A new social network for creative professionals taking two years and almost €1 million to develop was launched today. ''Toadsquare'' aims to unite the world''s 20 million ''creatives'' - artists, photographers, filmmakers, scriptwriters, actors - and provide them with an instant, global showcase for exhibiting their talents to agents, producers and collectors.
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Toadsquare is the brainchild of Australian-Czech Jane Hrouda: ''I''ve spent my whole life working with creative people and wondering how we can afford to let so much talent, in so many countries, go to waste'' she said. ''When Facebook and Linked-In showed the incredible power of social networking I realised this could be the answer to the mis-match between supply and demand in the creative industries.''
Hrouda and a team of ten have spent two years turning her original idea into reality. Toadsquare is free to join and gives every member their own ''website within a website'' - where they can network and market, sell and display their work - art, photographs, films, video, scripts, designs, music: samples and examples of their creative talents. They can also swap stories and tips with other creative professionals, advertise shows and exhibitions, invite expert criticism and seek inspiration.
Montparnasse on a global scale
Toadsquare was officially launched in Prague at a re-creation of Montparnasse, designed to evoke the dynamic artistic melting-pot of Paris in the 20th century. ''Montparnasse symbolised all the excitement, opportunity and passion for the art world that we want to bring alive again at Toadsquare'' says Hrouda. ''Artistic communities have always flourished on a local level, with clients and collectors making a bee-line for the cafes where up-and-coming talent can be spotted. But what if you''re a budding genius in Jakarta and your ideal customer is in Madrid? With Toadsquare they could be sitting at the next table.''
Actor and Producer Joel Einhorn thinks Toadsquare will transform the film and TV industries. ''There''s never been a single place where you know that producers, actors and directors will look at your work. Now there is, and it''s exactly what creative professionals need. Toadsquare is going to transform the way people in the visual arts manage their careers - it replaces serendipity with an efficient, digital marketplace for anyone selling talent and anyone buying it.''
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