Art may not seem like the most lucrative field, especially if you believe in the stereotype of the starving artist. But when you get creative and think outside the box of simply selling paintings or photos and renting out gallery spaces, you might just find that there are many ways to be successful in the business of art.
From facilitating new ways to display art in your home or office, to giving artists new mediums to showcase and sell their work, there are plenty of interesting businesses out there putting a unique spin on the art industry.
These seven businesses definitely put the "art" in "startup."
Want to bring art into your home or office without hanging it on the walls? Artkick allows you to display high-quality art and photography on your TV or computer monitor with access to photos from museums, NASA, the Library of Congress, Photos.com and Hubble for free. You can even import your own photos from Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr and more, and control what photos are displayed via the Artkick mobile app on your smartphone or tablet. The service is also compatible with Roku and Google Chromecast devices.
BucketFeet's founders Raaja Nemani and Aaron Firestein are on a mission to help people connect through art. The two met and became friends while traveling through Argentina, when Aaron drew a design on a pair of plain canvas sneakers for Raaja. Raaja soon found his shoes were a big conversation starter throughout his travels, and the two started BucketFeet as a result. The company sells canvas sneakers in a variety of styles that feature original art from more than 20,000 artists from 100 countries around the world. These artists cover every medium from graphic design and graffiti to photographers and painters, and anyone can submit their artwork for consideration by the BucketFeet committee. [7 Handmade Business Ideas for Nonartists ]
Dot Dash 3
Dot Dash 3 is a platform where artists can create and curate virtual art exhibitions with their work. The company has a team of internationally recognized curators who select and invite artists to participate, and the site features everyone from promising new talent to established artists. Since Dot Dash 3 is also a platform where art enthusiasts can discover and buy art, it also helps artists connect with more people and to create and grow their collector base. And just a fun fact: The company was named after the word "art" written in Morse code.
Based in New York, ImageThink is a company that takes art and makes it functional in the office and the classroom. ImageThink is a graphic-recording team that creates illustrations based on keynote speeches, presentations, strategy sessions and more to help people visualize and better remember the information they're presented with. ImageThink team members create these illustrations live during the meeting or event to go along with the presentation. The company also offers its services for creating animated videos and infographics.
Have you ever wished you could turn your favorite photo into a painting? With Instapainting, you can do exactly that. You can order either a mixed-media painting (the artist will print your image onto a cotton canvas and then hand-paint over at least 90 percent of it with oil paints) or a 100 percent hand-painted painting (the artist will start from a blank canvas and paint the entire picture by hand with oil paints) based on your photo depending on your price range and the look you want to achieve. When you order a painting and it's in the process of being created, you can view all of the progress and changes made and talk directly with the artist, and you'll have a finished product delivered to you from Instapainting within about three weeks.
With Juicy Canvas, anyone can take art, customize it and turn it into items like canvas prints, shirts, phone cases, tote bags, throw pillows and greeting cards. Juicy Canvas allows customers to select an original design and what medium they want to purchase it on, and then "remix it" by altering colors, rotating and cropping the image and adding text to create their own custom product. Artists can submit their work for consideration to be used on the site, and customers can easily search through the available designs by style and country of origin.
Are you fickle about your home or office décor? Turning Art is an art-rental subscription service that allows you to select new art to feature in your home or office as often as you like for a monthly fee. As a subscriber, you can search through thousands of pieces to find what you want, and it's delivered to you at no extra cost. Your first order will come in a frame, and when you're ready for a new masterpiece, all you have to do is slide the old artwork out of the frame (to be sent back to Turning Art) and put the new order in. And don't worry — if you absolutely fall in love with a piece, you can purchase it through Turning Art as well.