BE ORIGINAL - BUY ORIGINAL
The Young Real Art is a new project which aim is to provide the public the opportunity to purchase an original piece of art by young, art university students and recent graduates. Since September 2013, art lovers have had chance to simply choose and order paintings on-line by visiting www.yougrealart.com.
Here is an interview with the founder of YRA, Jana Lastovka.
What is your background?
I studied medical high school, but I have always loved art and have been drawing since I was little. After graduation, I decided to apply for the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. I was very lucky: several hundred candidates apply every year, but only a handful of them is accepted. I was offered a place in the Painting Studio of doc. Vladimir Skrepl, one of the most prominent Czech artists. In the second year, I undertook an apprenticeship in the Graphic Design Studio of Jan Solpera, where I acquired my digital skills. Looking back, it was an invaluable experience and it shaped my future career.
How did you come up with the idea of an on-line gallery?
I got the idea already when I was studying at the Academy. My classmates and I were dealing with one major issue: our paintings were piling up in studios. Everyone was working hard, creating artworks, engaging with the art scene, holding exhibitions, but only a very few were able to sell. The majority of us were working in the evenings in order to earn money for art materials, exhibitions fees, and education costs. This experience drove me to collect portfolios of my classmates and offer our work for sale. That was roughly 19 years ago, and in those days, without internet, the idea simply did not work. In 2013, I restructured it and opened up YRA, as an on-line art gallery.
Now when you have established yourself on the Czech market and attained a good base of clients, you decided to expand to London. Why London?
London is the art world's Mecca. What is not happening in New York is happening in London. Young Real Art wants to be a part of it!
Who is in the team behind the project?
We are a very small team. There is me (founder, chief curator and art director), Lenka Jandova, who does PR, and Adam Kencki, my personal assistant. Then, we have an external lawyer, an accountant, and an IT specialist. Everyone plays a vital role and without the team it would be much harder to succeed.
What do you look for in a new artist and his/her work?
When I look at new art I instantly know if I want it in my gallery or not. I combine my knowledge of art history with my gut feeling. It's very important that the art I choose does not evoke any negative, depressive feelings. On the other hand, it is not necessary for the art to make you jump for joy either. I look for balanced and stimulating art works. In the artist I look for passion, talent, responsibility, and also some kind of a click on a personal level since we will be doing business together.
How do potentional customers know they are buying good quality art?
Young Real Art represents artists who are either univeristy students or recent graduates. As I have mentioned, to get a place at an art university in the Czech Republic is very difficult. This means that only the best and the most talented artists are chosen and that the skill and talent is very high. The standard of art education in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is exceptional and students are taught by internationally recognised and established artists of the middle generation. Furthermore, as an alumna I have firm knowledge of the processes behind artwork production and can judge the quality of materials used and their application expertly. This understanding allows me to choose only the best artwork.
What would you advice a potentional client on how to choose a painting?
I always say that one should follow their instinct when choosing a painting. It should be like love at first sight. The painting should make you feel truly delighted and you ought to have no doubts about it.
How easy is it to buy art through YRA website?
To buy a painting through www.youngrealart.com is really easy and everyone can do it. For your convenience, there are FAQ and How to Shop sections, where you can find all basic guidance. If you have a more specific questions or need help with anything else, simply contact our customer services at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0)7701041924.
Through each sale you contribute to charity, can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Yes, we do. This is because of my personal reasons. For several years, I was looking my grandfather who was nearly 100 years old. This fact made me aware of the unpleasant situation old people face, when they are unable to look after themeselves. Many of them are placed in care homes, which can sometimes be very distressing for them. I was looking for a charity, which would support old people by providing home carers. The Tatiana Kucharova Foundation - The Beauty of Help does exactly that and much more. I am very proud to support them.
What are your plans for the future?
I am planning to expand the gallery's portfolio with new artists and this means not only Czech and Slovakian artists, but also international ones. I would like to start communicating with potentional artists from around Europe.