Artists: Have a good website yet?
This article originally appeared in South Arts e-newsletter, Arts News of the South. Reprinted with permission.
In the digital age, people want to find everything online and on their own time. For artists--no matter your field or medium--that includes perusing samples of your work with ease, and your own website is the best way to give your audience a full picture of who you are and what you do.
Your site should be nicely designed, though it doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, here are some tips and examples for actors, musicians, writers, and visual artists that could be useful for any artist. Many include sites from your colleagues that you can look to for ideas. Also, a website should present some basic elements with clarity, including:
- Personalized URL: Having your name in a stand-alone URL is highly recommended even if it costs a little, because it will be easier to find and generally look more professional.
- Contact information: Share what you’re comfortable with, but at least present an email address or a contact form.
- Examples of your works: Keep this up-to-date, and avoid showing work that you wouldn’t display publicly elsewhere. Note prices and ways to make a purchase if something is for sale.
- Biography (or CV) and artist statement: Say who you are, what your work is about, and it never hurts to share your creative accomplishments.
- Upcoming shows/events: Let people know how they can see what you do in person.
- Links to your associates: Provide hyperlinks to your company, gallery, representative, or others you work with as an additional avenue for interaction.
- BONUS—Google optimization: This will ensure that people will find you when they look you up in a search engine, and not someone completely unrelated with the same name.
Though it's great to have, don't rely solely on your gallery, agency, or other representation for your web presence, nor should you only rely on social media. Information in those places may be hard to find, inaccurate, or incomplete. A site that you can control will be an asset, and even a necessity, for promoting your work.
If you aren’t comfortable with technology, find someone to build a website for you who will also teach you how to maintain it. Doing so is a worthwhile investment. You'll be able advance your career more easily, no matter how successful you've already been.
For additional guidance, these online services and blogs can help you make a site on your own. Please note that these links are not an endorsement for any particular service.
is director of exhibits & artist services and ArtsReady project manager for South Arts.
Via: South Arts
Improving your website’s accessibility
Is your website accessible? If not (or if you're not quite sure what "accessible" means), THEJournal (Technological Horizons in Education) has put together a list of "8 Simple Tips To Improve Accessibility."
"Website accessibility" refers to the practice of making sure that your online content is as easy to use for people with disabilities as it is for people without disabilities. Although written for schools, this article offers useful basics for anyone managing a website, including arts and community organizations, service organizations, and individual artists. Having an accessible website is a legal requirement for most public and government organizations, but it's also just the right thing to do.
...to vision- or hearing-impaired students or parents, your Web site may appear cluttered, confusing, or completely un-navigable. Fortunately, following a few basic principles of Web design can transform a site into an inviting space for different user needs, devices, and situations, without breaking the bank.
Janet Jendron, program coordinator at the South Carolina Assistive Technology Program, has seen many unintentional design blunders, from bad color schemes to graphics with no description to the overuse of video--all of which can prevent users from getting the information they need from a Web site.
Starting with a few simple accessibility features, you can create a better experience for all of your site's users. For the full article, visit THEJournal online.