BBBRRRRR…hope everyone in the US that’s been hit with all the snow storms (like my area!) is keeping safe and warm. So, if you’re trapped at home, here’s something to read that will warm your soul…my new guest blogger, Cathy Savels, founder of Total Art Soul, talks about what inspired her…
It was on a hot summer’s day in south-west France when I and my partner, web developer Joe Biro, came up with the idea of creating a free platform for artists and crafters from different disciplines. We could combine our joint skills, me as an established Artist and Joe as a Website Developer. Little did we know that when we launched on 1st January 2010 it was going to become a global success in such a short period of time. In month 9 we reached over 103000 unique visitors and traffic is still increasing all the time.
The idea was born from the sheer frustration of approaching one gallery after another and being met with much snobbery, arrogance, aloofness and general unhelpfulness. We knew other artists and crafters were having exactly the same problems and wanted to do something. We wanted to give artists a place where they could be seen and would be able to openly express their creativity.
Gone are the days when the great masters were able to do an apprenticeship with another great master and learn their skills that way. Community spirit seems to be difficult to find and so learning from others with similar skills is proving more and more difficult. We wanted a site where creativity of any discipline could be nurtured and where more experienced people could help those just starting out.
Our vision of the site was to encourage artists to share and expose their works without having to worry about marketing themselves. Members can upload to their own personal gallery and this is fed through to a main Members’ Gallery so everyone gets exposure. Members have a personal blog space, a gallery to showcase their work, a chat room, a forum and a video upload function. The discussion boards serve to grow in the creative process while networking and connecting to international but English speaking like-minded artists.
Active members get featured on the main site blog and random members are featured on the front page. Everyone gets a little space of fame given the fact that they are active in some way on the site. We dreamed about a creative, artsy and useful platform and we feel we have achieved our dream.
Saying all of this, we appreciate that everyone has bills to pay so we decided to launch a shop section on 1st January by popular demand. We’re already seeing some lovely things appearing for sale. We are offering everyone 2 free listings so that it’s possible to have a little test drive of their shop and dip their big toes. To help everyone market their shops, we are also giving everyone who takes up a subscription 4 of our Eureka internet guides to help them market themselves. The success of TAS is mainly down to using free advertising tools which are available to everyone and we want to pass on our knowledge and experience.
There’s a wonderful community spirit on Total Art Soul and our members are truly a great bunch. Anyone joining will be made to feel most welcome. 🙂
It’s a great site & I want to thank Cathy for inviting me to join & post some of my work!!
Here are a few samples of what can be found on the site: