James Bay Beacon - Community Newspaper since 1992
"Opening doors for artists"
June 1, 2014
By Doreen Marion Gee

As a writer, photographer and graphic design artist, I know how difficult it is to have a venue to showcase and sell my work. Also, there are not too many high salaries in the Arts field, and trying to make a decent income can be an uphill battle. Many people cannot afford to rent a gallery to bring their work to public attention. This is where the magic of the Internet can make anything possible - where dreams can become a reality. An excellent example is ArtCommons, a new exciting on-line store for Victoria Creative Professionals.

It's a paradox that artists need to network to get an audience for their work but the creative process itself is an intensely private and personal experience that sometimes requires isolation from others. ArtCommons solves this dilemma by providing an on-line space where artists come together as part of a network but are still independent entrepreneurs. In their press release, they state that "ArtCommons (www.artcommons.ca), a Victoria based e-commerce venture, offers artists, designers, crafts people and vintage collectors the opportunity to expand their earning potential by running their own shop as part of a network of community minded businesses." The initiative is hosted and supported by the Victoria Free-Net Association [vifa.ca], Canada's first Free-Net, and a local non-profit that provides accessible and affordable web services. The non-profit is the proud recipient of a CRD IDEA grant to help them develop ArtCommons.ca. The founder of the Victoria Free-Net Association [ViFA], Gareth Shearman, was shortlisted for a 2012 Victoria Leadership Award for his brain-child that promoted a sense of electronic community and actually introduced people to the magic of the world-wide web.

ArtCommons.ca is an innovative environment with global market potential where artists can show their creative talents, sell their work and make an income. It is a very effective and valuable venue for artisans of all stripes to network in a world-wide market. The possibilities are endless. ArtCommons Director, MoniQ, believes that the on-line shop hugely expands the opportunity for unknown talented artisans to put their creations in the public eye - helping our community grow as an artistic hub and opening doors for artists struggling to get their hard work recognized. She says, "While developing the grant application we viewed a great deal of high quality work being done here in BC. At the same time we were shocked by the lack of local shops and items for sale in central tourist areas. We discovered very few on-line opportunities for artists to easily sell their work and had to dig to find them. From this, our idea of an online store-gallery grew, which we feel will complement existing business methods and provide a medium with low overhead costs while taking advantage of the continued growth in online shopping trends."

The project is underway and they have a website online, ArtCommons.ca. They are presently recruiting interested artists. If you want to set up shop in a vibrant artistic community, contact MoniQ at sell [@] artcommons.ca. There are no upfront frees but ArtCommons.ca does collect a 12% commission on work sold through their [eCommerce Platform & Community MarketPlace].

This is an exciting window of opportunity for artists to be noticed by a global audience - a chance that doesn't come around that often. Are you going to jump on the band-wagon?

Phone contact for MoniQ: 250-882-7863 Posted: Apr 25, 2015 Originally Published: Jun 1, 2014
In this Article Resource(s) ArtCommons.ca, Victoria Free-Net Association (ViFA.ca)