makes their work accessible to everyone.
- If I’m a brand and that I want to work with you, how does it work?
If you are a brand you want to work with ARTchipel to
1) develop meaningful brand contents related to your DNA and to your brand creativity and art support
2) develop your influence online
We then help you as a brand or agency to find the best way to create dedicated and personnalised contents and to communicate for you and our public on your brand : it can be online and/or offline thought art events, exhibitions…
- Then what are the next steps?
Very clear next steps: we want to bring a new way to explore art : through social networks for the artists, the cultural institutions, the art lovers and the brands.
To start with, we’ve been working for several months with Tumblr and the Parisian gallery “la Flaq” to exhibit our featured artists on Tumblr: a “Connected art” exhibition, an event that we wish to be recurrent from 2013. This is our wish that tumbles out many established codes! We of course have next steps inherent in any start up: today we are 3 co-founders, with a technical director who joins us to continue to develop the art shop and art blog platform, as well as a business developer. We are looking for a project manager, passionate like us and who will help us in the development of our arts events.
- Any chance that you become our agent :p ?
Great rivers can’t be streamed without different waters being mixed
- What can we wish you?
To break the rules and have institutions, publics and innovative brands to do it with us and have fun along the way