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Chapter 1 - The struggle that started it all

Posted by Zulkiflie Shaffii Thyllas on


This blog entry is a long time in the making. Truly it is. It has been almost 2 years since Art Access Asia launched on the world wide web and what a journey it has been both from a personal and a business perspective.



The idea of starting our very own blog has been percolating for some time and finally we've decided to do it to better communicate our thoughts, ideas and journey so that anyone who visits artaccessasia.com would better understand why we are doing what we are doing.

The Struggle

We started Art Access Asia with the very basic premise of wanting to make Art available to all. Like we wanted to make the process of acquiring art easy,  convenient and affordable. Literally anyone could own an art piece for under a hundred dollars and get their paintings shipped like any other e-commerce product. We wanted to build a business where you don't need to spend a lot of money to enjoy the privilege of connecting with an art piece and enjoy maximum convenience in the process of getting one.

A struggle

A real struggle.

Before Art Access Asia, I found it a struggle to buy an art piece for my home. I constantly asked myself, "Must the price of owning an art piece I have a connection to be so high, so difficult to acquire and be reserved for those who are not afraid to spend?"

Like a lot of people who had actually tried to go down the rabbit hole of trying to buy art affordably, we weren't happy with what we had to settle with at the end of the day. To elaborate my point - If you wanted to have an art piece with a story that you could connect with from an artist's perspective that you understood, chances are, you'd be spending upwards of a four to six figure sum at your local art gallery.

I'm not trying to say that it's a bad thing to do so! If you are blessed and fortunate enough to be able to afford such a purchase and enjoy the experience of doing so, I bet it is worth every penny. You'd be gleaming each time you walk past and admire that beautiful work(s) of art in your home.


Not your average priced art piece

But if you're like me and you struggle to justify parting with such a hefty sum then you've gotta settle for less. And I did. And I regretted it. Greatly. What kind of connection can the art pieces from online retailers the likes of Amazon offer you? Not to mention the fact that art from artists I’m a fan of are still not on online art platforms or if they are, the costs of buying their art is still high.

This is the dilemma and struggle that gave birth to Art Access Asia - Why do I need to settle for less? Sure, I'm not expecting to buy the same exact piece in the art gallery and pay a tenth of the price tag but are these my only options as a consumer? 


Every creation needs a lot of love.

I wanted to create an alternative solution and if I wanted to do that, it had to solve these core issues that I faced:

  1. The customer must be able to access artworks from current emerging artists or past greats by accessing one simple, easy to use online platform.
  2. Selecting, ordering and acquiring art pieces must be as convenient as any other common e-commerce transaction.
  3. Each piece should cost less than a hundred dollars and is shipped with everything the customer needs in one package.

Solution to the “Medium”

By solving the above, any collector can have access to a wide range of artist’s work, available in a convenient and affordable package.


Solutions shouldn't be as hard as math

Since the two years Art Access Asia has been online, there has been a hectic and never ending amount of hoop jumping, packaging wizardry, logistic engineering, endless negotiations, infinite brainstorming sessions so that we can come up with the right solution, the right package and the right product that is worthy enough to bring our vision to life, or at least be very close to it.

Why so long? Well, it turns out that our premise of wanting to make art affordable and convenient for all isn't easy to achieve. For the most part, the logistics of producing and delivering the medium of the art (frames, canvas, packaging etc) proved to be the greatest challenge and forced us to rethink our solution many many times. 

Also, the process of getting emerging artists on board with our platform and our mission required more time, patience and mutual trust than we initially anticipated. But all that time invested paid off when the artists saw the medium in which their art could be produced on and the potential increase in exposure and reach they could benefit from. Getting emerging artists bought in became much easier after that.

Close to the end of Chapter 1

Some of my personal friends have been subjected to repeated testing abuse by me and in fact the products on our website has undergone tens of iterations in order to identify the most successful and the most likely to be able to meet our requirement and we think we are close. On behalf of Art Access Asia, I'd like to thank our customers and friends who have braved through our 'Chapter One' with us. 

I think we are close to a final solution. In fact, we are down to two final options that we will be testing with customers and friends before fully investing and growing our collaborations and our art library once more.


A chapter close to conclusion.

What a journey it has been and what a joy to have put this together for our first blog post. 'Chapter Two' is coming soon and I look forward to sharing that with you.


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