Everyone loves beautiful artwork and Gaurav Kawar is no different, he is the co-founder of Bookanartist.CO, a platform for people to access and hire the best artists for mural, graffiti or street art. Bookanartist.CO aims to streamline the process of finding the right mural artist for a specific project. They want people to have custom artwork in their homes or business. Something that has a meaning and has been custom designed just for them.
We chatted to Gaurav about the ups and downs of creating a start-up and how he came up with this business concept.
Book An Artist was launched in November 2018 and is based out of Melbourne, Australia, but as Gaurav says “the beauty of a digital business is that we can scale to other cities; Sydney, Perth, Brisbane in Australia and even internationally Auckland, New Zealand and London, England. Our top 3 markets right now are London, Sydney and Melbourne and we keep adding artists in new cities every 3-4 months.”
Gaurav, or “G” as most people call him, came to Australia in 2010 from India, to undertake a business degree at university. He worked in finance for Coca Cola for 4 years before heading off to London. “I have always had passion for street art even though I never painted myself. I used to walk around admiring all the murals, street art and paintings with my mates. I wanted to do something I was passionate about. I had been working in the corporate world for 8 years which I enjoyed but having something of my own is amazing. The moment I decided to start my own venture came when I was about to wrap up my London stint and I thought this is now or never.”
From there the business mission of Book An Artist was to spread art across the world. “We want people to have easy access to artists so people commission custom artwork instead of buying generic wallpapers or mass-produced work.”
To get this business off the ground Gaurav says that one of the biggest obstacles he had to overcome was understand that he had to be a jack of all trades. “As a startup you are in charge of literally anything as compared to working in a corporate where you have specific people doing specialised jobs. I had to learn that quickly.”
The biggest piece of advice Gaurav has for other startups is to Learn the 80-20 rule. “In a startup world it is always hard to do things perfectly. So do something well (or good enough) and then test it before you spend heaps of time on perfecting it. Get people to use your product and see what feedback they give. You’ll be 100% surprised by what they tell you.”
Lastly, the reason Gaurav said he chose a .CO domain was because “it worked well for us and it helps us stand out.”