Zack, Michael and Emily went to school in Los Angeles at the University of Southern Cal. While there, they fell in love with the culture of the city, the unique vibrancy to its art industry, and the emanating style of Southern California. However, there was an undeniable need for change in the art industry – too many talented artists are forced to pick up service industry jobs to pay the rent, and the gallery system felt ripe for disruption. It is often difficult for creators to establish a consistent customer base outside of their family and friends, especially if they aren’t gifted at both the creative and promotion aspects of being an independent artist.
Angeleno Artistry was formed under the notion that a localized company could connect talented emerging artists with potential customers that are hungry to learn about the local art industry but shy away from gallery events, and can’t afford $25,000 paintings. They designed a system that allows them to work with artists and open up their customer base, all while giving back to the city by working with their non-profit partner, P.S. Arts, which funds art education for over 25,000 elementary and middle school students in innercity Los Angeles.
“When you’re a young, unbranded artist, you can always use more members on your team; and we’re proud to be supporters of the artists we’ve chosen to work with,” he says.
What is Angeleno Artistry?
Angeleno Artistry is about opening up the local art industry to a younger, broader customer base. People are tired of hanging the same IKEA print or movie poster on their walls, and there is a genuine interest in learning about artists other than Banksy. We’re currently in the midst of a return to localism, where people take pride in purchasing products created in their city or region; Angeleno Artistry allows art supporters to learn about a broad range of local artists, inquire about commissions, and purchase products designed by the artist of their liking. The artists are put through a rigorous selection process, aided by a network of gallery owners, museum curators, and veteran, established artists; but in the end, the selection is made by the Angeleno Artistry team. Each artist’s work tells a story, presents a unique style, and fits into the beautiful puzzle that is the Southern California aesthetic.
“The idea for Angeleno Artistry arrived out of three main influences: our connection to and understanding of the difficult road that brave artists face in making a living from self-expression, our respect for the localism and anti-industry movements, and our passion for the visual art industry. Those three directions helped us design a unique business strategy that allows us to work with and promote artists we believe in, create products that we are proud of, and give back to the city that we love.” He explains.
“When we started Angeleno Artistry, all three of us were working intensive full-time jobs in different industries; meetings typically took place late at night or on the weekends. Navigating the various legal and government-related hoops that startups face while working 80+ hours a week was definitely difficult, but made it all the more rewarding when Angeleno Artistry had launched and was able to support us full-time” Holland says.
Visual art is one of the most ancient and impactful means of translating beauty and aesthetic from one talented perspective to others; yet in a modern world filled with stock images and industrialized home decor, those that are brave and bold enough to share their art with the world are often overlooked and underappreciated. Angeleno Artistry was formed to give deserving artists a platform to share their work, expand their customer bases, and build their brands so that they can continue to live a creative life.
“The artwear and artist-driven product industries are currently swelling, but as fans of the entire movement, we don’t see those other companies as competitors, as much as compatriots in the push to drive more original art into the world. Our true competitors are brands such as IKEA and Target that sell hundreds of thousands of identical products, stifling local art creation and forcing emerging artists to find other ways to make ends meet.” Holland adds.
Angeleno Artistry aims to work with the most talented artists and create products that people genuinely want and can be proud of. They are currently in the process of expanding their product lines, to allow customers to purchase the art they love in more ways. This consists of moving into apparel, stationery, and other unique home decor products. Angeleno Artistry as a brand wishes to become a lifestyle company with many products, all dedicated to the ideals of supporting local artists, and giving back to the city.
Their audience is young, broad audience of students and early professionals that are interested in the art industry, but shy away from the standard gallery experience and are not going to spend thousands of dollars on art (yet). The best part of working with such a varied range of artists is that within that broad target demographic, there should eventually be an artist, style, and product for everyone.
“In our fourth month of business, Angeleno Artistry is already a profitable company. The opportunity to make money for both the artists we work with and P.S. Arts has been a rewarding experience; yet we have no plans to stop here. As we continue to expand our product lines, extend into retail and gallery space, and become the go-to brand for Los Angeles artist commission work, we expect to witness the continued success that we’ve experienced early on.” Holland says.