Curating, Advising and Framing Contemporary Art With ArtStar

We had the pleasure of getting to know Chrissy Crawford, the Art Advisor and Founder of ArtStar, an online art gallery offering a highly curated collection of contemporary art. ArtStar collaborates with leading and emerging artists to produce a number of editions of their work. The platform lets you skip the trip to the framer, offering high-end custom framing and free shipping to your destination of choice. From an interior designer standpoint, ArtStar provides personalized curatorial services as well, helping you enhance your well-designed residential and commercial spaces with unique pieces. Here, learn how ArtStar is changing the way you can seamlessly purchase contemporary art online, from sourcing to hanging.



How does ArtStar change the way people can buy and collect art online?

We offer a tightly curated selection of photography, limited-edition prints, and original paintings. ArtStar’s curators travel to art fairs, galleries, and studios around the world to hand-pick work for our website. ArtStar prints all of the photography sold on our site, so we know the work is fully authenticated, high quality, and limited edition. Also, ArtStar offers 7 custom high-end framing options. We make collecting easy.


What is your criteria and process for sourcing art?

We source work from both emerging and established artists. ArtStar has work ranging from Yayoi Kusama to a 21-year-old junior in art school. We pick artists that we think will be the next “ArtStar” and have something special that sets them apart.


Courtesy of Casa Home and Resort


ArtStar curates, advises, frames and manages the end-to-end ordering for buyers – how is the ArtStar trade program different from the other online art galleries out there?

We are incredibly hands-on with our designers. Two were at my wedding! We will set up a call or email with designers to understand their projects, curate suggested work, help them select the image, size, and frame, and my dedicated sales person watches their order from printing to delivery. We want the return business and will do everything to make sure the work shows up flawless and on schedule.


What are some of your best-selling genres and decor styles?

We sell a lot of surf and fashion photography. Because ArtStar is curated, it has a specific look. We like a lot of color and images you cannot find anywhere else. Our playful works with humor and fun images sell incredibly well.



Tell us about the LittleCollector…

I noticed there was a void on the market of cool, contemporary art for kids. We started reaching out to well-known contemporary artists like Mickalene Thomas and Shepard Fairey with the mission “contemporary art for kids”. They came up with their own concepts and the results are so fun! LittleCollector has punching bags by Nick Cave, photos of vintage collections of Barbie Shoes, Polaroids of Hello Kitty, and strawberries with buck-teeth, to photos of Hot Wheels.



In your opinion, how has technology affected the art world?

Technology has made the art world more accessible. Sites like ArtStar, Artsy, 1stDibs, and Paddle8 bring galleries online so collecting is not limited by time, geography, or relationships.


How essential is customer service to the art industry?

It’s everything. Art is expensive. People want to understand what they are buying. We will go out of our way to talk collectors through their decision, help them select the frame, and follow-up to make sure they are happy. We take extra care of our designers and follow-up with thank you notes. It’s why people come to us instead of the bigger art companies.


Courtesy of Michelle Kappeler Images


We noticed that you have a Live Chat feature…Ivy does too! How has Live Chat improved your relationships with your clients?

LiveChat is great because collectors can talk through any questions in real-time before they place their order. How annoying to wait on an email reply when you want to check out!


How does the ArtStar experience ease the sourcing, buying, shipping and framing process for interior designers?

We make life easier for designers by having all of our inventory online with all prices and sizes listed. A lot of art sites ask the collector to inquire on price and availability and are not e-commerce.  Lastly, we offer 7 high-end framing options and free shipping. ArtStar allows you to skip the framer and scheduling delivery.  


Courtesy of Bennett Leifer Interiors 


What are 3 tips of “best practices” to offer interior designers for making the most out of ArtStar?

  1. Reach out to us with your projects and let us make suggestions. We know our inventory and can think of images that designers might have overlooked.


  1. Let us frame for you. Our frames are custom, archival, and gallery quality.


  1. Sign up for our trade program to receive designer discounts on all orders.  


For the designers dealing with clients who don’t know “where to start” with art but want to purchase, what are some strategic ways to understand a client’s needs?

Start with budget. Understanding what your clients will want to spend will help you select photography or editions vs. finding original paintings. I usually meet with the clients, get to know them and their taste, then send them a deck of suggestions and see how they respond. I can expand on the works they like in a revised deck.  


Courtesy of Smith Firestone and Associates


What’s ArtStar’s focus for 2017?

We are toying with the idea of “discovery shops” in L.A., Dallas, Miami, and New York. Designers can bring their projects or clients to our store and select images, customize their frames, and place an order. The work would arrive 2 weeks later ready for the wall.


We launched our first mail order catalog this fall, you can sign-up here.

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