Alumni startup Requiren connects artists to custom-made art seekers

The startup helps match over 150 artists with customers interested in custom-made paintings

Through a startup that began as a capstone project in 2018, four ASU alumni have created a business that helps connect artists to customers interested in their custom-made paintings. 

Through Requiren, customers can request custom paintings from artists around the country. There are options to choose which category their photo or idea they'd like painted best fits, including people, pets, houses, vehicles and landscapes.

The startup began when Rei Llazani, an ASU alumnus and founder of Requiren, was asked to host a capstone project for seniors studying computer science. Llazani graduated from ASU in 2018 and worked at other startups before recently beginning to commit full-time to Requiren last month. He works alongside three other ASU alumni: Chief Engineering Officer Omar Lozoya and Chief Technology Officer Roni Polus, who both graduated in 2019, and Chief Design Officer Israel Lozoya, who graduated in 2018.  

Llazani said he saw the need for the startup because of how difficult it can be to contract an artist for custom work. In order to find an artist, one needs to go through multiple channels before being able to request the piece of artwork.

“Right now there's a lot of mass-produced products in the world," Llazani said. "Whatever you're buying, there's probably a million different things like it. Each product that you get from Requiren is uniquely made. It's not made until you order it, so each thing is created just for a specific person for that specific request.”

To streamline the process of connecting customers and artists, Requiren vets all of the artists who are available to be commissioned on their website. The startup has about 300 artists total in their database and about 150 of them have their accounts activated to browse and purchase from. 

To request a piece of artwork, customers fill out information about the piece they would like to purchase through the company website. The website's algorithm matches customers' requests with artists in the database. From there, customers can view other artwork done by that artist and choose which one they'd like to commission. The company currently only offers digital and physical paintings, but it is planning to add a sculpture feature to its website in December. 

“One of the things Requiren prides itself on is not only the amount of artists available but also the diversity and variety of our artists," Llazani said. "Many people have different tastes or want different things, and we want to make sure we can fit the desires of as many people as possible."

Polus said working at the startup has been a big success for him and a big addition to his resume. 

“A couple classmates and I decided to pick up Requiren as our capstone project, and here we are still today doing it," Polus said. "I'm glad because I think Requiren was one of the reasons I got my first initial job. The experience gained and all the people I met was very valuable too." 

Omar Lozoya said working on the startup as his capstone project alongside Polus has been rewarding, as it also gave him experience when working toward securing his first full-time job.

"We were excited when we first started building the company so it is really great to see how far it has come," Omar Lozoya said. 

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