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Artnolens Combines a Social Network and an Art Gallery

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Opening art up to the public and making it accessible to all. This is the ambition of Artnolens. Truly a social network focused on arts and culture, the online public gallery connects artists, both amateur and experienced, with art lovers. Olivier Raulot, Founder and CEO of Artnolens, details the ambitions of his new project, created in Luxembourg.

I find that there are very few openings and possibilities for artists just starting out to become known and emerge.

Already the owner of iNUI Studio, a startup specialized in Natural User Interfaces, this seasoned entrepreneur is taking another passion of his and turning his new startup idea into a reality. “The world of art is a field that interests me and is close to my heart. But it is an environment that I find a bit rigid, and it can be exclusive as well,” says Raulot. Just like crowdfunding platforms have disrupted the online music market, you can expect a platform here that will help discover new artistic talent and one that will disrupt the art sector. “I find that there are very few openings and possibilities for artists just starting out to become known and emerge. I’m especially thinking about the students at art schools. This observation is what led me to create the platform.”

Maximizing the relationship between art lovers and artists

In focusing on how we could maximize the relationship between artists and their fans, early on we introduced the following tools: a messaging system and instant messaging, a streaming video system in real time, a chat room system, a virtual gallery, an auction sales system, a blog for news and updates and, finally, a system for each artist to share his works (i.e. individual artist pages).

Finally, every battle will be followed by an auction via the sales room system that is currently in place.

Teams are already working on the next developments of the platform and aim to put the relationship between art lovers and artists at the heart of their strategy. “The next step will be to offer a system that allows artists to compete on a given theme or topic at a given time, live on our platform. The art battles will be broadcast through our Live Connect system,” says Raulot.

“The streaming functionality is already available, it allows artists to connect their own webcam to allow their fans to see them working live. The same tool will be used for battles,” he added. “Finally, every battle will be followed by an auction via the sales room system that is currently in place.”

The role of startups in culture

There still hasn’t been a whole lot of innovation in the field of arts and culture, but the range of possibilities seems endless as new technologies are revolutionizing all sectors. And there’s no doubt that cultural startups have a lot to contribute to revolutionizing the arts and culture sector and making art more accessible to all. The question is, how do you engage a wider audience in the arts and cultivate interest in emerging artists? This is the challenge of this “sector where financial resources are scarce, and therefore does not represent a prime target for entrepreneurs to invest and innovate in,” notes Raulot.

The startup expects the reputation system incorporated into its online platform to bring out and highlight the most talented artists.

Artnolens seems to have taken all of this into consideration in deciding to employ a freemium business model. “The creation of an account for a fan is completely free, as well as that of an artist. We have chosen to offer to €4 per month plan with no commitment for artists who wish to sell their works on our platform. We do not take any commission on sales.” The startup expects the reputation system incorporated into its online platform to bring out and highlight the most talented artists. The artists on the platform are classified into categories called “markets” such as leisure, creative, artist, elite, master and grandmaster.


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