50 Art Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

50 Art Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

Interested in starting a art business in 2021?

We put together 50 of the best art businesses you can start in today.

For each business idea, we’ll show you real-world examples of other art businesses to help you see what it really takes.

Here's the full list:

1. Start a woodworking business ($78K/year)

Sasha Weekes from Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, Canada started Timber Grove Studios over 4 years ago, a woodworking business.

  • Revenue: $6,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, Canada

I was always the art kid growing up, so I naturally began my post secondary education by pursuing a degree in Fine Arts. I spent my summers refinishing furniture and doing photography and that’s how I got my feet wet with business, so by my second year, I was also pursuing a minor in Commerce.

I had never really done much woodworking at all but became a lot more interested in design and home decor during those years. After finishing my third year, I was itching to do something more practical than becoming a gallery artist, so I set my sights on furniture design and enrolled in a college cabinetmaking course instead. It really wasn’t where I had ever expected to end up, but it was sort of a natural progression and I’m so glad I did it!

I started making mountain shelves in the morning before class to sell on Facebook and Kijiji. It was intended to be a fun side project but they were so popular that I started my business shortly after graduating with the mountains as my first product.

how-i-took-my-woodworking-hobby-full-time-to-build-a-successful-brand

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Sasha Weekes, on starting Timber Grove Studios ($6,500/month) full story ➜

2. Start an embroidery business ($78K/year)

Cailey Golden from New York, New York, USA started The Patchsmith about 4 years ago, a embroidery business.

  • Revenue: $6,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

I’ve been in the customization industry for over 10 years. I started with screen printing first. Eventually I was hired to work for the Yankees and was taught how to embroider caps. A company reached out to me for a production embroidery job and I accepted. I was taught how to run production but was left alone a lot. I ended up teaching myself a lot of different embroidery methods, it was also the place I made my first patch. I ended up creating patches for my supporters club of the local MLS team, NYCFC, and sold them for $7 each. I stopped after a few months and didn’t think about patches for awhile.

In 2017 I was going through a huge change in my life, a previous employer in the City attempted to permanently remove me from the industry, very unsuccessfully. I’d say it’s part of the reason why I’ve been able to be as successful as I have been so far. I spent months grasping at straws to come up with a business idea that I knew could do while keeping my mind busy while I was on a rollercoaster of repercussions from that employer.

I was in the bank one day after work and was sitting down with a representative, I did that a few months prior with the same guy and we spoke a bit about my career. This time he asked me if I was able to embroider patches for his fantasy football league called “Fight Club”. It was the first time anyone had ever asked for patches, I had no idea what to charge him but I knew I could definitely do it. I said yes and charged him $6 per patch for 25 of them. He was all too excited and agreed. I had no idea if I undercharged, overcharged or was right on the money but it was too easy. I was completely hooked.

how-i-m-turning-my-patch-embroidery-side-project-into-a-full-time-business

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Cailey Golden, on starting The Patchsmith ($6,500/month) full story ➜

3. Start a video production company ($1.99M/year)

Henry Finn from San Francisco, California, USA started Luminous almost 8 years ago, a video production company.

  • Revenue: $166,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA

I’m a filmmaker and that’s where my passion is. I’m an artist from my balls to my heart and I only became a producer and use my head because I also hate working 9-5s and I wasn’t interested in moving to LA. So I realized pretty quickly if I wanted to be free doing something I loved I would have to learn the business side.. which was really hard for me in the beginning.

I made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot of hard lessons because as an artist you don’t care about a lot of things that corporations care about (namely learning to look at a project as a product for capitalistic needs over self-expression) and also have to add a lot of components to your knowledge like branding, marketing, etc.

Luckily the fear of letting the corporate machine suck my soul out forever (I used to be in banking) outweighed my cynicism, so I sucked it up and made a business for myself.

But actually, the moment that really changed my perception of reality was when I accidentally started one of the world’s top modern art sites (at the time) with a group of friends way back in 2005 or so.

We were originally going to make a collaborative portfolio site to try and get clients for our businesses (filmmakers, photographers, graphic designers, etc.) and I was trying to solve the problem of how to get someone to come back to our website once they’ve visited it once.

So I had this hypothesis that if instead of making a simple portfolio site, if we actually made a blog and just shared dope art we love with the world, it might give people a reason to come back.

how-henry-finn-built-2m-year-video-production-company-working-with-the-biggest-brands-in-the-world

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Henry Finn, on starting Luminous ($166,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start a logo designing business ($12K/year)

Craig Barber from London started Logobly over 1 year ago, a logo designing business.

  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: London

For most of my career, I’ve been a designer. I’ve done website and logo design for some of the best brands in the world. Sony, Samsung, PayPal, Qantas, Nestle, Apple - you name it.

If you’re gonna pour all of your hard-earned cash and time into something make sure it’s not some overnight trend. Make sure it’s a long-term bet.

I’ve always had a real urge to start my own business and live the dream of an entrepreneur.

how-i-productized-my-design-service-and-created-logo-maker-tool-for-startups

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Craig Barber, on starting Logobly ($1,000/month) full story ➜

5. Start a jewelry making business ($48K/year)

Lindsay Ann Gottschall and Courtney Joy Bleier from Miami, Florida, USA started Ann + Joy ago, a jewelry making business.

  • Revenue: $4,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Miami, Florida, USA

Courtney Joy always wanted to be a teacher as a little girl. She used to pretend to teach in her childhood home basement on Long Island, New York. Growing up in an artistic family, she became a figurative and landscape artist and eventually attended art school. After college, she decided to merge her two childhood passions together and became an art teacher.

Lindsay Ann expressed herself through art in a different way. She was in the theater and went to school for drama in New York City. While pursuing her dream of acting, she also made beaded jewelry on the side. It quickly became a passion of hers and would help lead her down a new path in life.

Within our first 3 months, we sold over 100 orders, resulting in more than $3,000 in revenue. By the end of our first year, we had sold over 2,300 orders, resulting in more than $65,000.

how-we-started-a-4k-month-handmade-flower-and-resin-jewelry-business

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Lindsay Ann Gottschall and Courtney Joy Bleier, on starting Ann + Joy ($4,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a niche web design business ($240K/year)

Scott Bishop from Boston, Massachusetts, USA started Up And Social over 7 years ago, a niche web design business.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

I began my business career with the family in-store sampling business, C.A. Courtesy, in the 1990s, while at the same time attending college at Johnson and Wales University, where I pursued a degree in Web Management & Internet Commerce.

I’ve always had a knack for marketing and technology, and when I left C.A. Courtesy, I was the Vice President of Marketing and Technology.

People don’t remember what you say as much as they remember how they felt when you said it.

how-i-started-a-20k-month-web-design-agency

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Scott Bishop, on starting Up And Social ($20,000/month) full story ➜

7. Start an animation business ($84K/year)

Mike Doyle from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA started drive80 over 10 years ago, a animation business.

  • Revenue: $7,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

So here’s how I got into working for myself:

  • From 17 - 22 I was in a punk band called Lanemeyer. We toured 8 times over 2.5 years. Then we broke up because we were a shit show.

  • When I turned 22 I moved to LA to figure life out. While working at a P.F. Chang’s in Woodland Hills, a buddy of mine had a clothing company called Down Apparel. I decided that I wanted to start a clothing company, bought a Gateway PC for $1,300, and started designing. I got a cracked version of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator not realizing these programs were scary as hell. I moved back to NJ and put myself through a technical school to learn graphic design.

how-i-started-a-7k-month-freelance-career-designing-explainer-animation-videos

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Mike Doyle, on starting drive80 ($7,000/month) full story ➜

8. Start a 3d printing business ($3.96M/year)

Roy Kirchner from Odesa, Odesa Oblast, Ukraine started Ultimate 3D Printing Store about 6 years ago, a 3d printing business.

  • Revenue: $330,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Odesa, Odesa Oblast, Ukraine

In 2014, I was one-half of a partnership working primarily in advertising and marketing. At that time, my partner and I were successful and wanted to explore other verticals. We began working with a client who had a product that we believed was singular and unique throughout the world, and we put forward a significant amount of capital out of our own pockets to try and develop that product, only to reach a point where the deal went south and litigation ensued.

Make plans to do things as a family, and do your best not to let work interfere with those moments, but know that there are going to be times when you will have to sacrifice an outing, a dinner date, a holiday weekend.

In trying to think outside the box and figure out a way to create a similar product, I found myself for the first time in an innovation lab in Tampa, Florida, where I saw a 3D printer in operation for the first time. I couldn’t look away. I realized immediately that 3D printing had the potential to change the world as it became more integrated into daily business activities such as manufacturing. That’s when I decided to leap of faith.

how-i-started-a-330k-month-ecommerce-specialized-in-3d-printing

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Roy Kirchner, on starting Ultimate 3D Printing Store ($330,000/month) full story ➜

9. Start an art gallery ($1.8M/year)

Adam Vieira from Montreal, Quebec, Canada started Station 16 about 8 years ago, a art gallery.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I met Carlo De Luca (my partner and current president of Station 16) in 2010. I was very active in the Montreal street art scene and had many artist connections because of it. Coincidentally, he was also looking to diversify his textile silkscreen shop into paper printing, which I had been doing a lot of.

In 2011, we started working with local Montreal artists to create quality silkscreen prints - a type of printing made famous with Andy Warhol's work. We began showcasing these prints online and in art fairs. That’s when Emily Robertson (3rd founder, and Art Historian) came on board. She had taken an interest in our project and suggested we open an art gallery showcasing the prints and street art talent we were really interested in.

Shortly after that, a few other friends that we were in contact with were building on the idea of a Mural festival for Montreal. They asked if we would be interested in supporting it. So in June of 2013, we debuted at both the Gallery and the Montreal MURAL festival on St. Laurent. It initially opened as a pop-up, and we haven’t closed our doors since.

growing-an-art-gallery-to-150-000-month

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Adam Vieira, on starting Station 16 ($150,000/month) full story ➜

10. Start an art supplies store

Examples of a successful art supplies store:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a art supplies store:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an art supplies store ➜

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11. Start an art reselling business

Examples of a successful art reselling business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a art reselling business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an art reselling business ➜

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12. Start an artworks business ($6K/year)

Examples of a successful artworks business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a artworks business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an artworks business ➜

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13. Start an art auctions business

Examples of a successful art auctions business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a art auctions business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an art auctions business ➜

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14. Start an art exports business

Examples of a successful art exports business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a art exports business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an art exports business ➜

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15. Start an artistry business

Examples of a successful artistry business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a artistry business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an artistry business ➜

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16. Start a video game designer business

Examples of a successful video game designer business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a video game designer business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a video game designer business ➜

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17. Start an art collectible business

Examples of a successful art collectible business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a art collectible business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an art collectible business ➜

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18. Start an art lessons business

Examples of a successful art lessons business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a art lessons business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an art lessons business ➜

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19. Start a graphic designing business ($360K/year)

Examples of a successful graphic designing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a graphic designing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a graphic designing business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Michael Moloney's story on creating FilterGrade a read:

Hi, I’m Mike Moloney, the founder of FilterGrade. FilterGrade is a marketplace for creators where you can find digital assets such as presets, LUTs, video templates, and much more.

Today thousands of creators from all around the world buy and sell digital products on FilterGrade and more than 450,000 users visit the site every month.

how-we-created-a-30k-month-marketplace-of-photo-filters-and-digital-assets-for-creatives

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Michael Moloney, on starting FilterGrade ($30,000/month) full story ➜

20. Start an art easels business

Examples of a successful art easels business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a art easels business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an art easels business ➜

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21. Start an art show business

Examples of a successful art show business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a art show business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an art show business ➜

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22. Start an art exhibition center business

Examples of a successful art exhibition center business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a art exhibition center business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an art exhibition center business ➜

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23. Start an art teaching business

Examples of a successful art teaching business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a art teaching business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an art teaching business ➜

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24. Start an interior design business ($1.32M/year)

Examples of a successful interior design business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a interior design business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an interior design business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Annemarie diSalvo's story on creating diSalvo Interiors a read:

Well, to make a long story short, my mother and I started this company together in 1996. I was working as a staff interior designer at a private firm in NYC, and my mother, Rosemarie was the manager of the Estate and Trust department at a large Law Firm. We both HATED our jobs and dreamed of doing our 'own thing'. We had no idea what that looked like, and so we turned to our passion..antiques and design.

That passion has morphed into a boutique design firm that boasts over 1M in annual revenue and has completed hundreds of trophy projects.

how-we-mother-and-daughter-started-a-1m-year-boutique-design-firm

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Annemarie diSalvo, on starting diSalvo Interiors ($110,000/month) full story ➜

25. Start a paint and sip studio business

Examples of a successful paint and sip studio business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a paint and sip studio business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a paint and sip studio business ➜

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26. Start a makeup artist business

Examples of a successful makeup artist business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a makeup artist business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a makeup artist business ➜

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27. Start a custom airbrushing business

Examples of a successful custom airbrushing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a custom airbrushing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a custom airbrushing business ➜

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28. Start a caricature artistry business

Examples of a successful caricature artistry business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a caricature artistry business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a caricature artistry business ➜

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29. Start a landscape designing business

Examples of a successful landscape designing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a landscape designing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a landscape designing business ➜

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30. Become a hair stylist youtuber

Examples of a successful hair stylist youtuber:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a hair stylist youtuber:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a hair stylist youtuber ➜

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31. Start a spiritual clothing designing business

Examples of a successful spiritual clothing designing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a spiritual clothing designing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a spiritual clothing designing business ➜

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32. Become a t-shirt designer business

Examples of a successful t-shirt designer business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a t-shirt designer business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a t-shirt designer business ➜

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33. Become a face painter

Examples of a successful face painter:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a face painter:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a face painter ➜

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34. Become a cake decorator

Examples of a successful cake decorator:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a cake decorator:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a cake decorator ➜

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35. Start a knitting business

Examples of a successful knitting business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a knitting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a knitting business ➜

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36. Start a tie dye artistry business

Examples of a successful tie dye artistry business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a tie dye artistry business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a tie dye artistry business ➜

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37. Become a basket weaver

Examples of a successful basket weaver:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a basket weaver:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a basket weaver ➜

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38. Start a bookbinding and repair service

Examples of a successful bookbinding and repair service:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a bookbinding and repair service:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a bookbinding and repair service ➜

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39. Start a house painting business

Examples of a successful house painting business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a house painting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a house painting business ➜

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40. Start a candle making business

Examples of a successful candle making business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a candle making business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a candle making business ➜

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41. Start a crochet business

Examples of a successful crochet business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a crochet business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a crochet business ➜

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42. Start a fashion design business

Examples of a successful fashion design business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a fashion design business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a fashion design business ➜

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43. Start an antique furniture refinishing business

Examples of a successful antique furniture refinishing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a antique furniture refinishing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an antique furniture refinishing business ➜

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44. Start a wall murals business

Examples of a successful wall murals business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a wall murals business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a wall murals business ➜

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45. Start a pottery business

Examples of a successful pottery business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a pottery business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a pottery business ➜

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46. Become a sculptor

Examples of a successful sculptor:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a sculptor:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a sculptor ➜

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47. Start a soap making business

Examples of a successful soap making business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a soap making business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a soap making business ➜

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48. Start a vintage reselling business

Examples of a successful vintage reselling business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a vintage reselling business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a vintage reselling business ➜

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49. Become a voiceover artist

Examples of a successful voiceover artist:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a voiceover artist:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a voiceover artist ➜

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50. Start a wallpaper business

Examples of a successful wallpaper business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a wallpaper business:

Learn more about starting a wallpaper business ➜

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Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

Want to start your own business?

Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.

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