Portrait

We Show Off – An Illustrated Interview

We Show Off is a startup from Zürich, offering an online and offline platform for artists to show off their work.

We Show Off is a startup from Zürich, offering an online and offline platform for Swiss and artists from all around the world to show off their work.

Through We Show Off, these artists, illustrators and photographers are given the opportunity to show their work and market them at the same time. Besides increased visibility for the artist collaborators, We Show Off also offers high quality production and distribution of their work, and they organize yearly events like markets and exhibitions to feature their work.

The idea was born two years ago. Two friends, Andrea and Jovana, found themselves immersed in long talks about digital art forms such as illustration, and the ways in which it is perceived. Andrea shared her experience as an illustrator, where she felt she was sometimes misunderstood and her work was deprived of its artistic and creative value. Jovana wanted to start curating and showing art that was not often seen in museums, using alternative methods and spaces other than sterile galleries. Together they decided to curate and show digital art forms and illustrations. It was a match made in heaven!

Draw your Portrait:

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Left: Andrea Forgacs is 31 years old and comes from a graphic design background. With a Bachelors in Graphic Design and a Masters in Visual Communication, she has been actively working in these fields for a while. Right: Jovana Hitz, 33, is an art enthusiast with a Bachelors in Art History and a Masters in Visual Communication and Iconic Research.

Favorite piece of art?

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How did the step towards self-employment feel?

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It was chaotic and uncontrollable, but also absolutely wonderful. A startup gives you the opportunity to fulfill your dreams, but the work involved shouldn’t be underestimated. It requires a lot of energy and time.

Your life’s dream?

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To keep on living with my head in the clouds, or perhaps to become an astronaut (Credit: Andrea Forgacs, Jovana Hitz).

Your favorite Swiss artist?
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Digital art, photography and illustration are wide and various artistic fields, so We Show Off uses exactly that quality as its most important selection criteria – diversity. From very early on, it was clear to Andrea and Jovana that they wanted to represent these art forms in all their variety of styles, techniques and executions.

There must also be a personal connection that leads to the choices of artists selected for We Show Off. If they feel intrigued by the work, Andrea and Jovana try to make a personal connection with the artist, to delve into the story behind the creative process. This adds an amazing, important layer of intimacy between We Show Off and the artists, in their opinion.

And finally, there is the work itself, its meaning and message is critical. Whether emotional, esthetical, political or something else … some feeling or passion needs to be present, clear and understood. Andrea and Jovana believe that their mission is completed only when they can use their platform to open the eyes of the observer, when they can trigger and provoke emotions as intended by the artists when they created their pieces. Many works of art shown on the We Show Off platform already hang in Andrea’s and Jovana’s homes. Their goal is to see them appreciated and shown off in many other homes.

What inspires you?

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Our artists.

What is the biggest challenge when founding a start-up?

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Time.

What helps you through long nights with a lot of work?

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Coffee & Pizza.

The We Show Off platform started as an online gallery, but has recently expanded into an offline exhibition space, as part of the ZuHause concept store, located at Usteristrasse 14 in Zürich. This gives the platform a place to organize exhibitions and art events every two to three months until 2018.

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