Focal Produce has been up and running for a few months now, so it's about time I told you what's been going on.
I've been trying to build a social media following, mainly on Instagram, which is where some of you may have found this. I'm regularly finding fantastic new artists and reposting pictures of your work. I'm also finding plenty of small businesses that support their local artists, and am trying to promote them as I find them. The response has been good and some of you have been kind enough to get in touch and let me know what you think of the site and the idea behind it.
A number of artists and galleries have joined us after finding us on Instagram and it's great to have you guys on board.
Places like Starfish Loves Coffee who display new artists each month...
and artists like Jo at Seagrass Designs...
Social media is great, but I really want to build this site into a community where artists and small business owners can find each other to collaborate and get new art displayed across the world!
The Who's, Why's and What's
A few questions have cropped up from people interested in Focal Produce and it's probably a good idea to let you all know what my responses were:
What's Focal Produce all about?
It's about helping artists find new and interesting places to get their work on display, and increase exposure to their work. Over the last few months I've found breweries, cafes, holistic health centres and yoga retreats to name a few - all of which have work by their local artists on display and often for sale. It's also about promoting these business that support local, and making sure they thrive!
Who's behind Focal Produce?
I'm Ben, an amateur photographer who has struggled in the past to find places that support their local artists. Sure, you can walk the streets to find these places, but what about online? There's nowhere that I've found so that's why I started this adventure.
How much does Focal Produce cost?
There are two pricing levels - free (yes, really free) and premium which is £24 per year. As an artist, with a free account you can create a profile and upload some examples of your work. It's a similar story for galleries too. If you pay for the premium (which is less than the price of a coffee each month) you can upload as much as you want, and get in contact with each other through the site.
Why do you charge for a premium account?
Well, it costs money to keep the site up and running. I had two options, either ask for a nominal fee to help you promote your art and businesses, or use online advertising to assist with the costs. In my opinion advertising looks awful and passes your personal details all across the world to third parties who make collosal amounts of money from your data. I hope you understand my reasoning behind the paid option and can help keep Focal Produce advert free.
I hope that answers some of your questions, but if you do have any more please don't hesitate to contact me!
Onwards and Upwards
So that's about it for this time. I'm going to keep plugging away at this and seeking out all you wonderful artists, and fantastic businesses that support local. Please get in touch if you have any suggestions for the site, and spread the word about Focal Produce!