Bluethumb’s Journey to $50 Million in Artist Revenue

In a world where the traditional art market often feels exclusive and inaccessible, Bluethumb challenges the status quo. And as the saying goes, with bold ventures come bountiful returns!

Founded in 2012 by brothers Ed and George Hartley, this online art marketplace has not only defied expectations but has shattered them, facilitating an astounding $50 million in revenue for Australian artists.

Bluethumb Founders, Ed and George Hartley.

Bluethumb Founders Ed and George Hartley outside their Melbourne-based gallery.

In a recent article by Forbes, Ed Hartley, our co-founder and CEO, reflects on the last 12 years of  business:

“Everyone told us it was impossible […] Established art galleries and those in the industry scoffed at the notion of buying art online, of treating all artists equally and allowing collectors to trust their own judgement. We thought it made sense and launched anyway.”

Digital marketplace Bluethumb paints Australian artists a $50 million picture: read the full article here.

The Hartley brothers, undeterred by sceptics, embarked on a mission to democratize the Australian art world. They believed in the power of technology to bridge the gap between artists and collectors, making art more accessible and less intimidating. Their vision has paid off, with Bluethumb becoming Australia’s largest online gallery.

Discover Bluethumb Artists’ Success Stories today! Read here

From established names to emerging talents, the platform embraces diversity and creativity in all its forms. “We started Bluethumb with the radical idea that artists should make money and that everyone should have art in their home,” says George. “We’ve been building technology to empower artists to grow careers and for art buyers to find art they love. Along the way, we’ve grown to 20k artists and 10s of thousands of happy customers.”

Bluethumb Co-founder / CPO & CMO George Hartley

Bluethumb Co-founder George Hartley is pictured in front of his Bluethumb artwork by collectable artist Kim Leutwyler.

The online art marketplace has grown steadily since its inception. With two brick-and-mortar gallery spaces in Adelaide, South Australia, and Melbourne, Victoria, collectors enjoy a diverse range of artworks. From original paintings, drawings, photography, and sculptural work to digital prints and ethically sourced Indigenous Australian art from some of the nation’s most remote Indigenous Art Centres, you’re truly spoilt for choice.

A Year in Review: Explore Bluethumb Highlights of 2023

As we celebrate our remarkable achievement of $50 million in artist revenue, we look to the future with optimism and determination. With an unwavering commitment to supporting artists and connecting them with a global audience, Bluethumb will continue to redefine the boundaries of the art world, one masterpiece at a time.

In the words of Ed Hartley, “We have sold over 100,000 original Australian artworks to everyone; from first-time art buyers to established collectors and Australia’s finest architecture firms.” And with each sale, we reaffirm our dedication to fostering creativity, diversity, and inclusivity in the Australian art landscape.

Shop Bluethumb Founder's Picks

Discover and shop Ed and George’s favourite Bluethumb artworks in this week’s curation!

Listen to the Art In My Home podcast today and discover the surprising stories of unexpected collectors.

An Artist’s & Collector’s Guide to Acrylic Paintings


  1. Franko says:

    Great article and congrats on the milestone BT!

  2. Joan Denison says:

    I love the work you do. So great for the artists to have a voice.
    Instead of being locked into galleries.
    I’m an Eltham artists. Very soon I will contact you. I’m working on my paintings.
    I can’t wait to chat.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *