Once you’ve decided on your hosting site, the exciting part of customizing your site begins! There really is no right/wrong starting point, as long as you have a pretty clear idea of how you want to organize your site, then everything else will follow suit. However, there are some key ingredients to making a cohesive, easy to navigate site, so your viewers, potential clients, or employers won’t feel lost in cyber space.
Start with the basic pages on your site.
Your Home page makes the first impression on your viewer. Viewers will be expected to see your art work here, so include one nice high resolution image of a single work. I have seen many artists’ sites that include self portraits or pictures of themselves. Either way you want to include something, the choice is yours. This is, after all a visual arts page.
The next one, which should come to you with ease, is your Artist Bio/Statement:
Simply, introduce yourself. Since this site is a reflection of your art and thought process as an artist, let your personality seep through. After thoroughly searching one artist’s site after the other, I have observed that the more engaging sites are from artists that not only impress me with their talents but also keep their bio’s and statements interesting and captivating. I don’t mean stretch the truth about what you studied in school, exhibit history or work experience, but somehow make it sound not as formal as you would in an interview. Secondly, your Artist Statement should always be included somewhere on your site, whether it’s on the home page or a separate page.
Where’s the art work?
Now, you need to focus most of your time on formatting, organizing and uploading the digitalized images of your works. Sometimes your site will crash or temporarily freeze, but when the site has decided to cooperate and be user friendly, your pictures should be easy to find and of great quality. It’s the smallest details and little quirks that can really affect the overall quality of your site.
So, to avoid confusion:
Make sure viewers are able to enlarge the size of the smaller icons. You think this wouldn’t be a problem, but I have come across a couple of sites that only include tiny icons of the works, so go big! Also, it’s not a bad idea to incorporate a slideshow with your works, so your viewers can really gain a sense of your style and progression.
Itemize your works! Even, if you have a large quantity of portraits but maybe only a couple of landscapes, still keep them separate. It gets too confusing going through sites and seeing all different subjects mixed up. Each area of focus is unique so honor this by creating individual pages.
Lastly, you want to always include a contact page. This is a given, especially for those commercial artists out there. Most hosting sites will already have this formatted for you, with a comment box and optional facebook/twitter addition. On this page, you can discuss further your pricing info and whether you welcome commissions or not.
Remember, Every last detail counts!
Check out some of the featured artists websites listed on these hosting sites for inspiration:
artspan.com (which also separates artists by medium)
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