Last week’s post was all about the design of your artist’s portfolio website, but I’ve got more great tips to share. This week I'd like to focus on the message you're communicating about yourself as an artist with the content of your website. In my opinion, it needs to be both professional and personal. Here are some tactics I've noticed artists using to put their best foot forward with potential collectors:
- Curate your work with total honesty. It’s so important to show only your best artwork, not the sentimental favorites or pieces that represent technical or stylistic breakthroughs unless they’re truly great work. So as you continue to add new works to your portfolio, eliminate those older works that aren’t quite as good. Ask a fellow artist for feedback or hire someone to do a portfolio review if you need help developing a more critical eye.
- Learn to be an expert photographer. Every image should be clear and crisply focused with good contrast and accurate color. Unless the frame is somehow part of the work, don’t include it in the image. It’s going to require a decent camera and perhaps some practice, or possibly even the help of a professional, but getting good photographs of your work is well worth the expense and effort.
- Protect your copyright. Lots of artists worry about others taking advantage of the images they post on their websites, but there are two ways to guard against copyright infringement. One is to watermark your images in some unobtrusive way (you want prospective buyers to be able to see the work), and the other is to post only low-res (72 dpi) images. People can, of course, still create their own copies of your work but they won’t be able to print images or profit from them.
- Make it personal. As I’ve mentioned before, art buyers like to know something about the artist who created the artwork they’re buying. So in addition to putting your professional resume on your website so that people can see your professional credentials, find some way to communicate something about your personality and your life. People will connect more with your hobbies, interests, and personal background than they will with your professional memberships, awards, and exhibition history. And be sure to include some media enhancements—from videos of your gallery openings to photos of your studio or painting trips.
Bobbi Burgers, Jessica Zoob, and Dreama Tolle Perry are three great artists to check out online. These three artists really know how to promote themselves and their artwork through their artist portfolio websites.
So how is your portfolio website coming along? What great tips do you have to offer for designing and managing websites? Let’s connect!