Student plans to help artists gain exposure

Pat Gareau, Creative Editor

Eric Hough is on track to graduate from the entrepreneurship program at Hudson Valley this spring and he is working on a business plan to put the degree to use.

    Last week Hough presented his idea to a panel of expert businessmen during the first round of the Entrepreneur Club’s business plan competition. His business is called and will consist of an online networking platform for artists to post their work, locate exhibits, sell pieces of art and network.

    “The purpose of it is to help artists and photographers expose their work and build their reputation,” said Hough.

    Hough found interest in photography while taking a class in high school and in the years since it has developed from a hobby to a professional endeavor. During a trip to Europe, Hough took photographs and built a portfolio. He has found some success in selling his landscape work and hopes to further branch out to events and fashion.

    Originally focusing on photography, Hough launched He then decided that he could expand into the larger art world and his new business idea was formed. Hough also currently has a website that markets his work and offers design services for advertisements and clothing as well as photography.

    Unfortunately, like many artists, Hough has found it difficult to gain exposure.

“There’s no central online hub for the art world,” said Hough. “I’m trying to make it easier for artists.”

    His current plan is to launch in the Capital Region and build a base of users. By hosting exhibits and invitational events, Hough hopes to gain traction in the area and build a service for artists to streamline the process of finding customers.

    If successful locally, Hough would like to expand to bigger markets like New York City.

    The website and application would offer users a free basic online account with space to post a limited portfolio. Upgraded artistry accounts would allow for an expanded portfolio and added features for a fee. Hough describes it as similar to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, but for artists.

    Since the business requires a complex website, Hough will be working on proving the concept, hosting initial events and gaining local customers in the near future before seeking large investments for full development.

“You have to prove the money is there,” said Hough about looking for investors.

    After giving a short presentation at the business plan competition, Hough received positive reviews from the judges.

    “The judges responses and the conversations I’ve had with them have been very helpful,” said Hough.

    Along with six other students, Hough is competing to win a $500 prize for first place in the business plan competition.

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