When I first began marketing my art on the web a few years ago, there were many things I did not know. I think I made every mistake in the book before learning how the internet really works, and the right way of doing things related to art promotion.
I started this website so that other artists would not have to go through the trial and error process which I had to endure.
Art promotion on the internet is a BIG subject, and I still feel I have much to learn, and myths to dispel for myself.
These are some myths I have realized were completely false so far in my online journey.
See the first part of this series here: Myths about Art Promotion on the Internet
- Millions will see my art if I place it on the internet
- I own my free web portfolio
- A free website lasts forever
- Subdomains make a website appear more professional
If I place my art on the internet, someone will steal and sell it.
This is part myth and part reality. The fact is, unless you are a well known artist, it is unlikely that people will steal your work, then sell it. Most often, when people do grab an image and post it elsewhere without permission, it is because they like the artwork enough to want to share it.
(See my experience with finding my art on other websites: How to See if Art is Stolen Online)
This is why I always recommend watermarking to include your website and/or name on the image.
Having the help of others to promote your work is a good thing, but would be useless if there is no credit on the image itself.
Having said this, I do realize that stealing and selling artist’s work does happen. But, it is not the BIG problem that some people make it out to be. I know some artists who will not show their art on the web for fear that someone will take it and make money from it. I understand how they feel, but this type of attitude is very restricting. Art is meant to be seen and appreciated!
The better an art website looks, the more successful it will be.
While a good original design is a plus, artist websites should generally be simplistic, with the main emphasis being the art. I have went the flashy design route in the past, and I can tell you from experience that it does not work. The focus should be on making your visitor’s experience as easy and simple as you can.
Display large images of your art and make it easy to navigate around the site to view artworks and find information about you. Some of the artists who have been featured here have availed of Wix for their artist website. This is a perfect example of a service where artists can easily create a fully functional website – one that is simple, easily navigated, professional and will showcase art in the best possible way.
The more places I share my art, the more likely someone will buy my art.
I had this mentality when I first began promoting art on the internet. I placed all my emphasis on posting my artwork everywhere, without building relationships. There was no shortage of portfolio sites to post my art. I still post my art anywhere I can, but I don’t do it expecting anyone to buy my art right away – it just doesn’t happen that way.
I know now that the best way to market art on the internet is to connect with people personally. Very, very rarely do people buy art from artists at random.
Try to talk about your art and who you are through blogging, newsletters, video, personally chatting to people, and whatever other medium you can find to connect to people on a personal level.
The internet is a good place to receive feedback about your art.
The reason I mention this is because although I have received lots of feedback about my art, ALL of it has been positive. Don’t take this the wrong way – I do love positive feedback. But, I also like constructive criticism.
I haven’t received any constructive criticism at all on the web! Maybe its because I am not posting in the right places, such as asking for feedback at forums.
I hope you enjoyed this post. There is one more myth left... so I will write about this one in the final post of this series. This is the biggest myth for artists on the web! Can you guess what it is?? Please stay tuned by subscribing.
What do you think? Can you relate to any of these internet marketing myths for promoting art?
Re. #7 I have bought art online "at random"--i.e. from an artist with whom I had no previous connection, although I do agree that this is very much the exception to the rule.ReplyDelete
I'd like to add how much I appreciate the thought and time you put into the information you provide in Artpromotivate. It's well researched and well written and there is always useful information to be had here.
Thank-you Judy for your comment... it is much appreciated.. and thank-you for supporting artists!
I have to add that when I wrote this, I wasn't thinking of sites like Ebay and Etsy where people sometimes buy art from artists they do not know. Some people do not buy just for the name.. but simply because they like the artwork, and want to own it... but this is the exception to the rule. The artists who are having the most success on the internet have accomplished it by building relationships and branding themselves with a professional image.
Thank you so much for posting #5 for all those artists out there who are afraid that someone will steal their images. In addition to my own work, I blog about art that I like and it is so annoying when I want to save an image of work I want to feature when I get an angry pop-up message about right clicking being disabled. Don't they know that I can still get an image of the screen?ReplyDelete
I agree with you on #6, that art sites should be simple because the art needs to stand out. I think it's helpful, when designing an online gallery, to think about how a brick and mortar gallery is designed. All you really need are walls to hang paintings and enough space for installations and sculptures. The walls and floors are usually in neutral colors that won't compete with the art, and furnishings in a gallery are minimal. Good art websites are the same way.
Thank you Tiffany!!
Thank you Graham. I really enjoy your articles. Now that I have a new website, should I delete my old Wix website? I haven't found a way to do this yet.ReplyDelete
If you have been posting links to your Wix site for awhile, you still might get the occasional visitor there. It would probably be best to keep that site, and just insert a link to your new site at the top somewhere.Delete