|Ira Mency's Deskbots|
If you haven't read part one of this series, start here (How to Get Your Art in a Gallery Part One, The Portfolio). Otherwise, read on.
The Online Showcase: Step Two
Now that you have finished a portfolio , it's time to start building an online showcase, or online gallery for the sole purpose of showcasing your work.
This will help in two ways.
First, it allows your art to be shared on the world wide web. By using good titles and tags, and arranging your work into categories, you can show off your work as an artist.
Secondly, you may use the link to your online showcase or gallery in case you have to electronically submit entries or items to places that won't take your physical portfolio submission information. Technically, it's an eco friendly alternative to paper, but also a way for your art to be found by those looking for it.
The goal is to have a place to showcase it that is easy for you to maintain and update. You can consider this as an eco friendly portfolio, and can indeed tie in the artist statement and CV/resume--however the main goal is to get your work on the web.
A Few Ideas
Here are a few easy ideas to help get you started with your online presence.
|Etsy provides a good place to have an online presence for your work.|
Etsy - Open an Etsy shop.
Pros: It's an inexpensive way to showcase your work, and easy to maneuver. Perhaps you will sell some work also. When I had my RetroChaletStudio shop, I was invited to participate in an art exhibit and I did. This opened the door for other opportunities. Yes, it is true, as I am proof, believe it or not, curators will look on Etsy! There is a shop announcement area and public profile section where you can explain your artist statement.
Cons: Small listing and selling fees apply, but certainly the pros outweigh this. There is no way to add a full resume and of course, it is after all a store.
Summary: Etsy is a good showcase for your work and has the potential to sell your artwork.
Blogger - Use blogger to showcase your work.
Pros: Blogger is free to use and easy. It gives you ample storage space to upload good photos of your work. You can also purchase a domain name from a company such as Fat Cow or GoDaddy, and redirect it to your blog. For example, MelmacCentral.com is about melmac dishes, but actually directs to RetroChalet.blogspot.com. A bit confusing, but hey, it works. To avoid the name conflict, you should try to figure out a blog name and domain name that are available at once. If you make them unique like DavidSnowArt chances are DavidSnowArt.blogspot.com and DavidSnowArt.com are both available.
Another perk of using a blog is having the potential to blog about your works in progress, and show pictures of your craft. Include certain pages of your finished work, and you have an online gallery!
You may choose to have a full blown art blog about others. For instance, on my blog IraMency.blogspot.com I usually blog about other artists' work I like under Artist Corner. Now, this technically is a sneaky way of backdoor marketing, because on the blog you will find a link to my gallery page, my store, and I also list some of my work under Sculpture, Collage, and Jewelry pages. These pages would be sufficient to shoot to a potential art gallery who is looking for submissions. Essentially I am using the art blog for a tie-in to my work.
Cons: If you are going to be blogging, you must be consistent and there's a few things you should know in order to get your blog posts found, and make sure your blog is set for maximum exposure. There are four key blogging rules to success and you can find them in an ebook here. Upon checkout use BLOGGING101 coupon code for a 50% discount off the book.
|Note how I'm using my IraMency.wordpress.com free blog as my online art gallery.|
1. I'm using a page for my artist statement and CV/Resume.
2. You can go direct to my Etsy shop to browse my artwork for sale. (I even have a "sold gallery" where I move the sold items to on my blog. Potential customers can still browse my past works and order special projects.)
3. I have it organized by type, as I am not stuck to one medium.
4. This gallery template gives you photos, when you click on the photo it goes to the post. I like this particular theme, but you can use just about any to showcase your work.
WordPress (Sample Above) Use WordPress to showcase your work.
Pros: WordPress.com gives you a quick and easy blog to use, and you can choose from many free themes. You can also opt to host your own WordPress blog by downloading their software, in which case you have lots more functionality and things called plugins (which are customizable features you can add to your blog.) In my honest opinion WordPress seems to show up quicker in search engines from my own experience, but then again I'm following the rules above that show in the blogging book above.
You can still buy a domain and redirect to your WordPress. WordPress also has lots of cool galleries. Check out my art gallery, IraMency.com which directs to IraMency.WordPress.com and I have it set up in gallery format. I have been also able to add an artist statement and CV to my blog.
Cons: Some tech knowledge is required, basic HTML concepts and in a nutshell WordPress is harder to learn. I started on Blogger for two years before getting up the courage to work with WordPress, and I still get stumped. It's not impossible, but it's harder. Additionally, on their free blogs hosted at WordPress.com, you will have ads showing under your pages and posts if your blog gets popular. That's their way of not charging you rent, unless you buy no-ads upgrade options. Fancy and pretty themes will cost you per year, and if you are using their free version you will be paying a hosting company. Now it's not that bad, essentially you can buy your own domain name and use WordPress to help you build the site. For instance, I am paying Fat Cow to host Design-Swag which is actually a WordPress built site, but would you ever know it?
Free Site With Internet Carrier - Just about anything online will work
You may have a free site builder with your internet provider and can click and build a site that way. For instance Verizon gives you a free website builder.
Pros: It's free!
Cons: If you switch internet services or move out of jurisdictions of the internet provider, you may be unable to take your site with you. If I switch to Comcast, I lose everything I've built on Verizon. Uh oh!
Weebly, Tumblr, Facebook is Better than Nothing.
Of course the above was just suggestions on how to showcase your work. You may not feel comfortable with any of the above and may be used to Weebly or Tumblr, or even Facebook. Just having something is better than nothing.
Go to the next part which is a recap of questions and answers I received, or go direct to Part Three.
have in the art world, but can also get your art