David Beaulieu is a young entrepreneur based in Quebec city, Canada, who launched Today is Art Day in December 2014.
It started as a social media feed on art history that quickly became very popular. With 116k followers, Today is Art Day on Instagram gives interesting anecdotes and art historical references on some of the most iconic artworks.
With an educational ambition, Today is Art Day developed a line of innovative and amusing collectible products (including magnets, pins, pop-up cards, and posters) inspired by great masterpieces.
Since 2017, the collectibles can be found in some of the world’s most prestigious museums’ shops, including the Louvre, the MET, the National Gallery, the Van Gogh Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago. Art is Alive catches up with David on the success and future of the company.
David, how did the idea come about?
I always thought there were figurines and dolls of superheroes and TV and movie franchises, but not really for famous artists. I thought it would make such nice collectibles items so I decided to create them.
I started by making a prototype of a Van Gogh figurine with a removable ear and bandage. I launched the idea on Kickstarter and after a few days the project received lots of media coverage, it went viral. It basically launched our company!
What’s your most popular product?
The Van Gogh figurine has always been our top seller, closely followed by Frida. But lately, our line of enamel pins have surpassed our sales of figurines.
How easy is it to have access to artworks?
It is fairly easy to access public domain artwork. For an artwork that is not in the public domain, we request the rights to the estate or the owners of these rights. Most of the time, estates will accept our requests but sometimes they won’t, for many different reasons. Some estates do not want us to represent a detail of an artwork, they want the entire artwork. Some simply do not accept to have the artwork reproduced on a certain medium.
Are the art masks a hit?
The masks are a hit! At the beginning, we were not sure to make a line of masks but we decided to move forward in the end. We usually try to do creative products and not simply “paste” an artwork on an object.
We saw a few masks on the market using famous artwork and we believed we could do better. Our masks are more “high-end” with the nose wire, the adjustable ear loops and the soft hand feel. We find that people are willing to pay a good price for a quality mask. And I think people are more knowledgeable now about what they want to find in a good mask. Quality is important.
What are your future projects and how do you see the future of the company?
I think we will continue in the art history niche but we will diversify our offering with different lines of products as we did in the past few years. This has proved to be well received by our fans and also our retail partners. So stay tuned.