Landscape Painter Embraces The Shift To An Online Marketplace
It has been a scary few months for Nancy Moore. The pandemic has hit hard for artists like Moore who depend on in-person art shows and gallery exhibitions to sell their work. “Since COVID-19, that has not been an option,” she says, referring to the closure of these spaces.
Galleries and art shows were once dens of creativity and commerce, bustling with prospective art buyers mingling with artists. Today, most galleries are shuttered all over Canada out of fear of the spread of the virus. For Moore, this meant finding another way to sell art. “I was introduced to the ShopHERE Program through the Toronto Outdoor Art Festival – they enabled a bunch of artists to start using the program,” Moore says.
ShopHERE Powered By Google has helped an array of artists and other small-business owners develop an online presence amid the pandemic. The program is funded by the government and is free for those who sign up.
The pandemic has shifted how Canadians conduct business. Some businesses with only a brick-and-mortar presence struggled to make ends meet as foot traffic grinded to a halt. That’s where a need for an online platform became a necessity for artists. Moore agrees. “My advice to artists would be to get an online store and a space where people can see the scope of your work. Art shows and galleries were the ideal, but today we need to be online,” Moore says.
“If you were to ask me five years ago whether it’s important for an artist to be online, I would say it’s mildly important. Today, it’s extremely important,” she adds.
As a creative person, Moore points out that she was never tech savvy. That bubbled up apprehension around developing her own online store. But the ShopHERE Program alleviated any anxiety around that.
“If I had to create a website myself then I would not have tried. I am an artist. I imagine there are a lot of people like me who are not strong technically,” Moore says. Moore was paired with a helper from the ShopHERE Program who had both the technical and business acumen needed to develop a strong online platform for her art business.
“I would like to convince others that they can have a website and be able to manage it themselves,” Moore says. She has sold more than five paintings since the launch of her online store.
Prior to becoming a professional painter, Moore was a graphic designer. Love for art runs in her family. Moore’s father and sister are also artists. “Growing up, I always knew that I was going to do something involving art in my life. I found my style in painting landscapes and became quite successful in that, and that was basically the avenue that I took.”
Moore primarily uses acrylics on canvas for her work. Based in Newtonville, Ontario – just northeast of Toronto – Moore says the forests and cornfields surrounding her have inspired some of her work.
Moore’s landscape paintings and the current art scene have one thing in common: both are shifting. As the art scene goes online, Moore’s work continues to venture into the territory of abstract painting. “As an artist you are constantly trying new things,” Moore says.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 in Southern Ontario.