Rise Art was created to help make collecting original art easy and risk free for everyone. Started by two close friends, the company is driven by a passion for art, technology and helping artists support and expand their practice. This week we had the chance to interview one of the Co-Founders Scott Phillips, find out whats in store for next year here…
Tell us about yourself, what first inspired your interest in art?
My background is in the media sector, but I have always had an interest in art. When I first moved to London, my wife – who alongside working in fashion is an artist herself – would take me to degree shows and gallery openings. From this, I really enjoyed learning more about and finding artists that were at the early stages of their careers. It was from this that the idea for Rise Art came about. To help really wonderful artists promote their practice outside of their local areas and connect them with first time art collectors.
We love how Rise Art makes it easy and fun to find, can you tell us a little about how you started?
We started as a platform for talented artists to submit and sell their artwork. We wanted to create a place, where any artist could participate, but we didn’t want it to become a mass marketplace like ETSY. Instead, we have aimed to provide a hand picked selection of artwork from talented young artists as selected by our independent board of insiders, alongside partner and museum galleries showcasing works from established artists. Since launching, we have received thousands of submissions, and our Insiders have selected over 100 artists to be featured directly on the site, giving our customers a great selection of contemporary art by emerging and established artists.
We’ve designed the site to make it easy to find art you love. We have tools such as our art style quiz which help people discover new art around their interest. You can also favourite and share works you like, each time you favourite an artwork, we’ll recommend other works of art that are similar in style. We are aiming to create a site that is very personable to each user, while only focusing on contemporary art that is hand-picked for the site by art world insiders.
What advice do you give to new Art buyers?
First of all, make sure you really love the artwork you are thinking of buying. It is easy to get carried away by the hype surrounding some artists, and buy purely based on speculation. But unless your plans for the artwork are just to keep in in storage, you are going to have to look at the work all the time. Art should inspire and excite. I love buying artwork from artists that I have seen a number of times, and who’s work I am immediately drawn to. If that doesn’t happen when you first see a work, then ask yourself why you are buying it.
Do you have any advice to give artists starting out in the profession?
I love seeing younger artists experiment and push themselves to create work that is meaningful to them. Too often, I think artists are driven by producing work that sells, whether it is extending a series to a few more paintings of the same subject, or electing to do a print run of a painting. This isn’t to say that that is wrong to do, but I think artists need to know why they are doing this, and be honest with themselves about where they visualise their career going.
Also, I really like seeing artists experiment with new collections, and playing around with stylistic models of display when it comes to exhibiting.
Do you collect art yourself? if so, which is your favourite piece
I love collecting and supporting artists that are on the site, and I do also collect works by more established artists, especially prints which can be a bit more affordable.
Recently, we have acquired a painting by London based artist Tahnee Lonsdale as well as a few mono prints from Bruce Mclean There is a number of artists on the site that I am also quite interested in, including Hormazd Narielwalla who produces wonderful collage works based on Savile Row tailor patterns, painters Abigail Box, Alex Cave and Heloise Delegue and printmaker Andy Wilx
What are your plans for Rise Art for the next year?
I’m very excited for the next 12 months. As the business continues to grow, we are launching in the USA and across Europe, which will allow our artists to sell their works globally. We are also doing a number of collaborations with retail brands. We just wrapped up a show with West Elm that featured the work of Kristin Gaudio-Endsley and given it’s success, we’ll be doing much more of these in the future.
Finally, we have recently launched a showroom at our offices in Fitzrovia and are expanding the number of events we do there. In September, we’ll be showing the drawings of London based artist Mat Cahill and will continue to use this space to promote artists that have been showcased on Rise Art.
Anything else on the horizon?
Last year we launched Art For Care. It’s a social initiative designed to help children in patients at UK hospitals. For every order on Rise Art, we donate an art kit to children’s hospital wards. The sealed kit is given out to children on admission, and contains pens, crayons, a colouring book, stickers and journal. The initiative has gone really well this year, with patients and the hospitals both asking us to expand the programme. We are now designing custom art kits and colouring books with many of our artists which we will continue to release over the coming year.