From Your Phone to Your Wall
From Your Phone to Your Wall – A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Instacanvas by Dave T
If you’ve been on Instagram long enough, then you’re probably familiar with a company called Instacanvas. They pioneered the concept of turning your everyday photos into works of art, while giving Instagram users the chance to make a little extra cash by opening their own online store. The founders, Matt Munson, Todd Emaus and Kevin Freemon started with an idea which has quickly become one of the fastest-growing startups in Southern California. They have also added many new product offerings to highlight photographers’ works.
I recently had the privilege to interview the members of this incredible team.
K: What is the main mission of Instacanvas?
IC: Instacanvas is a tool for the world to discover amazing art and photography, with the option of turning those discoveries into beautiful pieces of art by printing them onto a variety of amazing products. That also makes it a place for artists and photographers to express themselves to the world and gain exposure for their work. –Meaghan Emery, Community Manager (@meagems)
K: How did Instacanvas begin?
IC: We were seeing imagery and artwork in our digital lives that was far more interesting that what was on our walls. We were interested in bringing the best of our digital lives into our physical lives. We thought other people might like that idea too. –Matt Munson, CEO and Co-Founder (@mattmuns)
K: What have been the biggest challenges faced?
IC: Scaling from zero to millions of users in less than a year is not without challenges. We’re really fortunate with the caliber of engineers we’ve been able to attract to the mission. -Matt
K: How can Instacanvas benefit photographers?
IC: Mobile photography has really democratized creativity by making photography itself an incredibly accessible artform. We strive to democratize and foster that notion further by giving artists an even field to play on. On Instacanvas, you’re not limited to followers or micro-sized networks because our site framework allows your photos to be discovered by anyone who visits the homepage. On top of that, photographers can easily get inspired by the work of others here because the discovery process is really intuitive. Of course, there’s also the 20% commission you get when someone buys your pieces! -Meaghan
K: What tips do you have for photographers to promote their gallery?
IC: Having a successful gallery really comes down to constantly honing in on your skills. We admire our artists for constantly growing and improving because we’re simultaneously trying to do that as a company and give more back to them in turn. As your work progresses and you start really defining your voice, it’s important to organize your gallery for maximum impact, almost like a storefront. Promoting your photos with links back to them on any of your social networks is definitely powerful, as is making sure that all of your photos are tagged and categorized properly on Instacanvas itself. There’s really no end to the amount of people in the world who love beautiful art and photos, so the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to promoting. -Meaghan
K: What makes Instacanvas “special”?
IC: Our users come first. Every single feature we build is with you in mind, and if it doesn’t work, we are determined to find out what will. Your success is synonymous with ours, and we’ll constantly ask for your feedback in order to ensure it. Also, we are freaks when it comes to quality– you’d be hard pressed to find photo products on the market that are as beautiful as ours. -Meaghan
K: What new things can we expect from Instacanvas?
IC: We’ve put together one of the top mobile development teams in the country, so stay tuned for some exciting developments on the mobile app front. -Matt
Thanks to Instacanvas for taking the time to do this interview. And now, some behind-the-scenes photos of Instacanvas and the crazy crew.
View from the Instacanvas HQ in Santa Monica
Kiley, CEO Matt’s Boston Terrier/office mascot
Customer Service – Michelle Foster (@shhellz) and Community Manager, Meaghan Emery
Head of Product Todd Emaus (@toddemaus) and Creative Director/Designer Kevin Fremon (@kevinfremon)
CEO Matt Munson + prism
CEO Matt & Customer Service Michelle