To present our vision and our services to you, I thought that it would be fairer to introduce myself, founder of Artistocracy. Indeed, a career is like a drawing, it says a lot and does not cheat! My name is Thomas Gayet, trained as a graphic designer and DA, I have been working in the field of web since its beginnings, at the time when I was telling anyone who would lend me an ear that one day everyone would have his site and that the Internet would revolutionize our lives. I often was only getting as answer a laugh more or less loud...
I have opened my graphic studio in 2000, just after my military service at the "SIRPA Terre" of the Ministry of Defence. I was a young crazy dog who spent hours and hours surfing the web, to the rhythme of the sound of a modem Alcatel 33600! Constantly experimenting already essential graphic tools on my PowerPC, offering my services for free on a humble personal wanadoo website, discovering with passion, enthusiasm and bulimia the first websites, flash, precursors studios like 2advanced that marked my memory.
Over the years, I was amazed to see how fast the graphic quality increased, it was impressive. Hundreds of top digital artists worldwide emerged, pushing the boundaries of digital art, revolutionizing it literally. I was desperate searching for posters of this new art, but found nothing. I remember my first purchase was a poster of 2advanced which, collector, always takes center stage today in my office.
In 2004, I have closely followed the beginnings of a site that was would quickly ace and inspire number of French digital entrepreneurs: Lafraise and its iconic founder Patrice Cassard (who is also at the origin of the name "Artistocracy", full circle!). His project gave me the desire to create an online store dedicated to digital art on modern media, and various non-standard formats. My goal? Spread the incredible diversity of talented artists that cleared the new playground while enjoying myself. At that time, the walls of my own home were covered with posters of artists from the store (this is still the case today). This project, called AmkaShop, still exists after more than 10 years after the launching! I'm proud because, again, in 2005, no such site (to my knowledge) existed; my shop was so pioneering and was part of the first projects in the world really dedicated to digital art and the gidted people that made it. The very term "digital art" was still disputed and very far from earning the current trendy image.
But AmkaShop worked beyond my expectations because I sincerely thought, when I created it, that would not survive more than a few months. Inviting, sharing, meeting and spread to as many people as possible talented artists motivated me more than the business and profitability aspects. I was having fun! Thus, I had the privilege of working with and follow many artists, some of whom have become "stars" now selling into an art gallery; I also allowed others to resume to their art and I have even, once, served as a dating agency! In ten years, I have necessarily learned and grew with them. I have been experiencing amazing situations and gleaned many brilliant anecdotes. But above all I met hundreds of amazing people with many complex, fragile at times talents, many of them are now valuable friends.
During the last fifteen years, I have also had the pleasure of being editor for the paper magazine Advanced Photoshop and Advanced Web design. I primarily interviewed creators I liked for the first and realized case studies for the second. In 2008, surrounded by a bunch of hyper talented friends designers, I founded the blog Artskills, dedicated to digital art. Our goal was to volunteer to share what we liked in digital art through our different sensitivities. Each of us took on his free time to feed the blog and share. Other rewarding experiences such as organizing exhibitions of "live event" with SFR, or my involvement in the project Ten by Fotolia contributed greatly to broaden the scope of the promotion of digital art I have always been in search for.
In the end, Artistocracy is the extension and a sort of outcome of these 15 years path. With a modern approach, adapted to the what is fashionable at the moment and matching the creators expectactions today, namely freedom, control, ease of use, speed and efficiency. My double hat as a graphic entrepreneur and my personal journey makes Artistocracy a project that has a soul, values, love, concern and fundamental motivations that have never changed:
- Promote digital art as a whole
- Spread awareness of the huge network of talented artists who make digital art a magic act
- Meet, exchange, share, move forward, keep learning with personalities with rich and varied sensitivities.
- Get up every day and do what you love.
I like/we love artists and digital art for many years... and that is not about to change.