Colossal is a visual blog that was started by Christopher Jobson in 2010. In true entrepreneurial fashion, he managed to turn a personal and passionate hobby into an international database for fresh visual culture. With about 3 million visitors every month, Colossal has become an institution.
Christopher has used his ever expanding reach to bring exposure to artists who might not otherwise access such a wide audience. In his own words:
“While Colossal covers many of the topics and artists that are circulating around the web on any given day, I try to expend as much energy as possible to discover new and unpublished stories and emerging work. It’s something I really take pride in. We are just as likely to bring attention to the largest exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world as we are to an artist or photographer who has never been mentioned in the press. Occasionally these new artists become a central topic in the art/web/culture blog world which is thrilling to see, I’m so excited to see those artists get the attention they deserve.”
(Detail from Spiny Shell by Rafael Araujo)
Rafael Araujo, an Escher-esque lover of all things mechanical, is a great example of the latter. By using math and geometry, Rafael examines the intersection of scientific order and organic forms. Colossal first showed his drawings in January of 2014, at which point a serious inquiry for his work was voiced by Colossal’s many followers.
“Colossal sort of discovered me through the internet and it lead to impressive media exposure, for a low profile artist as I am. So it appeared only too natural to work together when an opportunity to sell these works became a reality, with lots of potential clients asking for it, and being unable to pay for an original artwork” - Rafael Araujo
(Monarch Butterflies printing at iolabs)
It was apparent that Rafael’s workflow of 80 to 300 hours per painting was not meeting customer demands, so Colossal got in touch with a fine art print shop called iolabs inc.
Based in Pawtucket RI, iolabs has been serving artists for almost 15 years. As an owner-operated, local business, iolabs takes pride in its close relationships and collaborations with photographers, illustrators, and museums. There is a genuine interest and care taken to ensure all the work produced is tailored to the client’s needs and aesthetic.
(finished prints waiting to be packed up)
Rafael and Christopher realized something had to be done when they began getting dozens of requests for artwork. ”… iolabs was recommended to me by an artist Diana Sudyka … ” says Christopher.
He continues, “ … After several phone calls and print samples, I felt the quality of what we were seeing with you [iolabs] was better than we could expect to find anywhere else, so we went with it.”
Since iolabs joined forces with Colossal and Araujo in February 2014, they have produced a grand total of 526 prints, with new images every two months or so. “Sales have been great, and consistently steady. Rafael has a very passionate following and his work touches art enthusiasts from so many different backgrounds. I can say with certainty that biologists, scientists, writers, and even mathematicians appear to be drawn to his work. It’s a very diverse group of collectors,” says Jobson.
You can purchase Rafael’s Prints at the COLOSSAL SHOP
The staff at iolabs continues to be impressed by the creativity and caliber of their clients on a daily basis. If you are a client of iolabs and are interested in being interviewed, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.