Hi, I'm Jessica!
As a former website designer, I excel at showing you how to make your website effective, organized and easy to use for your visitors.
In the following four lessons on Artist Websites, I give you tons of easy-to-use tips that will help you have a professional site in no time.
You can do it! XO Jessica
Most people know they should include an artist about page on their website, but its often an afterthought. Was your about page one of the quickest pages to throw up? Did it take slightly more time to put together than your contact page, but less than all your other pages?
This is BAD!! Statistically, the about page is the most visited webpage on your site. It gives your visitors a pretty good idea whether they should stay or go now.
This page should showcase what you do, why you are the awesomest at what you do and throw in a little about your values/interests/beliefs.
Artist about pages are very often misunderstood. They are not about you. They are about what your art business can do for your customer, with a little of you tied in at the end to satisfy some curiosity.
If you were looking at another artist's website, would you want to read a detailed description of every show they've ever been involved in? Of course not. This does give a sense of credibility, but it isn't going to help anyone relate and want to buy you. If you want to include a page about past shows, you can include a link to it at the end of your about page.
Formal artist statements are generally attention killers. If you have one, transform your artist statement into tasty tidbits. Pick out best parts and sprinkle them throughout the page. Showcase the ideas that make you tick and keep them in mind while you write.
Show how professional you are by making it clear who your art is for. If you make prints for low-income art lovers, say so.
The worst thing you can do for your career is to make art for anyone who might want to buy it. These artists are everywhere. Pick an audience and cater directly to them through your words and your pricing to make yourself stand out in the crowd.
You could make the design of the page match your art's style, but this is usually best done by a professional web designer. If you don't have those skills, think about this webpage like an art project. Come up with a concept and execute it with a bang.
While it isn't about you, infusing personality into your writing and imagery will put you heads and shoulders above the next person.
If you have a hard time writing like you sound, record a conversation with a close friend. Go back, listen and make notes of any trends you notice.
What are some common phrases you use everyday? Can you work them into your text?
What are your favorite things? Instead of saying "I like Alice in Wonderland", make a reference to why your art reminds you of the Cheshire Cat.
As always, this formula is just to get you started. Make it your own. Get creative with it.
Start with your elevator speech: who you are, what you do and who you do it for. Let people know what your website is about and why it can benefit them. This is the core of your artist website - it should let them how you can serve them and if you are "the one" for them.
Why will your work be more awesome on their wall than the other 100,000,000 artists on the web?
This might be because you cater so specifically to their needs. If you make custom office art for startups, and that is what they are looking for, the chances of them picking you over another artist is sky high.
If you are hoping to snag environmentalists, talk about the recycled materials or local sourcing or organic paints you use.
What core personal beliefs are extremely important to you everyday? How do they influence what you illustrate/draw/paint?
Remember, you are the tour guide through your own website. Once they view your about page, what should they do next?
Maybe you want to woo them further by giving them a peek into your process, or showcase how to buy your latest piece or get them to sign up for your email list with an incentive.
If you want to give a peek into your personal life, here is your chance. Make it a short and sweet paragraph (or two). You could tell them what your everyday looks like, spout off some get to know me facts or talk about what set you on this journey.
If you want to include the story of your life, write a separate page or blog post and put in a link after the condensed version.
Jessica's college experience was spent falling in love with getting her hands dirty. She showed her paintings at art galleries all over the city, but kept waiting to "make it". After the galleries took 30-50%, she would never be able to pay the bills. Determined to learn where she was going wrong, she took a job at a marketing firm where she managed over 50 projects at a time for three years, then ran her own web design company for the next three. Combining all of her unique skills, she opened The Artist Market Co. to teach artists techniques to create a thriving online business from their craft.
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