Why You Need an Artist Web site?

by Tony Rajer

The art world is changing rapidly and if you want to sell your art an important venue for promoting it is on the internet. The web is a fundamental tool of todayís art world. Clients want to see examples of your work, they can if you have a web site.

Part of your Artistís Business Plan should contain a publicity component and web presence. Some people donít want to embrace technology, such as the internet, but itís a simple fact of life, if you want potential clients to see your work, the internet is one of the best locations to get your work shown, its part of e-commerce. That doesnít mean that it will automatically generate sales, that comes with time and depends on your work and the look of your web site. Three artists I know all have websites: Fred paints stunning landscapes and his site generates interest, publicity and clients, but sales are done in his studio. Ruth does pet portraits in pencil and watercolor. Over 70% of her commissions come directly from the web. On her site she prices the work, explains the ordering process and accepts credit cards as well as PayPal. Mike has a website, which has not been refreshed in years, the work is weak and overpriced.

Iím not going to go into why one artist is more successful than another. I will however examine some fundamental doís and doníts that will help your sales and hopeful success.

Fred has a simple, easy to load site that he updates himself, thatís very important. He refreshes the site every 2 or 3 months and adds new images. Ruth receives multiple commissions per month on her easy to use and easy to load site that she maintains monthly. Web sites are not static. They require updates and refreshing. Think of it as a personal art magazine dedicated to your art, every month or so clients want to see something new. Get ideas by cruising around the internet and look at other artist web sites, there are estimated 200,000.

Make sure that your web site can be easily maintained, that images and text can be changed and load quickly. Shop around and find a designer or web master that you feel comfortable with. Remember there is a difference between a web designer and the server. All web sites are not created equal.

What should you expect from your web site? It takes time to generate sales, and interest. It doesnít happen over night. Make it easy for people to contact you on the site: email, phone, address etc. Your site can have the following items: artist statement, gallery of images, resume, links, customer testimony, guest book, shipping information, and a blog. Blogs are a journal or diary that you can update, daily, monthly or whenever you wish. A web site and blog help you to stay in touch with your loyal collectors and generate sales. You can make your own blog within an hour at

Make your web site interesting to look at. Use color, shape and form as well as design to capture and hold the viewers attention. If you are afraid that your images might be stolen, have them watermarked. See if the webmaster can track the number of hits to your site. Should I put prices on my web site? That depends on the work. You might put a range of prices depending on size, technique and complexity or style of your work. Give the viewer an idea of what the pieces might cost.

A web site allows you to give detailed information about you and your art 24/7. Remember that in todayís art world it is assumed that you will have a web presence. If you donít, you are behind the curve and out of step with the business side of art. Make your website work for you.