|Self-Portrait by Kristin Kunc, oil on linen, 2011.
As you probably well know, I'm online...a lot. And I'd like to
think of myself as somewhat well informed about artist websites. I'm on them
all the time—whether it is through an email someone sends me, a link on a blog
I read, or my own searches of American art or global artists, I'm always
finding interesting artists through their websites.
And websites are having more and more impact in the art
world. Gallery representation is great if you can get it, but a great artistic
website can give you a positive presence and a way of interacting directly with
the public. Here are a few do's and don'ts that can steer you in the right
direction when it comes to building or updating your own website.
DO have a website. If you don't, it seems really odd. I know
taking the first steps to start a website is the hardest part, but having an online
presence is really taken for granted nowadays. It's a must. If an artist
doesn't have a website, I think twice about working with them because it seems
to indicate they aren't serious and may not be savvy when it comes to digital
DON'T choose form over function. Some artists have a lot of
gimmicky things on their websites, using a paintbrush or
easel decal to direct visitors instead of just using words to demarcate different
pages within the website. When I am on an artist's website, I don't want to
play a guessing game about what is what. Be clear and think of your user's ease
DO have images of your oil paintings, installations, drawings. Well, duh, right? But make sure that the way
you look at the images makes sense. Having a gallery panel with thumbnail-size
images that can be enlarged is more effective than constantly having to press
the 'Back' button on your browser. Also, make sure you have caption information
about the image-like the medium and size-because those kinds of details aren't
always apparent just by looking at an image online.
DON'T forget to give a sense of who you are as an artist. An
artist statement, a bio, and articles or reviews are a great inclusion. If you
have a blog, link to it, or feature it on your website. I, for one, am always
going to consider the work before the artist, but the next thing I look for is
an understanding of where a particular artist is coming from. Your point of
view matters, so don't forget to make that a part of your web presence.
But of course fine-tuning a
website is half the battle. You have to have works you are confident about
showing. Whether you are a draftsman, landscape painter, or watercolor artist, our
eBooks on How to Draw with Graphite,
Charcoal, Colored Pencil & Quill Pens and A Step-by-Step Guide to Watercolor Still Lifes can make a difference in how
you bring your work to final form, so that when you are ready for a website,
your work is ready for it too! Enjoy!