(This is part 2 of a series on web design for artists, Part 1 can be found here)
The artist’s relationship with social media can be complicated. On the one hand, most artists want their work to be seen by many people, on the other hand, they don’t want to be considered commercial or perhaps feel that their art is being diluted. If I look at the great artists of the past and imagine them in today’s world, I could picture Dali having a YouTube channel and tons of selfies on Instagram. Van Gogh would perhaps do a bit less of that.
For better or for worse, the artwork along with the artist are both to be considered as brands and, provided that selling is the goal, need to be marketed correctly. Here are some pointers to achieve that goal:
OPTIMIZED WEBSITE – Make sure that the site can be found! If using WordPress, install YOAST and get the SEO right. There is a good chance the website will contain more images than words. Do not keep a photo named DMC5567.jpg, change it to autumn_sunset.jpg. Complete the alt tags with relative information, they are there to describe your images.
BLOGGING – They will either love it or it will bore them to death. Either way, blogging about artwork is great way to demonstrate the creative process, to talk about the work, and to make announcements to fans. Showing how a certain piece was created is very interesting to art fans. When web design for artists is concerned, a blog that is easy to update and looks great is part of the package.
SOCIAL MEDIA – While blogging can be used to promote work for sales it still can be considered very personal. Social media, on the other hand, can make the artist feel like a salesman. Tweeting “Check out my #fineart which is very #meaningful to me” is pushy and so are overly self-promoting Facebook posts. Still, on a daily basis, almost everyone will checkout Facebook or Twitter but not your website. I suggest that social media be used as a way to engage with fans rather than to try and sell to them directly. It can be used to comment on other artists’ work and to make announcements about your events. Use social media to guide people to the blog. When writing on social media the most important thing is to be genuine. The online persona should not be different that the real life person.
I hope this guide has been helpful to you and the bottom line is to respect the artist and respect the artwork. Projects such as these can be the most interesting and fun to do and can definitely be very rewarding. What have your experiences been when making a web design for artists? Or if you are an artist, how have you handled your online presence?