A Digital Marketplace for Arts

4 min read

While surfing the web, I came across this fantastic website called Shera where you can sell and purchase images, and to be honest, it exceeded my expectations. And I'm here to share it with you.

Shera, an Amharic word for canvas, is a digital marketplace for professional and amateur photographers, graphic designers, digital artists, and painters, as well as art lovers and collectors. Shera wants to make the art buying experience easier for both the customer and the artist by handling all aspects of promotion, printing, inventory management, shop administration, and logistics. Shera also has a bigger objective of promoting a sense of community in the Addis Ababa art scene and beyond. Shera will arrange and host a variety of events, including seminars, pop-up art sales events, and knowledge-sharing opportunities, to make this vision a reality.

So, let me explain how it works. Assume you are an artist that wants to sell your art, graphics, or painting. The first step would be to sign up/register on their website. With the great themed black and white website, your mind may make you surf over and see all the breathtaking photographs and maybe buy some, which is exactly what I did, but after a few minutes of browsing over different photographers, I decided to proceed to the registration page. 

The registration is an easy process, you have to fill in some questions like name, phone, bank account, and so on. Though during the registration procedure, I came across a few areas on which I wanted to remark. The first is that in circumstances when the registration individual has more than one vocation, for example, what if I am both a photographer and a digital artist but the system forces me to select just one, I believe that should be taken into account(which they fixed after the call we had with the founder).

In addition, there is a package selection dropdown that has to be explained. Perhaps a tooltip (a quick, helpful message that occurs when a user interacts with an element) would be an excellent choice here. Once you have completed the registration process, you must wait for approval from their team. And after that éxito(Spanish for success), you're now officially registered as an artist and can start selling right away.

Once you registered, you will provide the list of artworks you have with their description and their editorial team goes through each and selects from your pieces. For the submission process, you can use google drive or use the link they provided for we transfer which makes things even easier. You can also submit your works during the registration process as well.

Shera's staff will put up various mockups that are eye-catching for the user once they have chosen arts that may be offered from your album or collection, and there is a price that you pay initially for designing the mockups and other costs. According to the call I had with the founder, Fitsum one of the things I wasn't happy with was the price-setting, where they set pricing for the arts based on their cost to print out and other things that didn't put the sellers in favor of setting price for their own artwork and I think they will find ways to do so.

Once the artwork is posted, Shera will manage practically everything, including shipping the goods to the customer, even if they are from another country, and the artist will be paid. Shera appears to be an intriguing potential as a business that started just a month ago, and I'd want to finish this piece with the founder's word: "as Ethiopians, we don't have a culture of buying arts especially our own arts, and we are here to feel that gap." I hope they can live up to their words.

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