What Makes a Great Artist & Designer Website Builder?
The tools to showcase your work can be as important as your creative work itself, and a website builder that can give you these tools will make your portfolio stand out from the others. Building your website can be quite a task, but it's worth it if gets your work the recognition and shine it deserves. That being said, picking a website builder that's right for you is essential. To ensure that you choose wisely, here are some criteria you can keep in mind when deciding on which service to stay with for the long haul.
No matter how many pre-made templates are available for you to use, as an artist, you will always want to give it your own sense of style. A website builder that gives you full control over customization even when it comes to the smallest elements is what you want. You get to harness and flex your own skills, and your visitors will be able to take note of the finer details that make your site wholly your own.
Another thing to consider when looking for a website builder is the mobile-friendliness of the final output. Since mobile devices have taken the world by storm, it would be wise to anticipate the eventuality of clients and sponsors using their smartphones and tablets to look for artist websites and coming upon yours. An ill-designed website that has difficulty resizing images and adjusting to smaller screens can be a turn off and can lose you potential business opportunities.
Let's be honest: being an artist can sometimes be a pain in the pockets. With what little you may have to spare, it's not unreasonable to expect that you'd rather spend on more important purchases. You will be happy to know that there are website builders out there that offer the service for absolutely no charge--a big help for anyone starting out in the field. However, if you're no beginner and are set on expanding, there are subscription plans that will allow you to enjoy more features and upgrades. You will probably want to start out with budget options, so keep an eye out for low cost subscription tiers with prepayment discounts to get the best bang for your buck.
Keeping up with the Times
Not too long ago, the only way to be discovered as an artist was to be featured in a gallery. Moving up and getting noticed in the art scene was very much dependent on how you handled and interacted with the “in crowd”. If you didn’t have a connection to a gallery or some famous art critic, making it in the art world was tough.
"Oh, You're an Artist! What's Your Website?"
In the age of the Internet and social media, things are much different. Art galleries no longer hold the only keys to your success. Now it’s all about you and your connection to your fans. These days it is completely up to you whether or not you are going to make it.
Don't sit around and wait until you die for a shot at fame! You need to act now, and thankfully, taking advantage of the Internet and social media is easy with the right tools. People actually look for artists online nowadays.
The Myth of Selling Out
Some people think that selling out is the worst possible thing that you can do as an artist--that being an artist is all about about being poor, starving and struggling for success. That thinking is outdated, and rightfully so. Why wouldn't you want to make it easier for people to start enjoying your art?
Then, there are the people out there who think that signing up for a free website service might be detrimental to getting your name out there. They believe that you need complete and unencumbered control of your website. Why? With a free website, you can do a lot more than you think you can. How is it different from having your artwork up for display in a gallery that you don't own? The truth is that it doesn’t matter what platform you are on, as long as you are on a platform.
Now That You're Online, What Comes Next?
These days, an artist website isn't just a way to showcase your portfolio, and it isn't just another way people to contact you. There are many different avenues for creating a revenue stream for your art. First and foremost, you should look for ways to sell your artwork online. You can do this through various mediums; such as deviantART, Wix, and Squarespace. Any website which allows you to create a market will allow you to make money off of your art. So, how do you set it up?
It’s very simple. Sign up for the service, set up the website, upload images of your art for all to see, and then link the artwork to your market. You'll be surprised at how easy this all is with the right artist website builder.
Now that putting up your artwork for sale on your website is on the table, here are a couple of tips to help you make this a reality.
Lighting, Lighting and More Lighting
This is particularly important for artists using physical media--oil paintings, sculptures and the like. A common mistake beginners make when they want to show off their artwork online is a casual disregard for the lighting. Remember: when your lighting is terrible, people don't get the full effect. Some artists forget that art has to be just as stimulating on the website as it is in real life! Make sure that you use positional lighting to show off focal points of your artwork.
Clean up That Mess
While your fans may enjoy a peek behind the scenes now and then, that shouldn't come at the expense of your professionalism. People want to see your artwork; not dirty clothes, stacks of books and an unmade bed. For some beginners, their workspace is exactly the same as their living space. There's nothing wrong with that, but at least take pictures in a clean area with no mess and clutter. Your artwork needs to be the centerpiece of the picture.
Get Some SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. You can use SEO on your website to increase your visibility through search engines. If you don't understand exactly how this works, there are many tutorials and sources online that will tell how this helps, and even teach you how to do it yourself. Many website builders offer this feature, sometimes for free.
Talk to Other Online Artists
Networking was important then, and it's still important now. It's a great way to go about finding and making connections with people in the art world. There are plenty of artists out there who are in a similar boat as you. What's the harm in a little community building and helping each other out? Search for other artist websites and go through their pages. Tell them how great their artwork is and how much you appreciate what they do. You will be surprised at how far kindness actually goes.
The Best Time Is Now
The longer you maintain an online presence, the larger your audience grows. Word of mouth holds more weight today than it ever did. Before the Internet, a fan of yours telling someone about your work would have to persuade someone to visit a gallery to check it out for himself. Now, with just a click, you're instantly on their screens.
The more active your website is, the better it performs. Your revenue streams benefit, as well as your overall renown. Even a slow and steady pace is better than nothing at all. The Internet is a funny thing; if you reach the right people at the right moment, who knows what can happen? Your audience can grow exponentially in an instant. But all that is dependent on if you're there in the first place.