The journey toward IslamicArtPrints.com actually began in October 2017. That year, a group of artists were invited to exhibit at the Muslim Lifestyle Expo in Manchester UK with ArtHouse21. Exhibitions were always something we looked forward to – being able to catch up with our fellow artist friends from across the country and Europe and especially having the opportunity to meet art lovers and talk to members of the public about Islamic art.
They were truly special times and times that we long to have once again within a healthier world. The photo you see below was taken that very year and it serves as a reminder of one of those special moments. We shared many laughs, many beautiful discussions over dinners after long days on our feet, and perhaps most importantly, those moments laid the foundations for the platform we had been longing to build. It wasn’t just that we wanted to build it, we realised that we had to.
Finally, after months of background discussion and work, we launched IslamicArtPrints.com on the 20th January 2020 – a curated, artist-driven platform with the mission to make Islamic art accessible to everyone and to provide an income stream to artists. Little did we know quite how important the latter reason would be in 2020.
Like any new online company, we have spent a considerable amount of time this year tweaking and re-tweaking the site to make it more user-friendly, adding more and more artists and incredible work to our website along the way; continuing our mission to bring visitors the best quality, artist-created artwork in the world. We launched article series such as 'Spotlight On' to help those with an interest in Islamic Art find out more, and we asked you, our customers, what you wanted and received great suggestions and ideas on further improvements we can make to our site.
Even more exciting, we launched the first personalised Islamic art greeting cards. This is something that we will continue to build on in 2021, God-willing.
Facing the pandemic
The Covid pandemic seemed to come from nowhere. Nobody was prepared for it. I think it is safe to say that the pandemic affected so many people, so many industries and it naturally hit the arts sector quite badly. That said, our global network of print partners continued to do an absolutely stellar job of ensuring that all of our print orders went out on time and many valued customers continued to purchase art in support of us and our artists. We are so proud, even through these tough times, we received incredible feedback on orders placed with us.
When most of the world went into lockdown and forced us all indoors, many of us became glued to our screens. In an effort to encourage everyone to switch off from their electronic devices we asked our followers to get creative. And through our weekly competition saw some great entries sent in by children and adults alike.
When Ramadan drew close, we were very kindly selected as charity partners to the Emerald Network for their annual fundraising campaign, Art of Ramadan. We successfully managed to raise over £1000 for Emerald’s nominated charity, Human Appeal for their Covid-19 campaign.
Ramadan also saw us launch a mini-series of live weekly conversations on Instagram with some of our featured artists; discussing an array of matters from art and the creative process, interior design in the Islamic world, to art and faith.
Without a doubt the greatest blessing of our work is the incredible community of artists who have trusted us and given us the opportunity to represent them. Working with this talented group of people has been humbling as we have witnessed first-hand how they have all been so supportive of one-another; their ability to work together and to support each other regardless of difference in style, design or form.
To our artists - your resilience is what drives us and we are going to continue to make sure we do all we can to promote your work to a global audience regardless of what obstacles 2021 may have in store.
And finally, we would like to thank all of you - our followers and customers who have supported us as a new business since our inception.
Your support has been invaluable in helping us to establish ourselves as a credible art print business and we cannot wait to continue along this journey with you. IslamicArtPrints.com has got so much more in store for 2021 and we are confident that with your support, we can continue to build on what has already been a great first year in business for us.
Thank you once again and we wish you all a safe, healthy and blessed New Year.