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Last Updated on May 30, 2024 by Jella Erhard

Read our interview with Artfinder CEO Joshna Rughani about why they acquired the print platform Art Republic, their passion for creating a world where art benefits everyone, and how art lovers, beginners, and pro artists can use their platforms to connect, grow, and learn.

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Imagine stepping into a world where every brushstroke, sculpture, and photograph isn’t just a piece of art but a story waiting to connect with you. This is the universe that Artfinder, under the visionary leadership of CEO Joshna Rughani, is crafting a place where art benefits everyone.

Artfinder is a home to seasoned collectors looking for something, that sparks their interest, curious newcomers wanting to learn more about art, as well as experienced and beginner artists who are just trying to find their footing since it offers a vibrant community and a platform that makes art accessible, affordable, and delightfully diverse.

Artfinder’s magic lies in not being just another online store but a welcoming place for all where artists and art lovers can make genuine connections. Their strong community focus is particularly heartwarming.

Artfinder’s private artists’ forum further fosters a sense of camaraderie and mutual support, which is crucial in the often isolating world of art creation. This sense of community was especially vital during the pandemic, proving that Artfinder is more than just a marketplace; it’s a lifeline for artists globally.

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With over 15,000 new artworks added every month from artists in more than 100 countries, Artfinder is like the United Nations of the art world. You can find all kinds of beautiful creations on Artfinder from paintings, photography, and sculptures to digital art and collages, there’s something to tickle every fancy, no matter how eclectic your taste might be.

WHITE DOG (2023) Acrylic painting by Angel Rivas

WHITE DOG (2023) Acrylic painting by Angel Rivas

The acquisition of ArtRepublic by Artfinder is a match made in artistic heaven. This move not only expands the kinds of art available but also ramps up Artfinder’s ability to support artists in new, innovative ways, making sure art continues to enhance public spaces and our everyday lives and reaches art lovers of all types and ages on a much grander scale.

I want to mention that Artfinder is also a perfect place to hunt for gifts for your loved ones since you can get authentic hand-crafted art from around the world and support independent artists.

However, Artfinder’s mission goes beyond commercial success. As a certified B Corporation, they are dedicated to sustainability and ethical practices.

They partnered up with Ecologi to make sure they achieve net-zero emissions by 2030 to make sure they leave a positive impact on the planet while supporting the creative community.

In essence, Artfinder under Joshna Rughani’s leadership is not just about selling art but about creating meaningful connections, fostering a supportive community, and making the world a more beautiful place—one artwork at a time.

So, whether you’re looking to discover your next favorite piece, support an emerging artist, or want to find the perfect place to sell your creations you should check out Artfinder.

Let there be light (2019) Mixed-media painting by Aaron Samuel Mulenga

Let there be light (2019) Mixed-media painting by Aaron Samuel Mulenga

Artfinder & Art Republic: The future of the online art market

ASIANA CIRCUS: What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out and looking to showcase their work on platforms like Artfinder and Art Republic?
Joshna Rughani: Research the marketplace you are wanting to join and build a strong portfolio showcasing your best works (it is better to be selective than showing everything if it’s unsuitable for that platform). A solid online presence is also important, as a lot of visibility for artists now comes from social media presence. Finally, good imagery. You are selling art, so clear high resolution photography is a must to showcase your talent and technique.

SCHOOL GIRLS 14 (2024) Acrylic painting by Xuan Khanh Nguyen

SCHOOL GIRLS 14 (2024) Acrylic painting by Xuan Khanh Nguyen

Are there any specific features or tools on Artfinder that you recommend new artists take advantage of to get noticed?
Uploading artworks regularly, or engaging with us on social media are great ways to be discovered and promoted, we also offer one to one new joiner calls with our community management team to help talk artists through shop set up and how to make the most of the platform. We also have a range of paid promotions that can help boost artists’ visibility, and three seller plans available (including a free one) with different benefits and commission levels, so anyone can invest at the level they feel comfortable to.

Cat & Donald duck (2022) Oil painting by Valerie Lazareva

Cat & Donald duck (2022) Oil painting by Valerie Lazareva

How can established artists continue to grow their presence and sales on your platforms?
Regularity is key to visibility, and whatever your frequency of upload, keeping to a rhythm will help you maintain a visible presence to potential customers and also to our team. Social media is also important, to build a following of potential buyers and to refer traffic to the places you sell on. Finally, good customer relationships is key to them buying from you again, so make the most of being able to converse with customers directly when they order from you, package their order with care, even adding a personal note or gift with their order. Create a personal experience that will make them an advocate and returning customer.

Can you share any success stories of artists who have seen significant growth through Artfinder?
From an artist telling us they were able to put a first down payment on a house as a result of their sales on the platform, to artists who have been able to quit their day job to do what they love, there are many success stories we have seen throughout the years. But I would say that, every time an artist makes a sale, every little step made towards achieving their life goal, is a success story in itself.

How can artists on your platform support each other?
Our artists community is the backbone of Artfinder and we have a unique private artists forum that allows artists from all walks of life and locations to directly communicate with one another. It is particularly impactful to help preserve our community’s mental health, as it is a profession that at times can be very isolating (Covid was a great example of this, with artists supporting one another through the forum).

Conspirators and Sushi Bear (2024) Oil painting by Ta Byrne

Conspirators and Sushi Bear (2024) Oil painting by Ta Byrne

Are there any community features or initiatives that encourage collaboration and networking?
Our forum includes meet up threads, exhibition threads and also points to areas of our knowledge base with helpful guides. As a result, there is ongoing peer to peer advice available, especially for big  topics such as global shipping, the use of specific mediums, or communications with customers. It is great to see our community supporting one another through happy and tough times alike.

What role does Artfinder play in fostering a supportive and collaborative environment for artists?
We have a dedicated community management team, who oversee daily management of forum posts and comments to ensure we maintain a safe space for everyone, we also engage our community with collaborative topics in ongoing weekly or biweekly conversations, for all of them to take part in.

How does the acquisition of Art Republic fit into Artfinder’s overall vision and strategy?
The acquisition of Art Republic allows us to bring in more expertise and talent into our business and onto our platform. We are able to expand on our proposition and offer more options to customers thus enabling us to create a world where art benefits everyone.

What exciting changes or new features can artists and art lovers expect from this acquisition?
For customers – we’ll be able to give them more choice from artists specialising in prints and cement our expertise within this space.
For artists – we’ll be looking to take some of the learnings from Art Republic to give our artists access to more curators and features we have been wanting to deliver for a while.

Sunset (2024) Sculpture by Anna Sidi-Yacoub

Sunset (2024) Sculpture by Anna Sidi-Yacoub

Can you share a little about your journey and what inspired you to join Artfinder?
I joined Artfinder almost 4 years ago. My core background is in marketing and I have worked for online B2C businesses and digital agencies. I really wanted to work for a business that makes a difference in the world and Artfinder was perfect as it’s a B Corp that has a mission to make art more affordable, accessible and a viable career for artists.

What has been the most rewarding part of your role as CEO of Artfinder?
I love that I get to work with a passionate and dedicated team. The most rewarding part of my role as the CEO is being able to unlock the potential for the business with the backing of our new investors.

We are now in a much stronger position to make an impact within this sector and to support many more artists to have a career from their art.

Do you have any favorite artists on the Artfinder platform? If so, could you share a bit about what draws you to their work?
There are so many amazing artists on our platform so it’s hard to select a few favourites. Instead I can share some of the artists I have purchased from so far:
Peter Walters – this is the first artist I bought from when I joined Artfinder. I really love his play with literacy to create some beautiful pieces of digital art.

Luminescence (2020) Digital Art by Peter Walters

Luminescence (2020) Digital Art by Peter Walters

Valerie Erichsen Thomson – this was the first painting I bought. I fell in love with a colourful piece of art that Valerie created. Unfortunately Valerie passed away last year from Leukemia so this piece of art means even more to me as I remember her every time I look at it.

Reme Jr – I first discovered Reme Jr when I was looking for a particular piece of art for a space in my house. I really love the detail and precision within his watercolours and have since then bought a few more pieces from him.

Don Quixote, Sancho Panza and Windmills XXI (2024) Watercolour by REME Jr.

 

Don Quixote, Sancho Panza and Windmills XXI (2024) Watercolour by REME Jr.

So far all the artists I have had the pleasure of transacting with have delivered a great experience and I’m really glad to have them selling on our platform.

Are there any specific art pieces on Artfinder that you love or find particularly inspiring?
Again there are so many amazing and talented artists on our platform. In terms of what I love, I always look for something that brings me joy and makes me smile. I love learning about the history behind the painting and artist. My favourite styles are landscapes, abstracts and still life.

What do you love most about working with Artfinder and being part of the online art community?
I love being surrounded by an amazing community of artists and a passionate team. It continues to motivate me to want the business to grow so we can support more artists. I really believe in what we’re trying to achieve and getting to interact directly with our artists and get their feedback pushes us to deliver more.

Sunny Sunbirds (2023) Screenprint by Charlotte Farmer

Sunny Sunbirds (2023) Screenprint by Charlotte Farme

How do you personally discover new art and artists on the platform?
I used to be guilty of scrolling endlessly on the different category pages. I’ve now refined that by taking guidance from our curatorial team and discovering new art and artists on the platform via the collections they produce.

For art lovers who are new to Artfinder, what tips would you give for exploring and finding art that resonates with them?
Our Editor’s Picks guides are a great place to start, put together weekly by our curatorial team, we really hand pick the best of what’s new on the site into these collections, which are a great place to start if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Or if you have specific requirements on size, subject or styles our filters or search can help you find what you’re looking for.

Give me a Hug (2021) Bronze sculpture by Zhao Yongchang 赵永昌

Give me a Hug (2021) Bronze sculpture by Zhao Yongchang 赵永昌

Are there any hidden gems or lesser-known features on the platform that you think new users should definitely check out?
We have a ‘make an offer’ feature, which artists can opt into, meaning customers can offer what they can afford to pay and the artist can choose to accept or make a counter offer. We also allow artists to opt into commissions -so with those artists you can commission a totally custom piece of work, perhaps a family or pet portrait, or a painting of your favourite place.

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