Tell Us About Fair Art Fair, How Did It Come About?
We bought the domain over five years ago, however the pandemic suddenly provided the time and Arts Council England provided the funding to allow us to get off and running. Fair Art Fair was born from many experiences of mine; personally, as an artist, but mostly from 11 years of running residencies sponsoring other artists, providing time and space, exhibitions, and mentorship. We found there was a fundamental missing element for artists to have agency over their practices and we met so many art lovers who wanted direct connections to artists. We already provided this connection in the gallery at Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop, but we knew we could mirror this in the digital arena too. The ambition was to expand our capacity to support and discover more artists, as well as provide art lovers with a transparent and confident place to collect.
What Have You Learnt During The Process of Establishing It?
Number one, app development is so very much harder than you can imagine, and it is a constant act of refinement. We have an incredible development team, and I have learned UX/UI design. Amazingly my husband and I did the UX/UI designs ourselves, which has resulted in a unique feel and experience on the app.
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What Challenges Have You Faced?
The challenge has been adapting to the world of app development, in that everything is constantly changeable, updatable – Alpha testing is more important than you think! We have had a trying time with constant reviews of the app with Apple, which has created a new level of stress.
What Are Your Plans For Growth?
Right now, our aim is to establish ourselves as the best, go-to art world app! Longer term, we hope that Fair Art Fair’s subscription model will provide the funds for further opportunities with a view to establishing local hubs, supporting Fair Art Fair events and galleries.
What Do You Hope the Impact of this App to be For the Artist Community?
We have confidently and deliberately decided to introduce a 0% commission platform. This provides the Artist and Art Lover users with a liberated space to connect, buy and sell. We are keen to illustrate that a peer–to–peer validated arena, with curations and selections, grants and prizes, can provide the complete support and service one needs.
In What Way Does This App Help Emerging Art Collectors?
Our research and feedback tells us that so many people want to buy art, yet find the experience often intimidating and lacking in transparency. The excitement of joining a community that will allow you to discover validated/curated artists with no commission is an entirely new entry point for art consumers.
Judging From the Name of the App, Fairness Seems to be at the Heart of It. Can You Tell Us More?
It seems that we are seeing the art world finally catch up with other industries that have converted to consumer direct models. It is no surprise that both artists and collectors want autonomy, and we think it’s only fair. The artist spends their life dedicated to their work, investing in education, studios, materials, so allowing an artist to have all the proceeds of their sales is intrinsically fair. We also deem it fair to allow an art collector to directly discover an artist and directly support that artist.