I explored, created, designed and built this art gallery to be a truly virtual and interactive art gallery experience, including multimedia virtual art exhibits. And I was intending the gallery to be a bit more upscale, offering only museum-quality giclee prints, as well as original art. The site was designed for artists to use as their ecommerce site and some, their online portfolio. The more they promoted it the better it served them individually. One artist (and drummer) performed and promoted his gallery with promo post cards on a Kid Rock sea cruise.
The site was also designed to be highly search engine optimized with Google searchesmost the artists coming in above the fold on page one as shown below. A few with very common names (Bob Gray) come in a page or two behind that. The examples below are the biggest celebrity type searches, thus the most competitive serps. And they usually come in right above Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. Many of the photos used on The Gallery of the Artsfor the artist often rank prominently too. With the Badanjek example below, I also made a Wikipedia entry for him.
The sale to fulfillment process was designed to be pretty minimal, especially with giclee print sales, basically choosing which printing vendor to use and forwarding the order. The printer drop ships right to the customer, unless it first needs to go to the artist to sign and number if limited edition. The site was structured to browse it via a number of ways: by artists, or art forms, by medium, style, color, or price.
In creating the website I simultaneously built relationships with the artists (about 35), several of which this was their first foray into the digital world commercially. And these relationships have led down many diverse trails, even today sprouting new opportunities. For example, having a virtual art gallery led to the need for a virtual art exhibit. Examining the roster of artists, many were also musicians involved in Detroit rock. Several were Detroit models. That made my theme Detroit Rock N’ Fashion. This led to launching Detroit Rock N’ Fashion at a media cafe in downtown Detroit called uDetroit Cafe on a live Web TV show, hosted by long time Detroit DJ Bob Bauer. This led to a permanent, physical Detroit Rock N’ Fashion art exhibit at uDetroit Cafe. Tending the exhibit led to good relations with the owners and in partnership with one of my DRNF artists Chizzy, led to us doing a live, weekly, three-hour Web TV show called Chizzy CAM, CAM standing for Charity Arts & Music. Chizzy leaving led to our house band and I creating another live Web TV show at uDetroit called… Detroit Rock N’ Fashion, as well as the idea for The D Factor. These shows led to relationships with musicians and creatives all across Metro Detroit and other job opportunities… websites, photography. Simultaneously the art exhibit was shown at various venues with trails to explore in the future. The opportunities from this trail continue to this day, one to be explored just hours from this writing.
The website was very popular with artists! I developed wonderful relationships with a wide range of artists. I was getting inquires from around the world from artists asking how to get onboard. Artists with fantastic work. The art market just didn’t seem to be moving much at the time and actual sales were not as expected or hoped for. There were only a handful of artists that constituted 95% of the sales and that came from being known by the buyers and finding them via Google search (as was designed). However, the ancillary benefits as illustrated above far exceeded the primary objectives. No complaints. I could not have bought the kind of connections I’ve made. And to this day, orders unexpected trickle in, making nice, little serendipitous windfalls.