DegreeArt is both a physical shop in Bethnal Green and a website, which allows art lovers to buy the works of art students, and those who have recently graduated.

It is co-directed by friends Isobel Beauchamp and Elinor Olisa.

The women realised there was a gap in the market for a company that could promote and sell graduate art work.

“The idea is to leave the business part to us, and let the artists do what they do best – their art work,” says Ms Beauchamp.

Elinor Olisa (left) and Isobel BeauchampElinor Olisa and Isobel Beauchamp say there is “a desire for affordable artwork”

Both of them advise students on how to brand themselves post-university and surrounded by a colourful exhibition of pictures of rats and amphibians Ms Beauchamp stresses the importance of online promotion: “If you don’t have Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Flickr then you’re missing a massive trick.”

Ms Beauchamp says that artists now have to be business savvy and appeal to buyers with less disposable income.

She points to her father, Paul Beauchamp, who belongs to a collective of Welsh artists called Gallus Editions.

Made up of three artists and a photographer, Gallus Editions sells affordable, limited-edition prints online.

Mr Beauchamp says this way more people get to know and enjoy their work and then want to visit the galleries where their more expensive work is sold.

Although Mr Beauchamp is something of a latecomer to the internet he is enthusiastic about the opportunity it gives artists to communicate with each other: “The internet stops old artists like us from ending up as an island,” he says. “We need websites to push us along.”

Perhaps if artists like Vincent van Gogh had had the internet – they may have had the recognition they deserved during their lifetime.


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