In an age where almost everything is mass-produced, many people are more concerned than ever with finding ways to develop and express a taste that is unique and individual to them. One of the purest forms of individual expression is art – and for those of us who are not talented artists ourselves, expression through art means enjoying the work of other people.
From mega-institutions like New York’s Guggenheim and London’s Tate Modern, to local independent galleries, people are going out in ever-bigger numbers to look at art. But while these places offer endless inspiration, what if you want to enjoy works of creativity in the comfort of your own home?
For many people, buying an original artwork can seem like a daunting process: auction houses and commercial galleries are extremely intimidating places, not least because of the exorbitant prices usually asked for the works on sale.
Luckily, though, at this moment in steps LumiArts – a platform that combines in-depth knowledge of art with the straightforwardness and simplicity of e-commerce. Founded on the back of a successful gallery in London’s Belgravia district, it aims to make buying art much more accessible, without compromising quality.
A really important distinguishing feature of LumiArts is that the selection of paintings, sculpture, and limited edition prints that it offers is carefully and expertly curated. This is important for two reasons. First and foremost, it means that you, the customer, won’t be distracted or dispirited by trawling through substandard work. Secondarily, but still importantly for anyone investing money in an artwork, it means that the artists whose work is represented are people with strong and developing careers, whose work will hold or even increase its value as time goes on.
So, what did we do here at Roobykon to help bring you the LumiArts platform?
As ever, good development is all about the details. The platform was previously running on the ‘hosted’ version of the Sharetribe online marketplace solution. Sharetribe is one of our favorite marketplace solutions, and its hosted version can be great for startups with minimal tech expertise at hand – but it offers limited flexibility when it comes to customization.
By migrating LumiArts over to the open source version of Sharetribe we’ve been able to implement a package of refinements that together really make a difference to user experience. For example, we’ve introduced new filters to help users find the sort of artworks they want more easily, while our designers have been able to fine-tune how thumbnails appear within image galleries, letting them adapt to the aspect ratio of the artwork rather than alway cropping to a square.
These may sound like small changes, but together they add up to the difference between a standard off-the-shelf product, and one tailored to the user’s needs.
At Roobykon, we love it when our technical expertize can help realize a creative vision – and this is just what has happened in our collaboration with LumiArts.