Curioos is a social network for digital illustrators, photo manipulators and graphic designers. Showcase your art, link your websites and let people broadcast your work without giving up control of your rights.
One can see and sell their own artwork on the Curioos site and if that isn't appealing, they can peruse the sites vast gallery for inspiration from its list of worldwide contributers. As a result, one can register with Curioos in one of two ways. You can have an 'Artist' account which allows you to showcase and sell your work through the site or you can have a 'Curator' account which simply allows you to follow artists, leave feedback and buy prints. The only potential drawback of the 'Artist' account is that the artist in question needs to be invited by another member of the site. Failing that, they can request an invite by a sending a piece of their work via Curioos Tumblr blog. For those who are familiar with Behance, this is a very similar system to the one they use. I 've had an account with Behance for the last couple of years and I was accepted using the method of 'requesting an invite', which seemed to be very straight forward. Having not been through this process personally with Curioos, I can't say how easy or not it is to get them to accept. Sometimes I wonder whether it's just a way to encourage more people to use the site by creating an almost meaningless air of exclusivity or whether it is genuinely difficult to penetrate their circle of creativity. Something tells me that if other 'artists' are allowed to invite anyone they want, the vetting process can't be particularly tight. Ok, the 'artist' might be 'good' but who is stopping them inviting their 'friends' who are completely rubbish? Then again, how good or not they are is all relative, so ultimately, why bother having a vetting system in the first place?
Thanks to the intuitive nature of the site, it literally takes a coupe of minutes to get ones head into navigating Curioos. The artwork is displayed using a continuous flowing grid system that can be filtered in various ways including Hand Picked, Most Recent, Most Liked, Most Viewed and Most Commented. One can then choose a graphic field that can either be 'All' or one from a range including areas such as 'Cartooning', 'Mixed Media' and 'Photo Manipulation'. There is also the option to filter by theme and main colour. Once again, all these options are are very simple to use and are very quick and smooth.
Curioos is a very slick, clean looking site with a lot of visual appeal. It's cool grays and crisp whites perfectly serve the array of outstanding work examples housed by the site in a humble and unthreatening manner; exactly what is needed on a site of this nature.
It could have been so easy for the designers to have tried making a big statement with the branding and visual language of Curioos but thanks to a simple bold seriffed logo and navigation system, they have succeeded in creating a site that avoids any conflict between itself and the array of bold, bright and colourful work on offer; massive respect to a job well done.
Having spent quite some time going through the site and it's rules etc, I have been surprised that I can't seem to find out how much one gets paid for selling their work on the site. Either I'm just being stupid and have totally missed a blindingly obvious area where this is explained or they have simply failed to mention this. If the latter is correct, then I am slightly concerned. Does it mean that Curioos sell the work and keep the money themselves? Or do they sell it and give all the money or a percentage of the money to the artist? Personally, if I was considering adding my own work to the site, I would contact them first to clarify these points just to be on the safe side.
The above aside, I do really like what the guys are trying to achieve here. In their own words, "Curioos aims to bring Digital Art to the walls of a worldwide audience." This is a bold statement but looking at the work they have on offer, I don't see any reason why they shouldn't achieve this.
As a digital creative myself, I'm a big advocate of having digital images accepted as 'real art'. I firmly believe that a computer and it's software are just another tool for creating art in the same way canvas, paint and brushes are. So a site that embraces modern technology in such a way, on the surface, seems like a great idea.