We fell in love with her in Season 2 of The Bachelor with her outgoing and down-to-earth personality, but now we have a whole new reason to love Chantal Hryniewski. As one of Melbourne’s most exciting emerging artists, Hryniewski has harnessed her love for the creative and combined it with her business background to launch Magnus Collective, an online based Art Gallery dedicated to unveiling new artistic talent, promoting visual ideas and selling original works of art. Looking for unique pieces to decorate your home can often be a daunting task. Not only is it hard to find original things you like, but the price point can often make it an unaffordable option. Hryniewski not only prides herself on curating a wide range of pieces so there is something for every taste, but the price points are perfect for those who want to invest in high quality, unique art without the exorbitant price tag.
We caught up with the inspiring creative to find out more about Magnus Collective, life after The Bachelor and tips for picking the perfect piece of art.
We love the concept of Magnus Collective. How did the idea come about?
I was obsessed with creating from a very young age and as I grew older it fast became a strength of mine. As it happens, I felt the pressure of getting ‘a real job’ and so I studied Marketing at university and started my career in the corporate world. Owning my own business was always a goal of mine. I craved ownership, autonomy and free creative reign. More importantly, as someone who never took that leap of faith to promote my own art, I wanted to start a business that helped emerging talent promote theirs by providing them with a platform from which to sell their work. I feel very fortunate that Magnus Collective has allowed me to marry my two worlds, my love of business with my passion for art.
It’s great to see that you are supporting emerging artists. What is the biggest challenge up and coming artists face when trying to break into the industry?
There are a number of challenges. The first is basic marketing acumen. Most young Artists wouldn’t know the first step in setting up their own personal business and getting their work promoted. It’s time consuming, a completely different skill set and it takes them away from what’s most natural to them, creating. Marketing yourself can be intimidating and the fear of failure is probably the biggest deterrent, especially as the relationship between an Artist and their work is incredibly personal and intimate. The second is finance. Some galleries charge hefty fees to exhibit and an Artist’s submission needs to be accepted before that’s even an option! Magnus Collective aims to eliminate these initial barriers to entry – we make selling art accessible and buying art easy. We have almost no barriers to entry aside from basic curatorship.
You showcase a great range of emerging artists on Magnus Collective. Who are some of the artists we should be looking out for?
Since the Magnus Collective launch, Aidan Weichard has taken off! He paints crowd pleasing animal portraits in a contemporary, colourful manner. Ruth Crespo Hernandez is exceptionally driven and talented. Her fluid and largely organic abstract pieces suit any home with a minimalist palette. Jeremy Elkington’s landscapes take on a surrealist edge. His oil paintings boast incredible detail and technical skill – it’s only a matter of time before his work is noticed on a broader scale. Then there’s Kirsten Jackson who already has a big name for herself in the Melbourne and International art scene, her works are fast becoming collector pieces. Other names to look out for include Clair Bremner, Ruchi Rai & Losop Stencils – Many of our Artists have exceptional potential – the list goes on!
What tips do you have for someone trying to pick the perfect piece of art?
My ethos when it comes to art purchasing is very simple. Only buy what you love. Think about the emotion that piece evokes, how does it make you feel? If you believe it will bring a positive energy into your space, then it’s the right piece for you. Do your research on the Artist, search their name on Instagram and online – see what they are up to. You will always appreciate art more if you endeavour to understand where it came from. Size and scale is important, but it isn’t everything. In Europe, people are comfortable with having many pieces of art on one wall – here, we tend to want to fill a blank space with a large piece. Be confident enough to collect varied pieces that you love and curate them in your home. I admire people who are confident enough to stagger multiple artworks on a wall.
You are an artist yourself. Can you tell us about your art and what inspires your creations?
It’s such a meditative process when I paint – I don’t think, I just do. My style is varied – I paint portraits, cityscapes and abstract. It depends where my headspace is at and what challenge I feel like taking on. The love of creation inspires my paintings, there’s no political or social agenda – it’s just a deeply personal exercise that I hope others appreciate.
Have you faced any challenges being a predominantly online business or have you found that the public has been receptive of the concept?
Consumer confidence in online purchasing has never been better. That said, of course there are some people who would never consider purchasing art online. It’s the rise of the internet and the slow decline of retail – this pattern has emerged in most industries and art is no exception. However, I do believe a physical touchpoint with the art and our Artists for the public is incredibly important. We organise art parties and group exhibitions so that people can come face to face with Magnus Collective. I don’t see the need for a gallery at this stage – I see the need for innovation, but not a gallery space.
Who’s been the biggest influence in your life and what have they taught you?
My parents have always been my solid foundation. I’m really fortunate to have two people in my life who trust my every move and keep an eye on me as I turn my dreams into reality. They are without question my pillars of strength who have taught me that the only limitations we face are the ones we place upon ourselves. Everything and anything is possible.
What exciting things do you have planned for 2015?
There’s always new and exciting things happening! We have an upcoming Group Exhibition at ARI Gallery, 100 Lorimer Street, Docklands. ‘Colours of Melbourne’ is a collaborative effort between myself and the exceptionally talented Artist, Demian Gibbins. We’ll kick things off with an Art Party and showcase a body of work for three weeks over mid October to November. Details will be online and across social media, so keep an eye out on www.magnuscollective.com.au and @magnus_collective on Instagram.