“Most art platforms are consumer driven. We are artists oriented.”
We interviewed founders Sam Tenenbaum and William Lande, two young entrepreneurs who have been working hard in the last year to launch Bidgala, an interactive site in which artists can learn, teach and sell their work.
Bidgala is a free online art community and marketplace for emerging artists. Our mission is to empower artists who are underrepresented in the market. We want to allow them to take charge of their careers through sales opportunities, education, and connecting them with others in similar situations. By creating this community, we want to potentially shed light on some matters newer artists may be uncomfortable with, such as the business side of the art world.
Since a very young age, we have always started businesses together. Artists are very similar to us: they have to organize and operate their work as a business while undertaking significant risk doing so. When we saw the struggles of an artist friend of ours, we knew we had a chance to make a difference. We didn’t understand why he couldn’t sell his work anywhere or get the promotion he deserved. What was also very surprising is that there was an evident lack of a solid community where he could find support from other artists, especially now with the pandemic. So, we decided to build Bidgala.
Our process started by understanding what tools artists needed to launch their careers so we could integrate them into one site. To do so we proceeded to interview over 200 artists to learn about their daily challenges. Most of them came from the fact that they didn’t have the knowledge to navigate the business side of their work, so that’s where Bidgala steps up. It reconciles the art and business worlds.
The site will be very vibrant and include interactive features. There will be similar features to a social media platform, such as share, comments, instant messaging, and likes. We have also included forums where artists can discuss various topics. The site is a community and a marketplace; therefore, these features are essential for the direct communication between potential buyers and artists. One of the many compelling features is the informative channels; each one is written by experts and covers a different topic related to the arts and management industry. This feature will enable artists to gain access to inside information on the industry. Our site's multiple features are all directed towards creating an educational community for artists where they can market their work.
We are open to any artist from any background, style, and geographical location. We do have a system that monitors the site to make sure they are not “trolls.” The first step for an artist interested in joining the platform would be to sign up. Becoming a part of the community is free, but once the artist finalizes a sale, we take a 30% commission on each transaction.
Pricing of the works is up to the artists, but we suggest they include the materials' price and add an hourly wage for their work. Besides, our informative channels provide additional tips to help them determine the value of their artwork. All sales are handled by a low-paying fee application that is separate from the site.
The Bidgala buyer is either an interior design professional or a new homeowner looking for original work. As we grow, we want to move more towards direct consumers, but business-to-business is our starting point. We believe that this strategy assures the artists with continuous buyer flow on the platform.
For the future, we’re hoping to become a household name for launching artists’ careers. Our goal is to build an educational and supportive community, and we think the more artists we have, the more value each one adds to the organization. Most art platforms are consumer-driven, but we are artists-oriented. Up to this date, we’ve received positive and encouraging feedback from artists on our endeavour.
The primary team members on Bidgala including: Sandeep Chowdary, Tiffany Bouchard, Tianyi Liu, Shahd Yousef, and Nour Abiad are all students committed to the goal of building a strong community. Despite the challenges caused by the global pandemic, they were able to create a dynamic and collaborative virtual working space. Like Tianyi Liu, for example, a Web developer at Bidgala, felt that she had a lot of creative freedom in her work, while still learning a lot on web development from her colleagues, despite the distance separating them.
Stay tuned for the launch of this platform : https://bidgala.com