June 30, 2019

The 3 Things Every Artist Should Have For a Digital Presence

If you want to be a professional artist you have to show people you’re a professional. The best way to do that is to be easily searchable, and have a consistent brand across all digital platforms.
Published in
Opinion

The realities of being an artist in the digital age

While all three of these things may seem very common sense, you’d be surprised by how many artists I come across online (artists that have gallery shows, are represented) that don’t have them.

If you want to be a professional artist you have to show people you’re a professional. The best way to do that is to be easily searchable, and have a consistent brand across all digital platforms. The best way to ensure consistency is by controlling your presence (aka doing it yourself).

Thanks to the commoditization of technology, you don’t even have to work with a web developer to have or keep up with a website, so there’s really no excuse. Also, if artists that have passed such as Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler have Instagrams, you should too.

Instagram

I won’t go into too many details here about what this Instagram should look like, but if you want my recommendations, check out my post here.

A Website

Unless you’re Jeffrey Deitch, I would recommend sticking to a basic website and letting your art and info shine. Your website should really do two core things. Point people in the right direction (to the gallery that represents you). And let people contact you directly.

Lots of artists use Other People’s Pixels, but honestly, a Squarespace, Wordpress or Wix template can do the job.

The most important thing is you include the most important information. What is this?

  1. CV
  2. Your artwork (you don’t have to show everything but enough so people know what you do)
  3. A bio
  4. Some type of contact form or your email
  5. If you’re represented by a gallery (who)

Bonus Info - your Instagram or Facebook (if art related), Video, Press

A super simple but effective website

The best website I’ve ever seen from an artist is Heather Day’s.

Also, unless you’re really web savvy I would update your upcoming shows on your Instagram and not your website. It’s hard to keep up with and will look outdated.

An email or contact form (that you check)

You never know what opportunities may come your way...and you never will if you don’t have a way for someone to contact you directly. You may think your gallery or manager will handle all of this for you but I wouldn’t rely on you directly. Especially in the age of Instagram people often don’t even know what galleries represent what artists. So at least check it and pass any interested souls on to your gallery.

Bonus: A Wikipedia page

The cool thing about Wikipedia is that anyone can have a page. Honestly, anything can have a page. And most things do. So why not you? It doesn’t have to be crazy, just a simple

  1. Where were you born
  2. Where do you live and work
  3. Your education
  4. What kind of art do you produce
  5. What gallery represents you
  6. Any interesting highlights of your career

Examples: Heather Day, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Derek Fordjour

You may think this is repetitive to your website and cv...and it is. BUT, it helps you appear more frequently in searches as well as potentially have a knowledge panel on Google (see below) which will make you SUPER legit.

Like I said before, any information that needs to be updated more than once a quarter (like an exhibit) save for Instagram or your gallery’s staff to update. This is just meant to guide people curious about you to more information about yourself.

If you’re still in art school or are still starting out or aren’t represented by a gallery, no worries, all of these (except maybe Wikipedia) still apply to you.

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