Artists & websites & panel, oh my! (Part 1/2)
Today I am grateful for the connections I have made with all of the outstanding artists from the artists’ groups and circles I frequent, either virtually or in person, here in the local Boston art scene. Each of them is outstanding, unique, both as a human being and as an artist. These artists work in such a diverse variety of media, with powerful personal and inspiring voices. They hold so many amazing souls. I really enjoy visiting other artists’ studios: listening to their stories, their art processes, the passion they feel for their work, their dreams, and their visions is the most motivating experience I can think of. It is invigorating and inspirational.
In talking to other artists, regardless of our respective art journeys, and no matter at which stage of our art careers we are, a topic that often surfaces in our conversations is our social media presence and, of course, our artist website. In my opinion, an artist that does not have an online presence, a website, in a world that revolves around internet and virtual connections, is at a great disadvantage so I am very fond of this subject in my conversations with my fellow artists. Some of the questions I recall discussing with them are: Which platform/s is better to build a website? How do you organize it, especially if you work with various media or art processes? How do you handle the ongoing updates? Do you hire a professional website designer, or do you follow a build-it-yourself approach? Should you include your prices in the featured information? These questions make me think about my own experience with my art website.
Early on in my art journey, I recognized the need to have some type of online repository where I could share images of my artworks with my family and friends, especially those abroad that could not see my creations in person. I was fortunate to have the support of an amateur, but thorough, webmaster who helped me build my first website and later a couple of iterations; my website matured alongside my art career, which became more solid with the passage of time. Over 2 years ago, when I became a full-time artist, I decided to become the designer of my online portfolio. I revamped my website, using a user-friendly platform which made this transition relatively easy. Since then, I have maintained frequent and ongoing revisions that help me keep the information relevant and updated. While time-consuming, I am happy that I get to spend time personally crafting my website, finding better ways to show my artwork, keeping information about new exhibits or events updated, and connecting with my website viewers. What have I learnt from my website evolution?
Above all, I think of my website as a “communication” tool. As such, it must be clear, and perfectly written and laid out. One’s website reflects their self and their art, so we need to look into it and navigate it, carefully and objectively, within the context of our intentions/goals for its use as a website. One’s website reflects who they are as artists and individuals. It could be a game-changer when a curator, gallerist or potential client navigates it at our suggestion, or if they come across it by chance online. A critical technical detail to consider from the get-go is the need for a domain that ideally has your name and is easy to type (and remember) that you or your designer will have to purchase, regardless of the platform where your website is built.
A key concept is that our website is dynamic -- a “living thing”. It is just as important to have a website with current information about the artist and their art, as it is to have one that is visually appealing, easy-to-navigate, and readable. Depending on one’s own art evolution and achievements, the website needs to evolve to accurately reflect where the artist is at a given moment. In the next post I will expound on my thoughts about how to develop an artist website.
In the meantime, I am thrilled to have been invited as a speaker to a live, online panel, "Tips and Tricks for Artist Websites," hosted by Studio TWO THIRTEEN, an artists' collaborative based in Boston's SoWa art district, where I show my artworks.
Here is the full info: The panel will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, July 7, at 7pm EST, and it will be moderated by Shelby Meyerhoff. We will talk to four artists while looking at their websites and discussing what they've learned in the process of making them: Christina Balch, Julia Csekö, Nick Di Stefano, and Adriana G. Prat. Our conversation will cover practical advice on building, designing, maintaining, and marketing your digital space as an artist, with time for Q&A at the end of the program.
Thanks for considering joining us for this event.
Image: “Unveiling”, acrylic, acrylic and ink pen, and Uni POSCA on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, available for purchase. Feel free to browse through my website if you are interested in my artworks. If you have questions, please contact me here.