Website for ‘undiscovered’ artists looking to make it big

For an aspiring artist, getting discovered can be a monumental task. Someone pours their heart and soul into a piece of art and produces something meaningful, but how will it be noticed?

“Everyone wants to be an artist these days, millions of 22-year-olds, and they all have this feeling that they can be the next Picasso,” Darby Bannard, a professor of painting at the University of Miami said. “They want to get out there. It’s very difficult to get recognition and to get people to look at your stuff.”

Unlike the masters of years ago, when the term “starving artist” was appropriately coined, today’s artists have an extremely valuable resource: the Internet. There are dozens of websites where anyone, whether artist or attention seeker, can display their work, and is aiming to become one of the most successful.

Artistic Pursuit describes itself as “an online entertainment community” where artists can display their work and possibly be discovered, as well as connect with fans and fellow artists. The site covers many facets of art, as there is space for images, videos, music, literature and even games.

“The site’s primary objective is to find and promote the best undiscovered talent in each of the five media type categories,” Jeremy Biser, the Vice President of Creative Content for Artistic Pursuit said.

All artists wishing to utilize the site’s resources must register, but they can choose to register for free. With a subscription price of $19.99 per year, the subscriber can take full advantage of the site and upload their work for consideration for a Top 100 List. Artists that make the Top 100 List in their specific art form are paid for the work that is chosen and receive professional critiques. People who register for free are able to upload their work, but will not be eligible for a Top 100 List, and the social capabilities of the site are limited.

“Once an artist’s work is selected for publication on the Top 100 Lists, there are many opportunities for Artistic Pursuit to help artists collaborate with other artists or connect with fans beyond the website,” Biser said. “We are taking a comprehensive approach to helping artists launch a career in their field.”

But in a world of YouTube, MySpace and PureVolume, where people can display their talents for free, there may be too much competition for a site just starting out in a realm that is already well represented.

“I think there are so many other websites out there, lots of other opportunities. When I hear of a new website, it kind of makes me roll my eyes,” senior music business major Taylor Vick said.

Motion Pictures sophomore Vincent Cimilluca shares a similar opinion.

“I dislike the fact that one cannot view other people’s material unless they are a member. There are too many other sites that allow you to do the same thing without the annoying task of signing up for their site,” Cimilluca said. “I think this site has shown too little too late and will never be a hub for potential talent in comparison to what other sites already have created.”

According to Bannard, there are more negative aspects to the site than the fee.

“It’s not organized in such a way to make it easy to view the art. It might be better if the site was well organized,” Bannard said. “They have all of these categories, video by artist, painting by artist, they should just have art by artist. It’s overambitious. And it jumps around with graphics. It doesn’t look serious.”

While Artistic Pursuit may have some kinks to work out, with this site and previously established sites, aspiring artists have many opportunities to get their work recognized and perhaps become the next Picasso.

Erin Schlissel can be contacted at