It’s important to keep your copyright notice updated from year to year to protect your intellectual property and your reputation, and it’s that time of year. If you don’t know how to change the copyright notice on your website or just don’t have time to figure it out, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541.899.2012 to request this change. It’s quick and easy, so it’s inexpensive too. Happy New Year!!
I am so proud to announce the launch of Community Works redesigned website! It went live last Saturday evening and has already had a lot of visits, as one might expect from a non profit community service website like this. Please like Community Works on Facebook and visit their website to see the amazing work they do in Jackson County for abused women and victims of sexual assault/rape, abused children and families who are dealing with/recovering from severe trauma, homeless and runaway youth, and so much more for some of the most vulnerable and hurting people of Jackson County’s communities.
The programs this organization operate rock! Best known and with a great reputation for the Dunn House Shelter, many don’t know the name of this non profit that provides compassionate and effective help and support for women escaping abuse/domestic violence, or that they provide services for women, children, youth and families seeking to recover from sever traumas and connect them to resources that can help them further. Please visit the new website to learn more about the organization and its programs, volunteer and/or contribute to their work with a tax deductible donation, see their upcoming events and more!
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and this Friday at 4pm they are sponsoring a Walk to End Domestic Violence in Medford. Wear purple and join us at the Medford Courthouse to raise awareness of domestic violence!
Between working on Jennifer Faith’s website and this one for Community Works I have learned more than I ever thought I’d want to know about domestic violence. I had no idea that one in every three women around the world will suffer abuse and violence at some time during their lives. This statistic is consistent no matter what country, culture or religion you consider, and those women of faith are in the worst position of all since these patriarchal organizations tend to encourage the men and advise the women to keep silent and not try to leave under the threat of offending God. Most of the time the stigma of domestic violence and the fear of their abuser (and the fear of angering the God they love) keeps them silent and trapped in a situation that will only get worse and could even cost them their lives. Women who do finally work up the courage to make their escape still are not safe.
Problems with the justice system and the ongoing controlling behavior of their former partner results in another ugly statistic: 70% of the women who die from domestic violence are killed AFTER leaving their abusive partner. Women need help, guidance and support throughout all the stages of abuse until they are back on their feet and are truly safe from their abuser, and Community Works provides support for survivors as well as those still in an abusive situation.
You could very well know someone who is secretly hurting, and their life could be in danger right now. Please share the site with your network so they can find help without humiliation and you may save a life.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the HelpLine 24 hour crisis hotline at 541-779-4357 or toll free: 1-855-216-2111
Community Works: Strengthening Lives to Change Community – Strengthening Community to Change Lives
Great advice from a successful artist. If you haven’t checked out the Artsy Shark blog yet, it’s a terrific resource for artists that’s well worth your time. That’s where I found this very informative and encouraging article…and a whole lot more!
What makes this prolific artist such a sales superstar? Guest blogger Natasha Wescoat shares her secrets.
A well-rounded web presence is an essential part of your art business and brand if you want to sell online. Like any brick and mortar gallery, it’s the collector’s main source to the artist and stands as an authority and representation of you across the web.
In 2004, I began selling my art online through auction websites and established a presence through the social networking blog Livejournal. I then started my own website, which has evolved over the years through trial and error. I’ve found the keys to a successful website.
As an artist, your work should be representing itself. There is no need for fancy design or flashy colors. It should remain clean and simple, either in black, white or neutral colors. You want your art as the shining attraction here! Stay away from moving images or flash, noisy fonts or images that have nothing to do with your artwork.
Content is King
As always, with any site, the information and content you use is vital not only to driving traffic, but to inform your collectors and potential clients. You want to have all they need to learn about you, the artist, about your work and also most importantly, what you are offering THEM.
IMPORTANT PAGES TO HAVE ON YOUR WEBSITE:
About: This page is dedicated to describing you and your work. Your biography, artist statement and resume can go here as well as pictures of yourself (especially creating the work!) or if you remain a private person, some clever childhood photo of yourself for example. Make sure you have written a well thought out biography and statement. This can take time but is the foundation of your career.
Gallery/Portfolio: Whether you place them directly on your site (which I recommend) or you link to another site (Flickr, Imagekind or Photobucket, etc.) there should be easy access to look at your work! Be sure to include any past collections of art, present work, available work or projects you have done. Always add descriptions or captions on the art, along with a copyright statement and even links to where they could purchase it, if elsewhere on the web.
News/Updates: This page posts the latest news on your upcoming projects, events or sales. You could even connect your blog to this as blogs are a great way of updating people. Always announce stuff you plan to do, have organized to do and even the sales you want to put on. Create anticipation for your buyers and fans.
Contact: Make yourself as available and accessible as you can. Not only would it be good to provide your contact information here, but also include the information across the other pages of your site.
Links/Shop: Make sure you have posted links to every social network, online shop, print company, licensee, etc. that you use or who sells your work. This provides verification that those sites are really you and they help people find those other sites. You’d be amazed at how little your fans know about other websites or even what you’re doing.
Keywords and Linking
When writing the content for your site, from your bio to the descriptions of artwork, it’s vital to understand how keywords and SEO works. You want to make sure your content is full of the keywords that describe you and your art, so that when people search for art like yours on the web, your site is the one that comes up! Also, linking to other pages in your site from another page is important. Some people need a bit more help in navigating websites and can’t always understand or find something, no matter how easy you make it.
An example of what I mean: My About page, I may write a sentence that says, “For more info, contact Natasha…” The word “contact” could be linked to the contact page or even directly to my email address.
If you are offering a sale, running a new club, or joined a new social network, you should highlight that somewhere on the front page. If you can, create a banner or box that advertises this and link so they can go to it.
A website is not complete without its supporting character – the social network. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or MySpace, those sites will help create even more traffic to your main site. If you want to be a successful artist selling your work online, you really shouldn’t attempt a business without it.
Social Networking provides:
- Connection with your collectors and clients
- Adds humanity to your work
- Adds value to your art career
- Helps you build a fan base
- Creates more opportunities for sales
Over the years, through discussions and making friends, I’ve found business opportunities. You can’t force it, but you should develop a reputation as a person as well as an artist. Make friends and new connections. Add value to their life. See how you can help or promote them. Don’t always blast or broadcast what you do or sell. No one responds to that. Learn what your collectors want. What they like. Who they are. Connect.
I’ve found this to be one of the most complex but important parts of a successful art business. Without it, you don’t really have much. It’s important to research and develop your social media strategy, your execution plan and how to use it. It’s the most affordable way to promote and advertise yourself. It took me many years, but because I already loved to learn about the web and adopted technology all the time, it just became part of what I do.
And last but not least, make an effort to attend conferences, art shows, expos or fairs that are local and national. Find ways to connect with your fans, your artist friends and potential business opportunities in person. It’s always valuable to add a face to the profile. Online is not always enough, though it will be biggest part of your business. Offline events are still vital and beneficial to your art career.
I am delighted to have finished a website for Norm Rossignol at www.normrossignolart.com! I was already acquainted with Norm as he had a listing on www.soartists.com, the site I created to promote the art community of southern Oregon, and am happy to know him much better after meeting with him and working on his website. It’s amazing how much this endeavor can show you about a person – some clients have even said they learned much they didn’t know about themselves through the process!
Norm is a plein air painter, which means he paints outdoors, on location. He is very supportive of his fellow plein air artists, to the point that he co-founded the Plein Air Society of Southern Oregon (or PASSO) to enourage and coordinate regular paintings sessions “en plein air” with both new and experienced artists. His watercolors are beautiful, and he has taught watercolor painting at ScrappyCraft in Phoenix, Oregon for the past three years. He’s now taking a break from teaching and watercolors to renew his focus on another love – pastels – and they are just stunning! He is also a member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon and The Pastel Society of Oregon, and the Southern Oregon Society of Artists, as well as additional plein air-focused groups.
Norm is a kind, energetic and engaging man. I can see why his classes were popular! His wife is an avid horsewoman and he enjoys videotaping her weekly riding lessons on Gabriel, her handsome Haflinger. He’s not timid when it comes to trying new things, something I learned when he dived in almost immediately to create his first post his his brand new blog! I hope everyone in the SO art community and all who love plein air painting and landscapes will follow his blog as it promises to be entertaining and informative, not to mention lovely, as I’m sure he will illustrate his posts with images of his work.
Norm was kind enough to write this recommendation for me, which I just received this morning:
Wanting my very own web site seemed so daunting to me that I put it off for years. I envied those who had a site and maintained it on their own. Then there’s the need to ensure your images are protected properly from being copied.
Hannah West has been managing SOAR for some time now and I have seen that site do wonderful things for artists. One of the things that stood out from Hannah’s work is “She has your back.” Not only builds a beautiful site but all your work is safe. Another feature I needed was a Point and Shoot style operation and Hannah has a designed system that is just that easy. Most webmasters can build a web site that is just fine, but a web site made especially for artists is another matter. Hannah being an artist herself has that insight needed to develop a tasteful and easy site to display and use. I am most grateful to Hannah for her hard work and dedication to developing my site.
Custom built for your needs
Safe from piracy
Something to be proud of
What more could you want?
Sincerely Norm Rossignol
Oh I am so pleased with the site I just finished, and delighted that my client, Alice LaMoree, is too! She’s already gotten sweet feedback ranging from YUUUMMMYYY!!! to “Elegant and Professional”. That puts a smile on my face today. We began this site quite some time ago, but as we all know, “Life Happens” sometimes. It happened to Alice after creating a lovely design for the site, so we had to put further development on hold for a while. Recently she found the time to put together the resources I would need to complete her site and she had put so much time into thinking about the remaining presentation that it came together easily and was smoooth sailing through to the end. I invite you to check out her site, not just to review my design but to enjoy the beautiful photographic images she now has displayed in three different galleries! I just love her creative eye and hope that you will find one you like so much that you’ll consider a purchase…www.rioquerencia.com
I recently updated Jannie Ledard’s website, www.jannieledardglassart.com, to show pieces in her stained glass section that have sold and adding a few new pieces. They’re spectacular and really deserve a look! We’ll be adding some new pieces to her fused glass jewelry page soon, I’ll post again when that’s ready.
Meanwhile, I spent the weekend working on a logo design for a startup company in Southern Oregon and anticipate beginning their new website shortly. Mostly under wraps until they’re ready to begin promoting it, but I’ll post links as soon as they are.
I also put up a one-page site for Southern Oregon music label Revelation Cafe, representing Lazar and Tribal Frequencies. Lazar was quite the sensation when he first debuted earlier this year, and he joined up with JT Witness to form Tribal Frequencies. There’s an iTunes preview module in the page – take a listen and tell us what you think when sharing on your favorite network so we can report back to them! This was fun. We’ll be adding more to this site in the future…
Haven’t had time to post any further sites in my portfolio, and now I’m tying up loose ends to clear the way for work on two new sites. One is www.rioquerencia.com, a beautiful site I started in 2010 for a local photographer who had to stop work when a friend needed help when going through cancer therapy…then travel and other obligations kept her busy for quite some time. I met with her last week and she’s almost ready to begin the completion of her site. I can’t wait to show it to you! The other is a larger ecommerce site for a startup wine club. Can’t say too much about this one until we’re underway, but the target launch date is January 2012. It will keep me busy for a while…
A note on Hosting:
The web hosting provider I usually refer clients to is IPOWER, who I’ve hosted my own sites with since 2003. As part of the research I’ve done for the wine site, I just added another host to the list, DreamHost. If you’re looking for a place to host your website, either one of these is a good choice. Both have been around for 10 years or more, proudly feature green hosting (IPOWER’S is the best on this front, but both are earth-conscious) and provide a selection of hosting options. Take a look and see which one works best for you: