Arts Raiser: Problem Description

Artists are underpaid, and it’s not necessarily easy to emunerate living artists that people like. Aside from buying artworks directly from an artist, there aren’t many ways for fans to pay them. Learning from personal experience, I sense that a lot of people would love to show an artist how much they appreciate their work. From my perspective, it’s well understood among enthusiasts that artists’ work goes underappreciated.  

Everywhere, online and in real life, there’s publicly accessible artwork. Not only is art all over the real world, but also there’s copies of these works found online, along with digital artworks on the internet. Artists today benefit from exposure the internet provides, but struggle with marketing, copyright, intellectual property. The more an artist’s original image is liked and shared online, the harder it can be to attribute that image back to the artist. The more popularity an artwork gains, the more it is circulated online, creating a decentralized fanbase for the artist. 

Ideally, artists want to make money from their art. Usually, this is by selling artworks, winning commissions or grants, or when others pay artists to use their image (copyright/royalties). I think it would be great if artists could financially capitalize on the prevalence of their images around the world in every form, online, in person, printed, photographed, copied, etc. It would also be great if there was a better connection between visual artists and their fans, so that fans could easily and quickly pay artists in a way where the transaction is transparent and the money goes directly to the artists.


  1. Design a product for artists, fans, or both?


  1. How artists receive money:
    1. Auction houses and galleries take a large percent of profit
    2. Museums are nonprofit, so commissions are small 
    3. Donations come infrequently and require marketing
    4. Jobs have high barriers to entry and poor compensation: competitive (need MFA or BFA), few benefits, part-time or internship, etc.
    5. Grants and commissions are unpredictable and unstable
  2. How fans pay artists:
    1. Buying artworks is impractical for many people because of cost, space, storage, preservation, liability, etc.
    2. Money given to museums and arts centers mostly helps the institutions, not the artists themselves
    3. Too many websites artists could use to earn money online: hard to keep track of them all, know how they all work
Categories: Arts Raiser