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Presenting Yourself Online

 

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When presenting yourself, or your art, online there are a few things to keep in mind that will not only make it easier for you but also easier for people to understand what you are all about.

Creative producer Jedda Andrews of Ian Strange Studios put together some professional tips for putting documentation on your websites and social media.

(Inner self – outside, Installation as part of Fringe Festival 2017 – Iman Farzandi)

Website

Golden rule: keep it simple, think about your audience.

Most people who visit websites these days are going there to get information quickly. Make sure you only include what you need on your website to communicate your practice. Think about who will be looking at your website e.g. curators, journalists, students getting more information about your work for a project, clients or potential clients.

You can use your social media account to put up extra work that doesn’t fit on your website.

Sections to include on your website:

  • Images of your works with project descriptions and artwork details.
  • A biography and/or about section.
  • Store — if you are selling work on your website.
  • CV — this can be a downloadable pdf it doesn’t need to be its own page.
  • Social media links.
  • Contact information.

Things to consider:

  • Logo or artist name: Make sure it’s visible on every page. Put it in your header.
  • Image quality: Make sure your image is formatted for Web 75 -140 dpi. You want to show good high-quality images of your work that are so large that they slow down your website. To protect your images, don’t forget to add a watermark with your name so people cant download them and claim them as their own.
  • Artwork Details: By including information like titles, medium, dimensions, price and year of production the reader can get all the information they need to consider if they will buy your work.
  • Newsletter sign-up: So people can stay up to date with your work.
  • Maintenance of your site: The more simple it is to update the easier it is to maintain.
  • Contact details: Make sure they are always up to date!

Instagram

Things to consider:

  • Aesthetics: Decide what your Instagram is going to look like and stick to it. An un-curated account will come across as jumbled and jarring. Pick your predominant hues, choose a photo size and decide to frame or not frame your images. Be wary of using filters that change the look of your artwork or affect the colours or your work.
  • Posts: Decide if your Instagram account will be a pure portfolio or a window into your creative life. People like accounts with a personal touch, so share your works in progress, studio shots and your artwork on display.
  • Bio: Include a concise, informative biography and add a link to your website.
  • Video: Videos allow you to tell a story and people love engaging with richer content. Use the 15-second video feature to share a video of your studio, gallery show, you choosing colours for your next work etc.
  • Communication: Follow artists whose work you admire, art publications, art directors, art galleries, interior designers, art companies you like. You never know where a “follow” will lead and who you might create an online connection with. Be sure to engage with those you follow and comment on their images when they inspire and interest you. And don’t forget to respond to comments on your own artwork. Everyone likes to be acknowledged.
  • Hashtags: People do search via hashtags to find new artwork and new artists to follow. You can hashtag your work for mediums like #drawing or #acrylic or style like #contemporaryart. You can see the number of people searching for a hashtag by searching for it in the Instagram search bar. Use hashtags that have a decent amount of people searching for them. As a general rule, don’t use more than three hashtags per rule.

Documentation:

It doesn’t matter if you have an expensive camera or just your phone. Below are some simple tips to document your works effectively for online audiences.

  • Lighting: Lighting is key! Pay attention to the lighting in the room. Natural light works well so go outside or photograph your work near a window or in the bathroom. Move the artwork around and take the time to find the light that works best. Get creative, use a desk lamp or torch to balance out the light. If your work is reflective or is behind glass, hold up a dark towel, sheet or piece of cardboard in front of the work, this will help to reduce the reflections.
  • Scale: Show the scale of your work. Use people or objects near your work to show scale.
  • Background: Try to avoid having a busy background. If you can, isolate the work on a plain background. If this is not possible focus on the work and blur the background so that your work is the main focus of the image.
  • Image information: To protect your images, don’t forget to add a watermark with your name. If you don’t want to add a watermark then you can include information, like your artist name, and in your metadata/file information (this can be done through Photoshop).

This resource has been made as a part of the Help Desk: Virtual Professional Development program.