November 2016 – Afriartistry.com is a platform for talented African artists to feature and sell their remarkable artworks to a global audience. It aims to be the biggest online medium for the discovery of remarkable art and raw talent from Africa. From wall art, cushions and paintings to sculpture, the website features artworks made with locally available materials by their affiliated artists. These artists sign up to the platform to sell their already available works, custom or made per order pieces. About 20 African artists are already signed on to the platform since their launch in late October, with more sign ups daily.
The founder of Afriartistry, Vera Maranzu, credits her motivation for developing the initiative to her great appreciation for the originality and creativity of African artists birthed from her visits to African art exhibitions. In her words “the African appeal is apparent in its art, as the contemporary African art being created by these artists are so remarkable, that it leaves a lasting impression on the viewer, of daily African life, culture or other themes often explored.”
The brand is also focused on making social impact through art, as every order placed on the website has a dollar automatically kept aside for charity donation at the end of each month, and customers with paid orders for the month get to vote for a registered charity in the country of the highest selling artist of the month to receive the donation. They further engage and educate their audience on African heritage with social media programmes like the African Proverb Wednesdays on their Instagram page (@afriartistry) where followers get rewarded for accurately explaining the proverb of the day.
Afriartistry is set to significantly influence their niche as they grow and scale, considering the ease of accessing the medium for both artists and the collectors. This ease coupled with the engaging brand strategy is sure to place them center stage in due time. Also, the brand’s careful selection of the artists they carry ensures that they are not just providing quality, but also building the confidence of the average art lover to own or collect art they appreciate. The inclusion of artful home items, as well as more conventional works like paintings and sculptures, successfully increases their appeal to a more general audience. Their displayed artworks, which range from low to the higher end of the pricing scale, strike the interests of a diverse demographic, from home improvement and décor lovers, to beginner and expert collectors.
In all, Afriartistry’s goals are commendable, though time will reveal how their execution will help achieve them. Keeping the current momentum going and bringing in more artists whose art connect with the audience will be paramount, for the discovery of both talent and remarkable works. Their enthusiasm for customer engagement is also vital to the brand, as they encourage feedback and suggestions on the user experience and enjoin their audience to share their expectations with the brand through their contact channels.
For more information, visit www.afriartistry.com