In the Press

Article on Art Pistol from The Business Herald, part of Herald Scotland, on Tuesday 4th October 2011.

"How to create the perfect showcase"

Ali Smith knows the internet's reach will give his new online art gallery business a shop window that rivals any to be found in Glasgow. From his base at Digital Enterprise Glasgow's (DEG) hub at City of Glasgow College, Ali and his business partner Suzie Carter launched Art Pistol (www.artpistol.co.uk) six months ago, and it is already enabling more than 200 artists to showcase their work to an international audience.

A Glasgow School of Art graduate, Ali's background in Digital media marketing and Design enabled him to turn the business idea he had as an art student into a reality. Support from DEG has enabled the couple to establish and market the business.

Ali explains: "Digital Enterprise Glasgow has been excellent by providing additional funding and including us in exhibitions to market the business and network.  I'm also able to use the office space and meeting rooms at City of Glasgow College."

DEG is a collaborative project between Glasgow City Council and the secondary and tertiary education establishments within Glasgow. With hubs at City of Glasgow College and Strathclyde University incubator, two more at Cardonald College and the University of Glasgow will open soon. Its aim is to promote and accelerate entrepreneurial activities within Glasgow by providing flexible support and a nurturing environment. Universities and colleges provide dedicated space and expertise by way of internships and knowledge transfer, while the Council provides business advisory and funding support to entrepreneurs to ensure ideas become commercial reality.

The Art Pistol concept is to offer more than a platform for artists to sell work.  It offers a consultancy service to businesses such as professional services, restaurants and hotels looking for art to furnish their venues. Smith believes that overcoming the inability to view the art at a physical gallery will be easier than some may think.

The 30 year old explains: "There are two major benefits. Firstly, because we don't have overheads for gallery space our commission is very low, which brings the cost down for buyers without artists losing out on profit margin.

"Secondly, we're not restricted by space, so we can profile more artists."

Art Pistol recently earned a Shell LiveWIRE innovation award and the duo plans to enter Glasgow's Got Business talent competition, which is running as part of Glasgow for Business Week.

The unlimited reach that the internet offers Art Pistol is echoed in Ali's view of the scope of the business; "Our portfolio of artists and work grows daily. We're already attracting interest from artists beyond the UK and building a marketing plan for the overseas market while there are plans for pop up exhibitions and an auction service."

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