Art Map London: bringing the artist community together

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In preparation for Art Challenge, we spoke to Jenny Judova, Founder at Art Map London and Co-Director at Tom’s Etching Studio. She will be a coach and mentor at the event. Read below to learn more about Jenny Judova’s work and thoughts on art entrepreneurship in London.

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  1. What is Art Map London and what does it do?

Art Map London is a surrogate community for artists that focuses on peer to peer support, and professional development.


  1. What motivated you to start the project?

Art Map London had a very selfish start, I created it for myself.

When I moved to London going to art events was a massive part of my life and after a week of googling I was unable to find a website, blog, or social media account that would tell me where all the events are happening so I emailed every primary art market gallery in London asking them to send the time and date of their next private views to me. I made a list of them and posted it on Facebook and that’s how Art Map London got started.


  1. You’ve been running Art Map London for over 2 years now. How has your initial vision evolved since launch?

Art Map London evolved a lot. It started as a one page blog that would list art events, it then expanded into an art events listing website, then pivoted to become an artist community. Now the focus is professional development for artists and art professionals.

Art Map changed a lot however I think the overall mission and vision stayed the same ‘to empower artists to have a career in the arts by providing them the tools and resources they need’.


  1. 2016 has just started. What does it hold in store for Art Map London and all your other projects?

In 2016 we will be focusing on professional development for artists and art professionals. Earlier this week we launched the book How to Approach a Gallery. Which focuses on questions such as:

‘How to approach a gallery for representation?’

‘How to approach gallery owners?’

‘What are art galleries looking for in an artist?’

‘What are art galleries?’

The feedback and reviews we received so far have been overwhelmingly positive. And later on this month we are hosting a ‘Wordpress for Artists’ talk by Adrian Raudaschl at Tom’s Etching Studio.

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5. Tell me more about ‘How to Approach a Gallery?’, would it not be a topic taught by Art Schools?

The art schools usually ignore the art market and teach art in a bit of a vacuum, as if such little things as the art world, the gallery system, distribution networks, and money are filthy subjects that artists should not be bothered by. So when young artists graduate from university they are absolutely clueless. A handful might get lucky, but many are taken advantage of by vanity galleries and artist fairs.

The book is an attempt to make the art world more transparent and to bring a bit of order to the often confusing gallery system. I avoided giving generic advice that similar publications often give and went for a more systematic approach of explaining every part of the gallery system separately.


6. What do you see as some of the main challenges facing entrepreneurs in the art market?

There are very few investors within the art world. The majority of angels and VCs are intimidated by art and do not understand the quirks of the art market. With this lack of education they do not risk investing.

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7. From your point of view, what are the art industry segments most ripe for disruption?

The last big disruption in the London art world happened in 2003 when Frieze Art Fair launched, 13 years on the art world is definitely ripe for disruption. The segments that pose the most interesting challenges is the lack of transparency within the secondary market, the problem of working and exhibition spaces especially in London, and of course the biggest question of all ‘How to attract collectors?’


8. Finally, what advice can you give to those who want to launch their own start-ups in the arts?

Be prepared for a long slow struggle and start collecting art, even if everything goes south you will have an art collection to soothe a bruised ego.


Inspired? We look forward to seeing you at the Art Challenge.


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