Art Frankly is a professional platform for the global arts community. We met its founders, Karline Moeller and Josie Hines.
ARTSPER : Can you tell us about how the idea of Art Frankly came to be?
KARLINE MOELLER: Art Frankly came to be out of a necessity.
JOSIE HINES: Yes, that sums it up well. When Karline told me there existed a gap in the online professional network area within the arts and we did some in-depth analysis, Art Frankly was the obvious solution.
A: Can you tell us about each of your own academic and professional backgrounds?
KM: Well, our academic background is actually how we first met! Josie and I have known each other since we were ten years old when we attended the same school in rural Connecticut. Our academic paths parted ways there but our friendship did not.
I have been working in the visual arts industry for over ten years. I started my career out as an intern in the contemporary department at Sotheby’s while studying at University in Switzerland. That’s where and when I knew I wanted to remain in this sector. Since then I have held many different positions including owning my own gallery, directing a non-profit, co-founding a residency program, the list continues! Being well versed in so many different fields of this industry is also what drives Art Frankly because we know that it will be a beneficial tool for all.
JH: I studied economics at NYU and hold an MBA from IESE in Barcelona. Before shifting my attention full time to Art Frankly, I worked at the World Economic Forum. I have extensive project management experience, mostly in media and entertainment. Karline and my backgrounds complement each other incredibly well. The combination of her insights and working knowledge of the art world mixed and my business acumen is what sets us apart.
A: I imagine that a gallery or institution will not use your platform the same way as an artist or art advisor. What different services do you offer for each?
KM: A gallery or institution will benefit from our service because when they are looking to hire, we will provide them with access to the most talented and global pool of candidates. An art advisor will be able to look through an artist’s portfolio and CV to better understand their background. An artist will be able to showcase their work, discover residency opportunities and look for studio space.
JH: I agree. To a degree, it is up to the individual or organization to decide exactly how they want to use Art Frankly. With all of the new functionalities being developed and added over the coming weeks and months, more opportunities will exist for users to really establish themselves on our platform.
A: How does the space rental service you provide function?
JH: The spaces function acts as an online listing for users who have a space and are willing to rent it out either short or long term. On the flipside, users who need space for an event, a studio or for a pop-up show will be able to filter through the available options and find what they need, when they need it.
A: The art world is often deemed quite closed and reluctant to change. How have arts professionals responded to Art Frankly so far?
KM: It is true that the art world can be deemed as such, but it also is an industry that appreciates efficiency and connectivity. Thus, Art Frankly is a useful tool and one that we believe every individual in the sector will rely on heavily to get things done more quickly. We have to change the current habits of our community, and once we do, people will wonder how they worked without this resource.
JH: We have been incredibly careful with each stage in developing Art Frankly. We understand and appreciate the intricacies related to introducing a new product that has never existed in the art world. The feedback we have received thus far has been tremendously positive. The art world is ready for Art Frankly and our user acquisition – over 3,000 users and counting – demonstrates that. Our most frequent comment from users is “Finally!”.
A: What other existing platforms were you inspired by? What is the biggest difference between a job platform for the art world and other more general ones?
JH: We tried to apply lessons and features that other professional networks currently offer. However, it is so important to understand the limitations of websites like LinkedIn. There is a reason the art world does not use LinkedIn and we have made decisions based on that to carefully curate Art Frankly to the art world’s needs and wants. LinkedIn is a platform that caters to more traditional businesses. It does not identify the nuances that exist in the professional art world nor does it offer functions and services that reflect what the art world really needs.
KM: One of the aspects that distinguishes Art Frankly from other art world platforms is that we simply provide a service to streamline the day to day tasks of searching for jobs, residencies, spaces and for people to hire. Art Frankly is an objective platform. We are not seeking to sell works or influence thought.
A: What was the biggest challenge in developing Art Frankly?
JH: The biggest challenge, like with so many businesses, is creating the mood for change. Habits have formed over time in terms of hiring and job searching in the arts. The hurdle we need to get passed is slowly but surely breaking the old habits and introducing the new.
A: What are your aims and objectives for the year to come? And more broadly?
JH: We are so excited to be introducing a new design on the website to go along with the features and functionalities currently being tested offline. Our goal is to reach ten thousand plus users by summer 2017 and have most of the biggest galleries and museums signed up throughout the world.
KM: In short, we want to be the most recognizable online jobs recruitment platform in the industry. We want Art Frankly to be synonymous with efficacy and productivity.
Photo credits : Art Frankly
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