An amazing event happened a few years ago. That event was the creation of the World Wide Web. The world has never been the same since. The world of art and artists has certainly never been the same. Never in the history of art has there been such an impact. Have you ever seen as many creative enterprises as you find on the internet? Art lovers used to go to galleries, and now the galleries come to them.
Perhaps, if you're an artist, your gallery is one of these. If not, why not? As an artist, I feel every fellow artist should have a web site, but this is a personal commitment many artists refuse to make. Perhaps, they're scared, or perhaps they just don't know what a powerful tool this can be. The reason I feel so strongly about this is that there is no better, cheaper, harder working entity that will help represent you and provide the creative recognition you seek. A personal web site works for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for pennies.
While the internet will never replace the business of producing and selling art through conventional channels such as gallery showings, etc., think of it as a means to enhance your artistic enterprise. You must still spend time with conventional means of promotion, but with a web art site, not only will you be able to provide gallery space for your art, you will own the gallery itself. And this gallery never closes!
Your web site is actually a gallery storefront and you are the proprietor waiting to greet your customers with a smile. You probably won't sell directly from your web site (although many artists do), but indirectly as a result of your web site. You see, a web site art gallery is not just a place to show your art, it's a promotional tool as well.
Your art gallery is located on the Internet. You won't be alone out there on this new frontier. You'll have plenty of company. In fact, you'll have too much company at times. It's a bit like the stacks of neon lights in Tokyo's Ginza district. There are so many web sites they overwhelm the senses vying for your attention. Which one do you look at first? Which is most important? Where will you go? Fortunately the internet provides some measure of order through the use of search engines and indexes such as Google or Yahoo. The trick is to make your gallery noticeable through all the electronic clutter. It's a jungle out there.
When customers browse the Internet, what they are seeking is information; a solution to a need, a desire unfulfilled. Your goal is to put yourself in the path of these seekers and offer up your wares.
There are many tools you can use to help you do this such as business cards and brochures or postcards that are very basic and have been around forever. They're all designed to get your attention. A business card may travel with a letter or brochure to introduce you to someone a distance away such as an art rep or business contact. A brochure may or may not be handed out directly and more often than not is used as a "traveling salesman" to introduce your work. These tools are often as important as your web site and will help support your web enterprise at all times.
Virtually every one of these tools leads either directly or indirectly to your target market of potential customers who are in turn directed to your web site.
As your art career expands, you will interact directly with people, and sometimes you will interact indirectly through people, their surrogates or virtual groups of people. Seldom, unless your art is actually present such as at an art gallery or show, will you sell or even talk directly to your customers in a personal manner. A web site though, allows you an opportunity to direct attention to your art and have the web site act as your salesperson in a very personal manner. Not only can you post pictures of your stuff, you can offer up slices of your personality in a very direct manner to every viewer. You can't possibly talk to as many people as your web site can do for you. When you do talk about your art though, you can direct people to go visit your web art gallery and the conversation will continue, long after you've left the premises.
The need to get noticed as an artist has never diminished and a web art gallery will help accomplish this wonderfully. A web site provides a place for your public to engage with you and your art.
Don't let anyone tell you that you can't or shouldn't do this yourself. I have found that the act of creating a web site and promoting it is often as creative as the process of producing art. And it is invigorating when you get responses back from people half a world away.
Whether you choose to go it alone, or join a group art site, put the power of the web to use and get it working for you. This is a powerful tool to promote and enhance your artistic career.
Gregory Peters is an artist, author and web marketer who provides promotional help and resource information for fine artists. His ebook How to sell Your Art on the Web is available on his site: http://fineartpromotion.com
Gregory may be reached at: Gregory@fineartpromotion.com