This is the dilemma a new startup in the art world,
“Art has always been a huge influence in my life—I was an Indian classical dancer and studied Indian art and architecture through a US Fulbright Scholarship extensively. It was in India where I first commissioned my own work of art: I wanted a painting of myself as a dancer to commemorate my experience there, and I had fortuitously met a fabulous Indian artist who I thought could bring my vision to life (CoCo Artist Gita H!). I cherished being a part of the creation of that work of art; mostly, I still love that my idea was the artist’s inspiration,” says Krishnamurthy. “That was in 2004, and now, 14 years later, that painting still brings a certain warmth within me every time I walk by it, serving as a reminder of my wonderful adventures in India and a different phase of life. Plus, it’s absolutely beautiful and sits right above my desk, so it’s now the artistic inspiration for this company!”
This experience made Krishnamurthy fall in love with the process of customizable art, and she realized that there was a need for it in the marketplace. “I soon began to realize that many wanted more commission opportunities, but they didn’t enjoy it… nor do they have time for marketing themselves or dealing with the logistics that are associated with it. On the flip side, as I did more research, I found that there was a whole middle market of people who would love the opportunity to order custom art, either for a special occasion or for interior design purposes, but didn’t know where to start (not everyone is fortunate enough to just run into an amazing artist while on an adventure in India!). These are the same people who would get fed up and resort to generic and overpriced prints,” she says. “The primary idea of CoCo Gallery is to connect these individuals with the right artists (ones that they cannot easily find themselves) seamlessly, and to guarantee a wonderful result (by creating more transparency and understanding in the process).”
“We believe that more people would buy original art if their own ideas had inspired the artwork. We also know that budgets often run low after other aspects of a space are addressed. It is nearly impossible to find existing artwork that fits the appropriate price range, and at the same time, satisfies design and personal preferences,” explains Krishnamurthy. “CoCo Gallery has sifted through thousands of artist portfolios to find a wide range of highly talented professionals, so we make it easy to find the right artist within the right budget. We also eliminate any stressors regarding unpredictability of the work by checking in with the artist at the appropriate times.”
The process is therefore fairly simple, and doesn’t actually require too much work when it comes to the customer side. “Our clients go onto our site and answer a few quick questions,” says Krishnamurthy. “A CoCo Consultant immediately contacts them through email to better understand what they may be looking for or the types of art that they may like—some clients know exactly what they want; others need a little more help brainstorming. Within 24 to 48 hours, we send them a portfolio of works by three to five CoCo Artists that fit their preferences, budget, and timeline. All of this is complimentary. Once a client chooses an artist, the work begins, and the client is kept in the loop throughout the process. We still give the artist space to create and be innovative, but we make sure the client’s non-negotiable specifications are met, and they end up with a cherished work of art that is personal to them and fits beautifully with their space.”
Commissions are delivered in about four to six weeks, and CoCo also offers framing and installation services. Both the client and the artist are legally protected throughout the entire process, and they have a CoCo Consultant who is always available to help with questions and communication. So, say you wanted something that reminded you of a trip you took in college or simply a beautiful landscape painting, you can get it all—and with prices ranging from $300 to $15,000, you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your budget.
So, if you think you’d want something personalized, but don’t really know where to start, Krishnamurthy has some advice for anyone looking to start an art collection for the first time. As she insists, “Art can play a huge role in making your home feel the way you want it to feel, and thus, making you feel the way you want to feel.”
“We encourage people to first identify where in the home they want to have a work of art, and then, how they want that space to feel. How do they use that room? What are they doing in that room, and who is usually with them at the time? Usually, these questions start conjuring personal subjects—places and people that are special to them, symbols that have meaning, colors that put them at ease. It’s a great place to start to figure out how to fill their home with personal, meaningful, and one of a kind works of art that they can cherish forever.
Also, we tell people that it doesn’t matter who the next big artist is, or the genre that everyone is into now. Art isn’t the latest luxury bag on the market, despite how the world tries to market it! Thinking about it in that way will only lead to buying an extremely expensive work of art that you won’t want to see every day after a couple of years—but art is about what you want to look at every day, in your most personal space and in your most personal moments.”
If you want to grab a customized piece of art of your own, CoCo Gallery is offering a 10 percent discount to Domino readers—simply enter the code “Domino10” on the site.
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