Matching Artists with Corporate Buyers

By Carolyn Edlund

Online galleries are a dime a dozen, but certain ones really stand out

Joyce Creiger

Art Specifier.com is one of those sites. I talked to the woman behind this concept, Joyce Creiger, and found that she has a fascinating background, including many years of gallery and art consulting experience, and an impressive contact list. This adds up to a great potential for artists who want to sell into the corporate world and catch the eye of architects and interior designers in need of art for their clients.

Joyce started out back in the 1960’s with an art history degree and a job selling real estate. While raising twins, she got involved with starting the Danforth Museum in Framingham, Massachusetts – which flourishes today, housing its own collection and often featuring emerging artists. As a member of the acquisitions committee of the museum, she got her start in the business that would frame her career.

Combining art with real estate sales, Joyce launched her own business in 1972, becoming an art consultant before the term was coined. She sold this concept to artists, and compiled slides for the purpose of selling art to businesses, corporations and hotels. After approaching architectural designers, she sold artwork to major firms, and partnered with a friend to grow the business. This spun off into a large office space and gallery.

Reinventing her business in 1985, Joyce branched out to a national audience.  Working with 3M, she created a laser disc catalog of art, with 54,000 images per side – a precursor to the vast internet art directories available today. Using the technology available at the time, Joyce created a database of artists’ images from galleries all over the United States. This system was rented by galleries who used it as an extended network of art available for their clients.

When digital became the technology of choice, her business model was turned on its head. Joyce began to look at where business was going in the future, and chose to pursue clientele in Arab countries. She worked extensively with hotels, hospitals and businesses in Saudi Arabia who were eager to snap up artwork presented by an expert with a huge offering that worked in upscale interiors.

Las Vegas was next – Joyce’s company provided art for almost every casino hotel on the strip, including the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. This also was a lucrative business, as she used her ability to match artists with interior spaces to great effect.

Always moving forward, Joyce Creiger has also been a painter, jewelry designer, nonprofit fundraiser, children’s book author, and upscale gallery owner. She has been ahead of the times with business concepts, and now presents an online website for artists to connect with interior designers, architects, and buyers for corporate art.

ArtSpecifier.com handles the work of artists in many mediums, for presentation to this market. Artists who apply are juried to ensure that their work is appropriate for the base of buyers looking to purchase. Joyce researches each applicant’s background and education before accepting them. She promotes not only the ArtSpecifier, but also individual artists to her base of over 4,000 designers and architects who have been given complimentary memberships to the site. She reaches almost 40,000 people through social networking as well.

Artists who are accepted pay a $100.00 annual membership fee to Artspecifier. The site is searchable, offering categories such as color, style, and new work. With a password, member artists and clients are able to access the site and its features. Currently over 150 artists are represented.

Is this the right vehicle for you to sell to the corporate market? Check out Artspecifier and see whether it’s a good fit for your work, and your business plan.

 

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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing Joyce’s story. She certainly has been on the cutting edge of developing businesses to fill a market before that market even hardly exists. A true visionary and I wish her well with this newest development Artspecifier.com.

    • Thanks, Jean. I also hope she does well – especially because that will mean quite a few artists are able to make sales into the corporate market through her efforts.

  2. Thank you Jean! This looks exciting and I intend to pursue the opportunity.

  3. Thanks so much for the wonderful article, it’s so nice to be acknowledged for your efforts. I do look forward to helping new artists market their work. As I continue to grow artspecifier.com and attract new designers, architects art consultants and other artspecifiers we will be looking for new partners to help us spread the word. You have a wonderful blog, I can see how much work you put into it and how gratful we all are in the industry to have you be a part of it. Did I also mention, you are a wonderful writer and capture the essence of the story in a concise and colorful manner.
    Joyce Creiger

    • Joyce, thanks for the comment! And best of luck with Artspecifier. You’ve accomplished a lot in your career, and should do well with it, which is why I profiled you!

  4. I have found that interior designers and decorators have a pretty vast collection of catalogs and saved content on their computers. When and if they get to those files depends on how much time they spend sifting through images for specific job. The idea is to be in front of their faces as much as possible, so SEO takes the front seat as a needed task for your sites and blogs etc.

    • Great insight, Dan!

      • Hi Dan:
        Thanks for your insightful comment, SEO is so important and we are in the process of redesigning the site with that exact thing in mind. Our current site does allow artists to up load to all the search engines as well as the social network sites but because it is a member only, user name and password access site, the search engines can’t get into the main body of the site. Right now they can only index the first page, the blog and some of the links to the first page. We are changing the site to open it up to everyone, allowing more views for the artists and more ability to have better SEO. Thanks so much for your helpful comment.

  5. I am brand new at the concept of sharing my images with more people and looking for the right market for my work. I would like to know the procedure for jurying into Artspecifier to see if there is any possibility for both of us to benefit by our relationship.

    Thanks,
    Susan Henkels

    • Hi Susan:
      Just go on the site and where it says artists membership, click and fill out the membership form, your work will be juried and you will have an opportunity to become a member if you so choose provided your work is approved.

    • Good morning, Joyce
      Thanks so much for your quick response. I will fill out the membership form and go from there.
      Susan

      • I am a fine art photographer located in Asheville NC, and looking to expand my business nationally. 

        My Black and white photographs were taken with a large format camera using 4″ x  5″ negatives in the style of Ansel Adams.
        The detail is of the highest quality, which makes for very large photographs, and posters.

        I use a Canon Mark lll for all my color photographs, which also produces very sharp detail.

        With the use of photoshop, My photographs become a work of photo art.

        Please view my web site AlanDeutschPhotography.com
        Reply with your commission, suggestions, and the territory you cover .
        If you are unable to represent me, could you recommend another sales rep.
        My prices are very flexible and can easily be changed for the commercial market.

        Looking forward to working with you,
        Sincerely,
        Alan Deutsch

  6. hey everyone. local artists from seattle. come by and check out our art website http://WWW.FREMONTHEIGHTSART.COM contact us with any questions you may have. thanks and enjoy.

  7. Just wanted to give you all an update, the new artspecifier.com web site has just been launched, our members are beginning to re-upload their images to the new site and the feed back has been terrific. If you are looking to reach a broader audience, art consultants, designers, architects, etc, please go to the site and consider a membership.

  8. I am a Life Member of the Art Students League of NY and have painted for over 50 years. My abstract work is a perfect companion for the modern office or home. Perhaps we can do business together.

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