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Nail On The Wall - Merging Art and Businesses

The newest addition to Shanghai's entrepreneurial and creative scene is Nail On The Wall, a startup that aims to connect emerging artists to commercial projects. Brazilian entrepreneur, Tomás Pinheiro, is the creator and founder of Nail On The Wall, he believes that supporting the arts makes businesses, and life in general, better.

What led you to create Nail On The Wall?

I come from a creative background, I studied and worked in marketing and advertising for ten years. In 2017, I concluded a Masters in Business & Entrepreneurship, which gave me a comprehensive view of how new businesses work. Since then, the idea of creating my own business was evolving in the back of my head. In my last position as Managing Editor of a creative platform in Shanghai, I got to know many artists and have real conversations with them. Now I am basically connecting all these dots into a new business model.

What is your business?

Nail on The Wall is an artistic platform and agency. We connect emerging artists to interesting commercial projects, such as public and private events, brand activation, corporate training, etc. We work with over 100 emerging artists in Shanghai, Beijing, and Chengdu.

What problem do you solve?

Offline and digital marketing is getting very saturated with similar messages, discounts, banners, boring activities. Art is a powerful tool, not only for brands to rise above the noise, but also to instigate creativity and new ways of thinking for their clients and employees. Life as an emerging artist can be a struggle, therefore, it is always good to have an extra source of income as well as visibility.

What are the core services that you provide?

We take requirements case by case from our clients, it means that we can develop tailored services. But on a regular basis, we work on three main services: live painting, immersive experiences, and creative content.

Live painting is definitely the most popular, it makes any event memorable; the audience gets to see the process of creation from beginning to end, so they take a lot of pictures. Sometimes, we even do lucky draws, so someone in the audience takes the painting home — a piece of artwork as a souvenir!

We also do immersive experiences for the audience, inviting them to paint on products, personalize a room and create community art. We find that they really enjoy this type of engagement and have a better perception of any brand that is involved.

For the content, we gather all photos and videos of the artistic process and create beautiful and colorful articles and posts. This is a great way for brands to extend offline marketing into online audiences.

How are you funding your business?

I am a firm believer in sustainable growth, so this is how I have been funding Nail On The Wall, one step at the time. One successful project opens the doors for other bigger projects. It is a slower way to grow, but it guarantees that we will keep the attention and quality necessary for success in each case. My team and I supervise every detail of the process. We also rely on fruitful collaborations with other companies.

How do you think that startups can benefit from your services?

I think that creative thinking is essential for a successful startup. Innovation is also related to communication, internal and external. That means new and different ways to express ideas and values. In the startup scene, there is a huge emphasis on digital technologies, but it is important to remember that the offline dimension is a powerful space to get ideas across.

What obstacles must you overcome to be wildly successful?

China has come a long way when it comes to valuing creativity. However, there is still the general notion that art is something unattainable, only for a selected group of people. By bringing art to commercial projects, we give the wider public a taste of the art world, they can see the creation process, engage with artists and, sometimes, even take home a beautiful piece of art.

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