The Artist Life

Make Your Artist Website Work for You

Make Your Artist Website Work for You


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Your website says a lot about you and your art—make sure it presents both in the best light.

An artist website offers your audience a way to learn more about you, your work and your upcoming events. So it’s important that your talent is well represented on both social media and your site. Here are some tips to keep your website fresh, engaging and effective.

Home Page

Your home page is the first thing people experience, so it should immediately provide a sense of who you are and the work you produce. Keep it simple. For example, you may have one or two large images and your page headers or a dozen small thumbnails and a drop-down menu. Help your audience reach you by having your contact information clearly visible. After the home page, your contact information should be discreetly available at the bottom of every page, along with links to all of your social media pages.

Artist’s Statement and CV

You need to introduce yourself in general terms with an artist’s statement. This is more than a one-paragraph bio; it provides an overview of your work in terms of your personal biography, cultural influences, the themes of your art and your choice of medium.

A curriculum vitae (CV) should include your arts education, shows, awards and grants, press coverage and collections. Remove any personal addresses but do include your business contact information. Some artists include a link to their CV on the artist’s statement page. This allows them to introduce themselves and impress audiences before they go on to the CV—a good option for artists who are just starting to show their work and have limited credits. Artists with more shows, press coverage and awards may wish to make the CV more readily available through a drop-down menu or as a page header.

Consider including a downloadable PDF of your CV. Keep in mind, though, that some people have download blockers on their computers, so you also want your CV available to read online.

Portfolio

A great mistake often made on artist websites is showcasing too many images. Your audience doesn’t need to see everything you’ve ever produced. Display those works that give the best sense of your style and content.

You also want to avoid the temptation to put too many pieces of art on one page, and instead focus on organizing your site in the most user-friendly way. Furthermore this will help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which keeps your site at the top of search results with Google, Bing, or any other search engine. Clearly focused and differentiated webpages are easier for search engines to find and consequently boost in search results. In addition, make sure your website is as easy to navigate on mobile phones as it is on a desktop computer.

Organizing Artwork

If you work in several media (painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, etc.), consider creating a subdivision for each one. Be careful, however, not to have too many of these categories. Your preferred media and methods should present a clear relationship. If you have a wide variety of practices, your work may appear disconnected.

If you work in one medium but your art falls into several subject categories (landscape, portrait, still life, floral, animal, etc.) the same concerns apply. How important are the divisions between these types? Find a way to group some together—such as still lifes and florals. Also consider that your work in some of these areas might not be the strongest representations of who you are as an artist.

Generally speaking, three subdivisions is plenty. Some diversity is expected, but too much suggests that you’re still discovering who you are as an artist. You want to appear confident in your direction.

Representing Yourself

Selecting images is often the hardest task. Even after you’ve limited the subdivisions, you must go on to limit the thumbnails in each category. Pretend you can show only one work; which would you pick? Make that work prominent. Then, consider what four pieces you’d add to that one in order to to show diversity, thematic unity or other aspects of your work. You may then wish to add another dozen or so, but no more. With all these works selected, create a layout that groups them in a way that provides some visual organization for your online viewer.

For each artwork make sure to include the title, medium, dimensions, price (if for sale through your site), and year of the piece. Not only does this give visitors the information they need if they want to purchase artwork, but it also makes your website more searchable by search engines. Also, while you don’t need to only post images of available artwork, you should make it clear which pieces are available and which are not for sale.

Blog

An artist website is not only a place to show off your work, but it also gives visitors a sense of who you are as the creator. Visitors want to connect to you as a person, and a blog is a great way to tell people about yourself, your inspirations, and offer an inside view on your process and work behind the scenes. Use a blog to tell your story and make sure to keep it authentic and updated.

News and Events

Include a page with information about upcoming shows, festivals, classes and other opportunities for meeting you. If you have a newsletter sign-up or contact form, put it here. Some artists choose to separate press coverage from events, and that makes sense if you have many listings in these areas. Until that time, however, don’t create unnecessary steps for your audience; simply design your page layout so there’s a clear division between events and press items.

Your press listings should include the name of the author, the title of the piece, where the piece was published and the date of publication. Sort the listings in chronological order, beginning with the newest. When possible, provide a hyperlink through the title of the piece to the webpage of the review or interview. Ideally, the link should open on a new tab or page.

Website Name and URL

Many artists use their name as their website title, but that won’t work if there are several other people and websites with the same name as yours. Reflect on how you might differentiate yourself from others. Search for your name and the word “artist” online. Do it again with your specific medium. Consider including your middle name, your genre, your location or a key word. Depending on domain suffixes such as “.com,” “.net” or “.org” to differentiate your website from others’ isn’t enough. In addition, for a more professional site, make sure to get your own domain name. Free web hosting sites often add advertisements, text and graphics that can distract from your art.

You may wish to have a completely different website title than your name. In that case, make sure you include that title on all of your materials in order to create a strong association for your audience. Put that name on your business cards, press statements and handouts—and mention it regularly in conversation to help create the connection.

Website Construction

You don’t need to build a website from scratch. There are many good website building platforms that provide templates to simplify the process for you. There are also excellent designers who will help you create a custom site or help produce or fix your work on any of these template sites.

WordPress is a popular, easy-to-use platform. Its wide selection of templates allows you to create a personalized look. The initial setup requires some effort, but it is free. Squarespace has a low monthly fee, but some find this platform easier to use. Cargo Collective offers tools and templates designed by artists and designers for artists and designers, so it has a lot more options. This makes it better for multimedia works but potentially more confusing if you simply want to get started.

Ongoing Project

Look at other artist websites to see what you like—and what you don’t. Imitation is fine. Take the best ideas to make and keep your site fresh. Also, expect to make changes over the years. Maintain your site and update it regularly with new art and information to showcase your hard work as an artist and keep visitors coming back for more.


This post was adapted and updated from the article “A Site Better” written by C.J. Kent for Artists Magazine. Kent is a freelance writer and editor. She’s also the founder of Script and Type, which helps people express themselves effectively in writing and in person.


Watch the video: Artist Website, Branding and Portfolio Marketing by Stefan Baumann (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Brawley

    I am of course sorry, I would like to suggest a different solution.

  2. Wyatt

    Of course, I apologize, but this answer does not suit me. Who else can suggest?

  3. Renaldo

    Brilliant phrase and it is duly

  4. Baldassare

    From bad to worse.



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