Touchtalent is a global community of artists where they can feature their artworks, share them with the community and appreciate the creations of others. Founded in July 2012 by Ankit Prasad - a fifth year student at IIT Delhi who is currently pursuing an integrated M. Tech in Mathematics & Computing - Touchtalent claims to hold creative works from 152 countries under 19 categories that include calligraphy, sculpting, comics, painting, music, literature among other art genres. This interesting combination certainly deserved a good study of the idea and what it seeks to solve.
How Touchtalent works?
Touchtalent uses a Facebook login enabling you to join in through your Facebook account, apart from the email login option. Once you’re in, you can fill up your account settings, that also offers you the flexibility of showing/hiding your recent activities and autosharing on Facebook or Twitter whenever you post.
You can start growing your community by ‘Find Friends’ feature that helps bring your friends and family members from Facebook, Google, Yahoo or through plain old email. In addition, Touchtalent offers ‘Artist Suggestions’ – a list of artists you would like to follow, but this happens only after you have submitted posts. I was suggested a list of sculptors as I posted an MSeal sculpture project for testing purpose.
Sharing your creation on Touchtalent
Designed in a tiled fashion just as the visual curation network Pinterest, the home page of Touchtalent welcomes you with an array of striking creative works. You are bombarded with everything ranging from poetry to crafts and singing. The posts you see at first are the ones that are ‘Trending’. You can filter posts to browse through submissions under ‘Recent’, ‘Following’ or ‘Creative shop’ too.
‘Recent’ shows the latest additions to the platform, ‘Following’ showcases the work from the people whom you are following on the platform and ‘Creative Shop’ is the market place where creators can showcase the work to get buyers. The creative works that are being showcased have quite a few interactive options. You can broadcast or share the work on different social media networks or you can express your opinion by clicking on emoticons like salute, loved it, awesome and more. Lastly, you can star it in your favourites or go for purchasing it if it is available for sale.
Apart from this, you can see specific genres under ‘categories’. Here is a screenshot from the ‘Paintings’ category:
Adding your artwork is simple. Select ‘New Post’ from the top bar or click the ‘+ new post’ box displayed at the beginning of the entries. Select the category, upload your artwork through drag and drop or browse through your system, enter a title, choose a folder and select type, material, theme, dimensions, etc. depending on what category you are uploading. You can also choose whether you would like to sell your artwork or not.
Lastly, before ‘publish’, you can select or deselect the option to post the artwork on your Facebook wall too.
Connecting and spreading the word on Touchtalent
The platform which is a creative hub, has provided the feature of enhancing the profile page and creating a network of like-minded people. The profile page is divided into two sections - 1) My Work and 2) My Favourites. My Work is the showcase of your creative skills which you can store grouped under various categories. My Favourites is the collection of the work that you have shown likeness to. You can also follow people on the network and the profile page gives a snapshot of it. Rest the basic things such as the profile details are same as any network. For me, the “Hire Me” feature is a great one where you can hire directly by exchanging mails for work.
The network has also been successful in creating an active presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
Interest based networks and the future
Touchtalent is an ambitious interest based network with loads of potential. The platform already boasts of having reached more than 8.6 million creative people, and it’s not celebrated its first anniversary yet. The platform that hosts a variety of creative artworks has completed the circle with creating a marketplace. However, Touchtalent has got competition from platforms like Qyuki, Tumbhi and to some extent Musicfellas that is a network for Indie music lovers.
Features like the ability to sell your work, hiring creative people for projects and bidding possibility makes it a very attractive platform. I am sure Ankit must be hatching some more valuable add-ons to the platform. Is he planning to get brands on board to give more incentives?
Will you showcase your work on Touchtalent or recommend someone you know to join it? Do let us know what you think about Touchtalent.
P.S. With inputs from Prasant.