We talk to founder Leonard Teo to find out more...
One community art website shut up virtual shop this month, while another has just opened its doors.
ArtStation is a brand new community and portfolio site, launched ahead of schedule in the wake of CGHub's closure. We asked founder Leonard Teo what we can expect...
What separates ArtStation (AS) from other community and portfolio sites?
The main pain point we're trying to address with ArtStation is that artists want a single and very simple service to build an attractive portfolio website and be discovered in a community of artists. As we spoke to many artists, we found that they were hosting portfolios on community sites, their blog on a free service like Tumblr or Blogspot and their website on either a hosting service or website builder service.
As a result they rarely updated their websites and portfolios were always lost in a community site against the backdrop of a lot of clutter & advertising. As we spoke to the artists, they all said that having a website is very important to be regarded as "legit", and they would love to have something that integrated all these things in a simple to use platform.
The difference between ArtStation and other sites is that every artist gets a customisable website with galleries, blog amd pages as soon as they register. They are able to host their portfolios and start getting discovered. I know that other sites have offered website builders as an additional service on top of their basic service, but with ArtStation it is fully integrated. Artists no longer need to consider building a website as an additional thing.
What effect has CGHub's closure had on AS?
We had just completed a wave of meetings with many artists in Los Angeles and Toronto when CGHub suddenly vanished. We knew early on that this was a serious business issue and not a hack because other services like the Facebook page and mobile and tablet apps also disappeared.
We were going to launch our beta in the Summer but we decided to get out early with a minimum set of features. The timing proved to be optimal and had the effect of bringing many folks who needed a place to showcase their work and get a daily fix of great artwork. We had an amazing beta launch week and we're receiving a lot of great feedback to improve ArtStation considerably.
Tell us more about your ideas on 'signal-to-noise ratio': how will artists stand out on AS?
Signal to noise is a huge issue in the community. On ArtStation, we are trying to address it by personalisation. We have a personalised feed that is automatically populated.
As you follow artists and like artwork, ArtStation will figure out your preferences and pass along artwork and artists that you might be interested in. We're working on other features such as a better home page to further help cut through the noise.
What is you're ultimate aim for AS? Where would you like it to be in five years time?
I think it's still very early days and we're likely to pivot depending on where the community takes us. Our present vision with ArtStation is to be the go-to place for artists who want to set up a portfolio website, be discovered and connect in a global community of artists.
The way we're pitching it is that if you want a high quality portfolio within a few minutes, and be part of a great global community of artists, give ArtStation a shot. We think that there are many communities in specific art and media and production niches that likely solve "community" in those niches much better than we can and we're not trying to compete with them. Rather, we'd like to be a complementary service for artists.
To find out more and request an invite to ArtStation beta, visit www.artstation.com.