// Tell us a little more about the team
- “There are 2 founding members to Visualtroop, namely Jean and Leonard, who were both from NTU School of Art, Design and Media. Jean, a previous recipient of Tan Kah Kee Young Inventor’s award, recently graduated in May and now heads the Business Development, Marketing and Sales. As a second time co-founder, Leonard brings his startup expertise and SEO/SEM knowledge into the current business. He deals with Operations, Product and Procurement side of the business.”
“We market and produce for the artists so they don’t have to. Not everyone has the energy and time to market and source for production vendors.”Visualtroop
// What was the driving force behind Visualtroop?
- “As a designer, there were several occasions where Jean wanted to print her works onto products but were deterred due to lack of knowledge and high minimum order quantity of products. Then an undergraduate, her peers reaffirmed her worries – The thought of doing sales, marketing, manual labor and holding in-stocks. She then roped in Leonard, an alumni who was already in the start-up scene to cofound this business. Doing this as a side business since Oct ’14, the partners have committed full time to this business in June this year.”
Of Laptop Sleeves, Tote Bags and Cushions!
// Dozen Tit by Jo Enver
- Jo Enver: It has been said that puns are the lowest form of humor. Lowest need not necessarily mean worst, but perhaps the most basic. In all forms of art, no matter how experimental and avant-garde one can get, there will always be an unspoken, timeless appeal about going back to the basics. To me, puns are like mac and cheese, The Ramones, and Tom and Jerry; you might think you’ve outgrown it, but it never loses its appeal. Thus, I incorporated puns into my grotesque looking illustration, for an increased contrast, making it more appealing.
// Nostalgic Childhood Snacks by Chris Chew
- Chris Chew: The Nostalgic Childhood Snacks series is all about reminiscing the past and passing it on to the future. Each design is hand inked and lovingly painted using watercolors to be reproduced as Tote bags. A functional addition to your bag collection that holds lots of sweet memories and nostalgic moments that can be shared with your family and friends – stories to be passed from generation to generation.
// Ecce Dryad by One Cruz
We asked Jean and Leonard even more!
// What’s the process like after designers send their works to you?
- “Artists are the soul of our business and it would be impossible to grow Visualtroop without their support. Upon submission, we would look through the works and determine if they are suitable for our audience. Our content curation and uploading process takes about 5 working days. These artists are given a link to access their works on our website as well as for their fans to purchase them. They will also receive a document on how to increase their sales as well as Visualtroop badges for their websites.
Our artists are on a separate mailing list from our customers and we would update them of our progress on Visualtroop from time to time. Payment would be made every two months for those artists with sales on our platform. As we have more international artists coming onto Visualtroop, we are shifting our payment mode to PayPal to facilitate ease of transactions.”
// How does it help the artist?
- “With our platform, we are able to solve certain problems that artists face as a career or a side passion.
We generate additional income for artists by allowing an additional sales channel. There are numerous amounts of art works that are stored in digital forms, not seeing the light of the day. By submitting those works to Visualtroop, there is potential for additional income on a regular basis.
We market and produce for the artists so they don’t have to. Not everyone has the energy and time to market and source for production vendors. Visualtroop commands volume as a platform and are able to replicate the works of artists onto new products that are otherwise unachievable on one’s own due to sheer volume requirements. We are able to negotiate volume and work with better pricing as well.
As a platform, we manage a collective of artists. We are able to pool together works of different genres and types, making it more attractive to customers. This would garner greater interest and traffic from customers than if an artist is to have a fan base of its own. Moreover as an art community, artists would benefit from exchanges with other artists and possible collaborations.
More than just an online platform, we want to venture offline and organize events and exhibitions to benefit the art community. Ultimately, Visualtroop’s vision is to empower artists and provide opportunities for artists to become micro-entrepreneurs.”
// Lastly, what’s one message you’ll like readers to know about Visualtroop?
- “We offer super localized works like Kuehs and Childhood Snacks by our local artist Chris Chew. On the other hand, we currently have about 20% of artists from overseas and some come from faraway lands like Brazil and England! With such interesting artists, you can be sure that there’s an eclectic mix of art over on our site.”