The first in our series of monthly STAR Company ‘Client Snapshots’…a chance to share, learn, explore and find creative and business inspiration from our STAR Company client roster.
Cheryl Bouzide-McKee, from the STAR Company team, sits down for a virtual chat with STAR Company client Olivier Berger to learn more about Olivier’s work with Wondereur, a truly 21st century creative business.
Wondereur Preview Spring 2012 from Wondereur on Vimeo.
What is Wondereur? Wondereur is a weekly iPad magazine. But there’s more to us than that… Photojournalism: each week, we unveil a photo essay on a new contemporary artist and give you three weeks to discover the artist’s life and work. Mobile Shopping: Along with the artist’s story, we unveil a storefront. When you’re captivated by what you see, click “buy” to bring a piece of art home.
How did the idea for your business develop? It started by a kind of frustration with how art is sold online and offline. So we thought there was something else that could be done, something that would bring a simple way of exploring what is behind contemporary art. To us, artists are adventurers, so we were excited to find a way to show the adventurous ‘journey’ involved in the creation process.
Olivier, 3rd from left, and the wonderful Wondereur team.
Tell us a bit about the Wondereur team. We are a small collective of journalists, designers, creative entrepreneurs and art lovers, with a special love for contemporary art. We are from Paris and Toronto. We are bearded and beardless, glasses and no glasses, but with a shared passion to make things beautiful and simple.
How do you find the artists you showcase? It starts with our talent spotters. Then our editorial team takes over. Leading figures in local art scenes around the world agree to be Wondereur’s talent spotters, finding and endorsing artists who are under the radar. Wondereur invites the artists to submit work for display in our storefront and autobiographical material to feature in our story. From there, it’s up to Wondereur’s journalists and designers. They shape the artist’s autobiographical material, the talent spotter’s insights, an in-depth artist interview and documentary-style photography into photo essays in the classic style.
Can you talk about some of the challenges of bringing Wondereur to life? The concept went through a lot of iterations, even through big changes in the Wondereur team. It felt sometimes, often actually, like we were hitting the wall with our head… but at some point the wall broke. For us, this is just the start. The development of the Wondereur concept will continue, and even go faster, after we launch…thanks to response from users.
What was the break-through in the creation of Wondereur? The wall breaks when suddenly you find a way to bring big value to each of your key stakeholders. In our case, the artist, the art community, art galleries, the photojournalist and the reader.
What are your greatest joys and greatest challenges with Wondereur? The joy comes from working with people who are not like minded, but share a common passion for the project, and a group dynamic where ego can be left out… where stress is kept at bay.
Where are you headed? Launch! After quite a few months of hard, hard work, we will finally see if what we’ve built is meaningful or not.
What has been the most important lesson so far? That surprises are always around the corner, even if you are very well organized. So just be prepared for the unexpected.
What business tools can you not live without in your day to day life? Basecamp. Email on ipad. Skype. Home-made organic 1k calorie chocolate cakes…yes it is a business tool!
What do you wish you had? More time.
How does STAR Company help with your life/work? The backbone of any business, whether it’s for-profit or not-for-profit, is money and compliance toward government agencies and various other stakeholders. Without it nothing can become real or sustain itself. STAR Company is key in making this manageable and ensuring that things are done right.
Was there something/someone/a moment that propelled you to take the leap and turn your creative passion into a business?
Yes, finding the people who accepted to take the risk along with us and join our Wondereur team.