Creating a website
With the world revolving around technology, an emerging artist (yes, I am trying to be) must embrace the range of forums that are available to expose your art to the unwitting public. In this blog I will cover how my website was created and the thinking that went around it.
First job, is why are you thinking about creating a website? In my project management world, we would call these your objectives. “What is it you are trying to do? Why are you trying to do it? What would good look like? The objective for the Artworkbyjan.com website was to showcase my art, almost be an inventory if you like to enable people to connect with my style and, possibly sell some of the artwork to fund materials to make more art!
There are a few development approaches you can take build your own if you have the knowledge and time (which I don’t have) get someone else to do it for you (could be very expensive unless they do it for free) or use specialist web builder forums such as GoDaddy (which I did). This approach was very economic, and the forum has some excellent templates. They take you through, step by step as you build your site and have an excellent online support so you can ask those “daft” questions. The website tools are very intuitive and easy to use. Of course, other website forums are available!
So, you have your website name and a blank canvas so to speak. It is a good idea to make notes and consider what pages would your website feature. Of course you will need a profile of you as an artist a gallery showcasing your work perhaps an events page featuring those that you are attending or organising blogs page if you are inclined market place that links with PayPal so people can buy your work online (this takes a little time to get to grips with, or is it just me?). I suggest that you do not try to build the perfect website all at once. Artworkbyjan.com was developed over the Christmas holidays and has evolved over the past three months.
You now have your website, so launch it! This is where social media is useful, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… we will discuss these in another blog. Your social media following is a good place to get some quick “hits” and build interest, but you must keep going creating further interest that will point people to the website which is now your shop window.
There are also other art forums where you can have an online presence. Websites such as Painters Online, UK Craft Fairs, Local Art Scene, Etsy, Saachiart.com, Artfinder and many more. Some are local to you but need a little research. These forums have built up a following and do all the hard work keeping their websites relevant and up to date. It is a good idea to establish how many “hits” they have each day and how up to date and active the website is. Consider their image and how they present themselves. How would your art look on this website? Many have online exhibitions and on all, you can sell your art. Of course, there is a fee to pay, which could take the form of a standard subscription, or a commission when you sell your art. These also form excellent opportunities to link with other artists, discover their approaches, style and benchmark your work.
One of the main benefits of creating Artworkbyjan.com, enabled me to be more objective about my art. How I organised my work, it provided focus, generated thoughts about how my work would be sold, priced, presented and packaged. Pricing your art is another blog and a huge minefield!
Having a website presence is not essential, but the benefits outweigh the time and costs of creating one. Especially, if like me, you are an artist trying to emerge and get known!