ArtLOVE Kauai is the brain child of artists Zamondo and Davina. Zamondo and Davina meet in Santa Cruz, California, where Zamondo had an art/music studio creatively called The ArtLoveMusic Studio. “Artlove” for short. After a couple years of adventures the endless drought in California forced the water loving duo back to Zamondo’s childhood home of Kauai. An artist’s paradise in the middle of the Pacific. They moved into a house on the north shore and went to work turning it into creative space. They turned a shed into a new art studio, affectionately known as K-Town Artlove. But the reality of Kauai is that it is expensive and you have to work a plenty braddah. Wishing they could spend more time creating artwork they decided to sell prints of their work at local art fairs to supplement their income. Thus, ArtLOVE Kauai was born.
Diving into research mode, they soon discovered the expense and waste of getting large runs of prints made on the mainland and shipped out to the island. It didn’t make financial sense. So they invested in a high-end printer, specialty inks and fancy papers and got to work creating a print that rivaled, if not bested, the big print company’s product. Zamondo is graphic designer in real life, so he had many years of experience getting artwork print ready. After some trial and error they came up with a formula that gets that high quality reproductions they were looking for, while maintaining a low end cost for the customer. They also get to do small runs and experiment constantly to keep it fresh and ensure that the quality keeps going up.
In the near future we have a surfboard shaping room we are converting into a climate controlled room for printing and storing papers. We have another shed we are turning into a dust free and clean spray room for fancy coatings. Plus we want to get another printer to double production and give us more options. And a screen printing press for the carport. And we have a tiki bar to construct for creative sessions. We are going to turn our humble home in Kilauea into one big creation station.
Now for the little bit further future. We have big dreams. Basically, we just want to create art full time and get paid to do it. Once we get to a profitable point we also want to help other artists. It can be surprising hard for talented artists to get paid for their art. And in the islands, if you are not painting something “island style” then nobody wants to represent you. Most young artists don’t have prints to sell, it’s to costly for them to get large runs made. So they end up selling their originals for much less than they are worth. They also don’t market themselves and don’t have a body of work that gallery’s want to see. If they do get into a gallery, the commission taken can make it very unattractive.
Knowing this, our long-term mission is to become a kind of incubator for artists. Something we could have used back in the day. For example, let’s say you are an artist that only has2 or 3 really good drawings . If you become an ArtLOVE Kauai artist, we would scan or photograph your art and get it print ready. We would make prints and sell them on our online store and at local art fairs every month. We would give you marketing material and promote you on facebook and instagram. And best of all we would give you a much larger commission than gallery’s or print on demand companies. There would be no up front fees for you and other than giving us permission to print the art, you would retain all copyrights to your art. Although ArtLOVE Kauai would hopefully make money doing this, the main goal would be to be self-sustaining while helping other artist’s. We would eventually like to take this same format to music.
And the dream continues. Parallel to the artist incubator, we also wouldn’t mind forming a type of artist collaborative. Getting artists together and creating new customers instead of feeling like they have to compete for the limited sales on the island. We would reinvest any profit from ArtLOVE Kauai into new tools, printers, presses, kilns, 3d laser cutters, etc, for all members to use. We would throw our own mini festivals with art, music and dance. Anybody want to donate a barn?
What else? A retail space would be nice, but commercial rent is so outrageous on Kauai that it seems like it would suck up all the profit that could be used on creative toys. So the dream would be to buy a mix use space, but that is in the future. These dreams have some time to fruitate. There is also “Project X”. Due to the amazing potential, this dream will not be revealed until it is a reality.
So that’s it for now. Art, creativity, collaboration, and everybody gets paid. Wish us luck.