In Detroit, Rola Nashef and Donavan Glover receiving their Creative Capital Artist’s Tools Handbook. Photo Credit: Sarah Nesbitt, ArtServe Michigan.
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 February 13, PDP leader and artist Sue Schaffner will host a webinar on Web, Blog & Email Essentials. For more information on Creative Capital’s workshops and webinars, see our online calendar.
The first impression of your site is the most important. It should spark the viewer’s interest, either through an evocative image, media or through clearly presented information about you and your work. For some artists this can be simply a name, email link and a photo; for others it’s a menu of links to bios, catalog, media and an archive.
Start by looking at sites you love and see what strategies you can adopt. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
This is an excerpt from our Internet for Artists (IFA) Handbook. The IFA handbook is a collaborative online resource given to participants of Creative Capital’s Internet for Artists workshops. On January 23, from 7:00-8:30pm ET, join artist leader Sue Schaffner for our Website, Blog, & Email Essentials webinar where you will learn the full scope of best practices for managing your internet presence as an artist.
Some basic strategies for effective email communications
With the help of email, sending out communications about your projects couldn’t be any easier. Now commonplace and long accepted as a norm within the arts community, email is fast, easy, and cost-effective, but it’s not without its challenges. Getting your reader to open your message and read it is more difficult than you may imagine. Some strategies include:
A well curated artist blog can supplement your website, increase your audience’s understanding of your artistic practice and raise your online profile. But sometimes, just the idea of starting a blog can seem intimidating. How often has the question, “But what do I blog about” crossed your mind?
On Friday, September 16 at 7pm EST artist Sue Schaffer will be offering in-depth guidance on how to optimize your web presence through her Website, Blog and Email Essentials webinar, an overview of best practices for your website, blog, and email marketing and communications.
Artist and Creative Capital grantee Jen Bervin at work. This image of her is featured on her artist website.
Your website should be completely dedicated to you and your work. Think of it as a studio visit or a reading where you are not present. A visitor to the site should be able to find all of the information they need – including images of your work (in detail if needed), excerpts from your writing, information about your career, a bio and/or statement, and any relevant press or reviews. They should be able to get press releases or printable images, find your contact information, and learn about your upcoming public events and projects. It is a tool to communicate with your audience as well as allow them to communicate with you. It can also be used to promote the work of fellow artists, social causes, or keep people up to date with your process.
A well-designed, functional website is a great promotional tool for both emerging and mid-career artists. On Thursday, June 16th, 2016 at 7pm EST, artist Sue Schaffner presents her “Website, Blog & Email Essentials” webinar, an overview of best practices for your website, blog, and email marketing and communications. In order to teach by example, we’ve included some of our favorite artist websites and note what’s working.
This is an excerpt from our Internet for Artists (IFA) Handbook. The IFA handbook is a collaborative online resource given to participants in Creative Capital’s Internet for Artists workshops. Register for the Website, Blog, & Email Essentials webinar on June 16, 7:00-8:30pm ET to learn the full scope of best practices for your website.
Sue Schaffner discusses Internet Strategies for Artists at the Creative Capital | LMCC Artists Summer Institute 2014
Your website should be completely dedicated to you and your work. Think of it as a studio visit or a reading where you are not present. Continue reading →
Artist Leader Brad Stephenson giving website advice to a participant at an Internet for Artists Workshop in New York City.
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. Continue reading →
There are dozens of services and software to use in building your web portfolio, but Creative Capital’s Internet for Artists (IFA) team only recommends two.
It’s not because we’re unaware. We research every tool we come across and we’re told about them all the time. Still, we recommend that participants in our workshops use either Squarespace or their own installation of WordPress software (not WordPress.com). Nothing else.
We have good reason for only recommending these two solutions and we think you will agree with our reasoning below. However, if your site is currently serving your needs and goals well, we are not necessarily encouraging you to immediately rebuild with these better options. Just know that these options are available when the time comes.
There are many factors we weigh when making these recommendations. Here’s a few high points:
No. 1: We want you to have flexibility.
Many artists we have worked with are unable to maintain their own web presence because they have no control, no support, and no where to turn but to a “webmaster” who has disappeared. They’re essentially stuck and we don’t want that to ever happen to you. Continue reading →
Every few weeks, we’ll be posting tips straight from the Professional Development Program’s Artist’s Tools Handbook—a 200+ page resource we give to Core Workshop attendees, written by PDP Core Leaders Jackie Battenfield and Aaron Landsman. The book covers everything from writing to budgeting, websites to fundraising, elevator pitches to work samples. Similarly, each post will be packed with practical ideas to make your life run more smoothly, leaving you even more time for your creative practice. Learn more about our PDP workshops here.
Building Your Internet Presence
Because the Internet is contemporary culture’s primary means for communication and information dissemination, having an active online presence is essential for artists. The web continues to rapidly evolve, so what follows are some basic ways to think about building and refining how you represent yourself and your work online.
Keep in mind that more is not always better. Some artists use nothing but a Facebook fan page and Twitter feed as their online presence and do just fine, while others have six blogs, three websites and many social media outlets, but it’s hard to understand what they do. What’s most important is for you to find the best way to communicate the clarity, force and excellence of your work and put that online. Continue reading →
Brad Stephenson presenting at a recent Internet for Artists workshop at the Montana Arts Council in Kallispel, MT
Brad Stephenson is our Professional Development Program’s newest Internet for Artists Workshop Leader. We think Brad has made a great addition to our team and, having just completed an amazing weekend workshop with the Montana Arts Council in Kallispel, MT, we asked fellow PDP Workshop Leader Matthew Deleget to help us introduce Brad to the broader Creative Capital community.
Matthew Deleget: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got involved in the arts.
Brad Stephenson: I was an introvert during my middle and early high school days, and a fantastic teacher convinced me to join show choir. Singing quickly became a passion, which led to musical theater, which led to straight plays, which led me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in acting from the University of Kentucky. After spending time as a standup comedian in New York (yes, standup is an art form), I moved to Pittsburgh and completed the Master of Arts Management program at Carnegie Mellon University. My day job is digital marketing at CMU, but I continue to work on various artistic projects. I am also a grant award finalist for a film project called Reel Pittsburgh, a community-based video project focusing on the people of the greatest city in the world. Continue reading →