Dubai-based Drawdeck’s limited-edition artworks are great starting point for collectors and creatives

Drawdeck, the online community for artists who use the skill of drawing, launches a limited edition collection with Marwan Shakarchi or Myneandyours.
Marwan Shakarchi’s We Bleed As One is the first limited-edition work up for sale as part of Drawdeck’s 50 / Collection series. Courtesy Myneandyours
Marwan Shakarchi’s We Bleed As One is the first limited-edition work up for sale as part of Drawdeck’s 50 / Collection series. Courtesy Myneandyours

Start your first art collection and learn about emerging artistic talent in the UAE with 50 / Collection, a new series of limited-edition artworks at Drawdeck, the Dubai-based online platform for local artists who base their practice on drawing.

For the series, Drawdeck is teaming up with a diverse selection of emerging and established artists to produce limited editions of exclusive work. Every other month, an artist’s work will be added to the collection and only 50 prints of each will be made available. The initiative kicked off last week with Marwan “Myneandyours” Shakarchi’s image We Bleed As One.

“We met Marwan on several occasions and love the passion he has for his work and the underlying messages in his pieces. He’s an artist who is making a name for himself in this region and we couldn’t be happier with the final piece he has produced for Drawdeck,” says co-founder David Hammond.

Drawdeck was founded last year as “a passion project” by Hammond and Alex Dunn – Hammond was working as a landscape architect in Abu Dhabi and Dunn was with an advertising firm in Dubai. The pair decided that there were not enough opportunities for artists in the UAE, particularly those dedicated to drawing.

“I was always interested in art and illustration, but there were a lot of artists here who weren’t getting the attention they deserved,” says Hammond. “There were platforms already, but nothing specifically for drawing. Other than photography, almost all art starts with drawing.”

Drawdeck’s philosophy is simple – provide a way for people to get their hands on unique and affordable art, allowing them to “buy, share, critique and discover creativity”. It also works as a networking platform for artists, galleries and organisations.

Starting out as a portfolio website driven by artists who wanted to share their work with other artists, it soon became popular among art students, graphic designers, product designers, painters and illustrators.

From 10 users in the first month, the number climbed to 300 after the first year, and soon the duo were flooded with requests from people wanting to purchase art through the site.

So, this summer, the pair quit their jobs and committed themselves to the growth of their business. They set up an online marketplace for their users and offered artists the chance to sell their works, giving them full control of pricing, printing and framing, taking a set fee for their service.

Drawdeck now boasts more than 400 portfolios on the site and approximately 15,000 unique hits per month.

“This is one of the biggest regions for e-commerce and we have directed our site with that in mind,” says Hammond. “The art work is categorised under colours, content theme and size and it is really easy to use.”

Dunn says: “But the offline work we do is also really important. We have held seve­ral pop-up shops and worked hard at promoting our artists at local events. This has been important in terms of building awareness and educating our audiences.”

• Visit www.drawdeck.com for more details

aseaman@thenational.ae

Published: December 21, 2014 04:00 AM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one