Does anyone have any idea about the average number of artists in any city at any given point of time? I guess the answer is no. The only artists we know and we recognize are the famous ones. The ones who are signed up with big record labels, have their own gallery and rake in millions of dollars for their artworks. But if we dig deeper the number of independent artists who are trying to make a living in the absence of recognition is way more than we can imagine.
Fine arts, be it painting, music, dance and more is left unappreciated by the masses unless it is by someone famous. The main reason being these independent artists do not have proper platforms where they can showcase their works and talents for the world to see, enjoy and buy. Having a platform that allows artists to showcase and sell their works will not only help professional artists but also those who occasionally dabble in arts and are good at it too.
What’s Holding These Artists Back from Using the Existing Platforms?
The policies on most platforms makes it complicated for an artist to register oneself and listing their art for sale. Even if they manage to navigate through the paperwork, copyright clauses etc. They would be required to either have a registered entity to receive funds or the platform takes a huge cut from the proceeds of the sales as commission. Unless the platforms are made artist friendly, it is hard to expect artists to start using these platforms to display, sell or monetize their works of art.
What Is the Solution?
All artists need is a simple solution — A simple, easy to use web platform where they can register (possibly with a single click of the mouse), upload their art work, add description and sell without any hassle of complicated registration, transaction fees and commissions. While it is hard to use fiat currency to get the best out of both sides, mainly due to unavoidable transaction fees and documentation demanded by payment processors and banks, digital currency allows them to circumvent most of these requirements.
Who Is Doing It?
There are probably a handful of platforms that encourages and enables artists to make the most out of their works. ArtByte, a New York based platform is one such example. Started as AppleByte, artByte is an alternative digital currency created exclusively for the purpose of encouraging artists. ArtByte also hosts a digital store where the artists can display and sell their art. Buyers can pay with bitcoin or their credit cards on ArtByte.
Now, ZapChain, the digital currency and virtual reality forum has also started doing something similar. Recently the platform announced its partnership with Coinbase, a leading bitcoin wallet company in the United States to create an online marketplace for artists on the platform itself. ZapChain has currently listed an album from well-known rapper — Talib Kweli on the site which ZapChain users can buy with bitcoin. While this looks like a pilot run, let’s hope that going forward ZapChain will provide an opportunity to all kinds of artists to use the platform and showcase their talents and artworks.