C-LINK Cincinnati: Cultivating a Vibrant Economy
C-LINK, also known as the Creative Link, is a portfolio-based browsing website designed to showcase Cincinnati’s creative professionals. Whether you’re looking for custom gifts, clothing, furniture, or home décor, C-LINK can help you find esteemed artisans in the Cincinnati area to make unique and one of a kind items.
C-LINK was publicly launched by Brazee Street Studios in the April 2013. Patrons have grown to know Brazee Street Studios as a place to find local artists, classes, exhibitions and to request custom projects. In the four years since Brazee Street Studios has been opened, C-LINK has experienced a first-hand desire for the general public to connect with local artists, craftsmen and designers.
“Our students and patrons were coming to us looking for referrals for artists to hire for custom projects of all kinds. Sometimes they were looking for a craftsman to create furniture or fixtures for the home, sometimes they were looking for small gift items or even for collaborative projects for their workplace,” says Leah Busch, the Creative Director at Brazee Street Studios.
“We found ourselves giving referrals for artists we knew all the time, and saw a disconnect – there was not one accessible place to hire artists. That’s when we decided to create C-LINK,” says Busch. “Our group of artists has been juried by prominent local figures in art and design.”
Since launching, the idea of C-LINK has been embraced by the community. “Using a website to find anything is so common now – so why not browse local talent?” says Busch. “Our patrons are pleased to have a one-stop-shop to find all sorts of artists and designers. The artists are thrilled to have a free service, cultivating their work and strengthening the art community.”
C-LINK, above all, is a tool to help build a stronger creative economy in Cincinnati. “If Cincinnati knows the talent of the artists and craftsmen available here, they will hire them. C-LINK provides this connection, and a win-win for both artist and client,” says Busch. “This connection is a critical part of creating culture, supporting the local economy and retaining talent in Cincinnati.”
As a subscriber of C-LINK, you simply create a user name, log in, and are instantly connected to a range of juried local artists and craftsmen. You can search by medium- painting, wood, sculpture, and food – or by categories such as wedding, children and commercial fixtures. When you find a craftsman you like, you simply call (513) 321-0206 – and from there, all sales and commissions are between you and the artist.
As an artist featured on the site, you can apply by uploading a few images, biography and contact information to the website. If our jurors select your work, you will be notified and your portfolio will appear on www.c-linklocal.com.
C-LINK provides a free platform for artists to advertise their work and connect with new clients. “From the beginning we knew we didn’t want to charge the artists,” says Busch. “It became clear as we continued that if we are going to connect the artists with as many new clients as possible – the entire site needed to be free.”
“We are also proud to offer concierge services when looking for the right artist. We are always available to discuss projects, recommend artists and to guide both parties through the entire process.”
What truly makes C-LINK unique is that its entire framework is disruptive, meaning that they’re not a typical gallery with represented artists – they don’t take any cut of their sales. “Our challenge is to train Cincinnati to look right under their nose for fine art, goods and services,” says Busch. To learn more about C-LINK or how to bring unique and beautiful pieces of craft into your home, visit www.c-linklocal.com or check out their C-LINK Facebook page.