The following post comes from the Professional Development Program’s (PDP) Artist’s Tools and Internet For Artists handbooks, which are used in our workshops. If this piece leaves you wanting more, you’re in luck! On Monday December 15, PDP leader and artist Sue Schaffner hosts a webinar on Web, Blog & Email Essentials. For more information on Creative Capital’s workshops and webinars, see our online calendar.
Websites allow you to exponentially broaden visibility for you and your work. Your artist website can help create a conversation around what you do, and allow you to control the way your work is received and appropriated.
Whether you are starting from scratch or hoping to revamp your online presence, developing your site yourself or hiring someone else to help out, there are free software templates designed by and for artists that can make getting started much simpler (check out Steve Lambert’s 2013 Creative Capital blog post “Why We Only Recommend Two Website Services” to find out which ones our Internet for Artists team suggests).
Let’s start with the basics.
A visitor to your website should be able to easily find all the information about you and your work that they might need. This includes your current, upcoming and past work as well as career highlights, motivations as an artist, press comments, and how to reach you. You might want to include a press section with hi-res images and media releases, a blog for keeping up with your process, and links to any relevant sources, collaborators or colleagues.
No matter what you choose to include, we encourage you to follow some of these best practices while building (and maintaining) your site:
- Your site should be equally functional and beautiful, erring toward functionality, while providing quality representation of your work.
- Make sure that it’s smart phone and/or tablet accessible! This format is increasingly popular.
- Optimize your site for search engines—ensure that the site and images are all properly tagged.
- Make sure the site (and its photos) load quickly.
- Offer an easy way to stay connected, either through a mailing list or other media feed. Allow users to unsubscribe.
- Update the site regularly, at least every 6 months so people know you’re still active.
- Keep a professional tone; avoid banner advertising and posting pictures of your kids on vacation. Remember that curators and producers will see your site. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want them to see.
Check back regularly for more Pages from Our Handbook.
For more in-depth information on enhancing your web presence, register for artist Sue Schaffner’s upcoming PDP webinar, Web, Blog & Email Essentials, on Monday, June 16 at 7:00pm EST. The 90-minute webinar will provide you with an overview of best practices for your web site, blog, and email marketing and communications, as well as case studies of artists who have established innovative and effective web presences. You’ll have the opportunity to contribute your thoughts and questions throughout, as well as participate in a live Q&A at the end of the session.