True African Remains "Loyal to Artists...Loyal to You"

If you are an African artist you know the all too familiar position of struggling to get consistent sales and fair promotion in your trade.

If you are an art enthusiast or collector, you know how hard it is to find a African art gallery source that is loyal to the artists and loyal to you.
True African is a new online gallery store that brings attention to original and unique contemporary African paintings. Our website features some 425 artworks by 50 African artists along with most of their biographies and some interviews on video.

My name is Gathinja Yamokoski. I am the proud owner and hard worker for True African I am a self taught African woman artist who is proud of my beloved country of Kenya and my continent Africa. Most of all I support our website’s artists in the very best ways that I can and am always seeking out other committed artists.

The African artists we choose to be on the website, besides their great artworks, are very passionate about what they do. They stay true to their Black art and take it as a full time career, sacrificing other opportunities, even when they are faced with the reality of harsh African economies and Africans who don’t put buying art as a high priority.

Because it is so hard to make it on one’s own, True African is a strong believer in cooperation rather than competition. In fact, our artists tell us they work at their best when there is a free sharing of ideas for painting and promotion of those paintings. We hope that our website is not only a platform for great African art, but that it can bring artists together and inspire them to do better things for each other to make a better world of art in Africa.

If you are an African artist living in any country in the world and would like to be featured on True African in the future, we would love to consider you. There is absolutely no fee for you to apply or be featured and once you go through our screening process, we would buy your African art paintings from you directly so you profit immediately.

As of May 2012, we have a little more than 40 fantastic artists in a “waiting room” wanting to be featured. And with close to 400,000 visits to our home page in less than three years, we are here to stay. So we do indeed welcome your applications and would be happy to add you to the site when the opportunity permits. See our Be on the Site page for the simple instructions.
For those of you who have struggled as an artist in the not so easy economy of Africa, I have some personal thoughts for you: First of all, with Africa being my home, I know what it means to struggle. What has kept me going through all that time was this inspiration truth: I know art can be created and discovered in any matter of form. I see it all around me.

Art is and always has been inside humankind. And it is unique to us, making it essential to our livelihood and well-being. Art is a God given trait that shows itself through us, sometimes in the most unlikely times and places. Look for it. Art is illustrative, but it is also melodious, found too in the spoken word, debated and contemplated by the greatest thinkers, and felt, especially in nature.

But most of all, art is a sacred perception that is unique to human kind with its observation and creation as a gift that lives within and around all of us. Of the highest quality for us as a people is to manifest any type of our innate creative art characteristics so that these expressions are candidly proposed from the heart instinctively and unrehearsed.

And we should always be thankful when giving or receiving such a gift, so that it is recognized and increased in order for us to know that we surely have the permission and indeed have the ability to grow and strengthen in our own art creativity.

Since our introduction online, almost three years to date, here at True African we find our founding principles of “Loyal to Artists…Loyal to You” guiding us with great success.

The phrase is a simple and twofold promise that is interdependent on two crowds of audience: our African artists and our clients.

Our promise of “Loyal to Artists” is defined by:

• Buying mostly direct from the African artists themselves and not from galleries so that the
artists alone get 100% of their share for their artwork. This also permits most of our artists to not have to wait for their painting to sell on our site before they are paid.

• Giving an upfront deposit to artists in need so they can buy the best materials for their best

• Asking most artists to determine for themselves the value of the African paintings they sell to us so that they profit fairly.

• Giving African artists a free, quality web page of their own that professionally represents them and that provides worldwide exposure and promotion. When the information is made available to us, the artist’s page comes complete with a unique, qualitative biography that reflects the best of the artist’s character, passion, and history in African art.

• We stay in contact with most of our African artists with phone calls from our location near New York City. Often times just a simple chat turns into ideas for more ways to promote them both on True African and their own exposure right in Africa.

• True African’s staff consists of those who are all of African descent. This familiarity gives painters more ease for doing business within their own cultural practices, rather than with cultures that are unfamiliar to them.

Our promise of “Loyal to You,” our clients, is defined by:

• Wanting their commitment to us to spring from our commitment to them by providing the best professional customer service that our clients expect and deserve.

• Selling with the six practices of:

1. A 110% Lowest Price Guarantee from other online African paintings websites.

2. Price negotiation being accepted on all our artworks through making an offer.

3. Offering free, secure shipping worldwide for any number of paintings from our location near New York City and through our five consignment artists.

4. For the five African artists we work with on consignment, a contract with them containing strict standards to freely deliver paintings to our clients swiftly and securely from their locations in the USA, Europe, Kenya, and Ghana, with the understanding that payment is not passed on to them until the client receives their painting safely.

5. The opportunity to support an artist by purchasing online from us securely at our list prices.

6. When a multitude of sales happens, we are able go back to the Africa to buy more paintings from our artists, better enabling their quality of life, giving our clients more quality art, and keeping our website healthy and strong.

Those who love to view contemporary Black African art paintings and those who love to make it, join with me in creating and enjoying the purity of an art form that portrays the exquisite and fascinating culture of the African continent that is often secluded from even the best of our wondering eyes. Look into it a little closer and make a little better the shroud, beauty, and intimate welcoming message that is found in the best of African art. In doing so, you come closer to fulfilling your role as an artist and as an art enthusiast.

-by Gathinja Yamokoski