Great news! I just got a call from artist Lori Garfield with her approval of the new website I created for her. A couple of small adjustments and she’s ready to fly!
Lori was fantastic to work with, organized and on top of any requests for additional material or other input I sent her way. For that reason her site came together very quickly, completed in two weeks from the day we set her up with a new hosting service (she had free hosting at WordPress.com before, but we wanted to expand the possibilities beyond what they permit on their site) until the final tweaks that marked its completion today.
We built her new site on the WordPress platform using a very nice responsive theme I just discovered, called Fifteen, with a few customizations and using Jetpack mosaic-style galleries to display her art. I love that masonry look, it’s a great way to display a portfolio of artwork that varies in shape and size. Implementing the SEO by Yoast plugin, security plugins, and sharing capabilities put the final touches on her website that make it search engine and human visitor friendly.
Lori is a wonderful animal artist, creating her pet portraits, wildlife paintings and more in oil on canvas. She is a giver, and a portion of all her art sales goes to various animal non profits, so any purchase you make from her, whether an original oil painting, an archival quality giclee print, or a commission for a portrait of your pet, you will also benefit the nonprofit animal organizations she supports.
Lori is not limited to animals as an artist, and you will find some gorgeous landscapes and human portraits in the galleries of her paintings. Please visit Lori’s new website to view her lovely artwork, and consider leaving a comment with feedback on her paintings and her new website, sharing her site on your favorite social network, and giving a gift of art to someone special who loves animals this holiday season for a double blessing! www.lorigarfield.com
I’ve updated the workshop schedule for this week, with a partial schedule for April. It’s up on the workshop calendar now: If you have any requests, please contact me with the workshop you want and the day/time you want it. I’ll do my very best to accommodate your schedule so you can acquire these important skills artists need to promote their work in the 21st century! See this post for more information and pricing for the workshops.
Essentially what we have is 3 instances of the introduction to Blogging for Artists with Existing WordPress sites (on Friday March 29, Saturday March 30 and Saturday April 6), followed by Friday morning and Saturday afternoon practice sessions that you can drop in on as necessary (with advance notice, of course!). I have also scheduled a couple of Introduction to Image Editing for Beginners workshops, with an ongoing Thursday morning practice session you can also participate in as needed.
These ongoing practice sessions have been repeated indefinitely at the request of participants who felt that the ability to come in two or more times per month for supervised practice and answers to the questions that inevitably arise when developing a new skill would help them to recall the steps more effectively.
I have also tucked in a Using Social Media to Promote Your Art workshop on Friday March 29 at 10am and a Basic Computer Skills class on April 3.
This round of workshops are all $35.00. Please register in advance so I’ll know how many artists to expect! (you can just contact me to confirm that you’ll attend)
Thanks to all who have participated and expressed interest so far!! As always, if the schedule does not seem to fit in with your own, please contact me to arrange a private session or to schedule a new date/time for the workshop you need.
The first few workshops in my new roster (image editing & working with WordPress, both for beginners) have gone sooo well this week! I’m getting great feedback on the quantity of information I’m offering, patient and effective instruction, value of the information presented for the price, and even my teaching style. It’s so rewarding to see artists move from apprehension and self-doubt to having fun using their newly acquired skills so quickly, and I’m proud of the progress last week’s participants have already made. Check out my calendar for current workshop dates and, whether you plan to DIY or need to feel more confident when dealing with your own webmaster, let me help you take control of your online presence!
By request of two of last week’s participants, I’m announcing that the Image Editing Practice Session for Beginners has been extended to include two dates each month indefinitely, on Thursdays from 10am – 12:30pm. Those who need help with their image editing skills can drop in for a practice session whenever they can, or join the two current participants for a weekly session where supervised practice will hone your skills and help commit them to memory. I will be happy to add an additional ongoing practice session where you can bring your questions, learn more, and practice your image editing skills with me there to help you on a different day/time, as I’ve heard from several artists who can’t make it on a Thursday.
Please email me or use Doodle to request a new date and/or time and I’ll add it to my calendar.
I’ve been quite concerned about several issues with artists and the images of their art they use online. As a web designer who feels compelled to watch the backs of artists, it is distressing to download an image from an artist’s website only to find their web designer’ copyright notice in the metadata! I know the artist has no way of finding out, and that’s got to change right now.
In these hard times it’s understandable that many artists are concerned about the cost of having their images adjusted and prepared to use online, as well as the expense involved in starting up a blog to promote their art on the internet. And the social media phenomenon has quickly proven itself to be the marketing and promotion medium of the future…of today!
Last year I taught workshops on blogging at the Ashland Art Center and image editing at the Rogue Gallery and Art Center. In January 2013 I taught a workshop on setting up a Facebook professional page for artists at the Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville, and in February, a small workshop on image editing for artists. I was happy to receive many compliments on the volume of usable information presented, my teaching style and patience from my hosts and the participants of all these workshops. Since the experiment was a success, and to help artists master the computer skills they need to promote their art in the twenty-first century, I am now announcing my new roster of ten ongoing workshops in four categories:
For most workshops I will present a comprehensive overview of the topic, with a Q&A session afterward. For confident computer users, this may be all you need to get started. For those who would like assistance putting the skills I discuss into action, follow up workshops will provide opportunity for hands-on practice where you can ask questions about specific tasks and problems, practice techniques and accomplish the objectives introduced in the overview.
I realize the dates of these workshops don’t give a lot of advance notice. My intent is to get them rolling as soon as possible for those who need help now and repeat them at least once a month. If you see a workshop you want to attend but the schedule doesn’t work for you, you’re probably not alone. Participate my Doodle scheduling program (links following each workshop below) and we’ll work out another time with others seeking an alternate date. You can also contact me to arrange a private tutoring session.
Working With Your Art Images in Photoshop and PS Elements
Learn how to prepare the digital images of your art to look their best, protect your copyright and meet submission requirements. The skills you learn in these workshops will help you manipulate your photographs with confidence, save money, prepare your images for show and gallery submissions and transform your art images from potential copyright liabilities to online marketing assets!
Laptop, iMac or mobile device that you can use image editing software with.
Basic understanding of how to work with your computer or device.
Images of your own artwork to practice with. I recommend making a copies of several images – some in pretty good shape and others that need a lot of adjusting – and place them in a separate folder.
Introduction to Image Editing
A two hour overview of essential image editing information with a half hour question and answer session. Follow along on your own computer or take notes and plan to gets some hands-on practice with me to help you in the followup work sessions.
In this workshop you will have the opportunity to work with your own images with my assistance. We’ll begin with helpful practices for handling your image files and embedding copyright, contact and website information and other metadata to your images. We’ll also go over various file types and when to choose them and how to use layers to add a visible copyright notice to your images, resizing your images and choosing different resolutions. Once you’ve mastered these skills you will be able to email, post and share images of your art online with confidence that wherever they roam, your copyright and contact information will travel with them, and people can use this to contact you and talk about purchasing your work or request permission to use it.
This workshop will focus on more advanced techniques you’ll need to prepare your images for submission to festivals, shows and galleries. We’ll talk about the different specifications you have encountered and learn how to prepare the photos of your art appropriately, as well as making adjustments to the color, lighting and focus to accurately present your art to show jurors and gallery owners. We will practice more advanced ways to use layers and how to finalize your image files for different uses.
Learn how to create an online journal of your art activities from scratch using WordPress! From installing WordPress on your website’s host server or at WordPress.com to creating posts and managing your WordPress installation, you can learn to use blogging help you promote your work online, build your following, increase search engine rankings and drive traffic to your website. It’s a fun and creative endeavor in itself!
Laptop, iMac or mobile device you can use to work online (sorry, a smartphone will not be sufficient!)
Basic understanding of how to work with your computer and internet browser.
Completion of Image Editing Workshops or prior knowledge of how to embed metadata into your images to protect your copyright and enhance search engine optimization.
Introduction to Blogging, for Artists with existing WordPress sites
Do you have a website designed with WordPress but aren’t sure how to use it? This workshop is for you! We’ll log in to our blogs, explore the “back end” or administrative section and the post editing window. Learn how to use the word processing functions WordPress provides, upload and insert images into your posts, manage updates, what your plugins do, others I recommend and how to take care of them, and more. You’ll leave with an illustrated post and money-saving skills to begin maintaining your blog on your own.
This immersive workshop is designed for confident computer users who are ready to begin blogging now. We will install WordPress on your host server or at WordPress.com, set it up and learn to create an illustrated post. We’ll also go over maintenance tasks, how to customize your blog with plugins and themes, and more. At the end of the day you will have a working blog with at least one completed post and the skills to begin managing your blog as well as publishing with it!
Please have the materials you need to create with – text, images, and a banner image – set aside in their own folder on your computer for easy access during the workshop. For lunch, we can munch together at my studio or in town, arrangements TBD based on participants’ preferences.
This workshop will give an opportunity for beginning WordPress users to ask questions and get hands-on help with the answers, bring problems you’ve encountered for resolution and continue practicing the skills you need to progress to an intermediate level of blogging.
This workshop will provide those who are comfortable blogging with WordPress with an opportunity to bring their questions and get hands-on help for answers, troubleshoot problems they’ve encountered and gain more advanced skills. Topics can include blog maintenance, adding plugins for advanced functionality, working with photo galleries, customizing posts with basic html, attracting the attention of search engines and increasing traffic.
Learn how establish your social media presence, integrate social sharing into your website and put your social networks to work building your audience, driving traffic to your website and increasing your search engine ranking!
Laptop, iMac or mobile device you can use to work online (sorry, a smartphone will not be sufficient!)
Basic understanding of how to work with your computer
Completion of Image Editing Workshops or existing knowledge of how to embed metadata into your images to protect your copyright and enhance search engine optimization.
Set Up Your Facebook Professional Page
Facebook should be the main component of your social network, and this workshop will be devoted to creating and setting up your professional page on Facebook. The time is coming when Facebook will REQUIRE business and professional posting to be done separately from personal posts – don’t wait ‘til the last minute! Get your artist page set up and start building a following for your art business while keeping your personal page private.
Integrating Social Networks with Your Blog or Website
Your website or blog should be the centerpiece of your online presence, and visitors should be able to follow you on their favorite social network and share your content with their friends with ease. We will explore the various social media networks and their usefulness, decide which ones to use and set them up, then integrate them with your main blog or website using one of three options: Networked Blogs Facebook application, WordPress’ JetPack plugin modules, or AddThis.com’s sharing plugin.
Do you want to learn one or more of the above skillsets, but find yourself hesitating because you don’t know how to work your computer or software well enough? Don’t let that stop you! Join my basic computer skills workshop and I will help you get up to speed with the skills you need to progress and learn more! Topics include: computer terminology, working with email, basics of using software programs, working with files, and much more.
Learn how to use your computer from a teacher who has the patience to work with you until you’re confident working on your own! I’m always happy to arrange private tutoring sessions if my workshop schedule doesn’t fit in with your own.
I love working for artists! Like anyone else, I get tired working at my computer for so many hours each day, but the beauty of their work makes it a pleasure from which I never tire. Elaine’s watercolors are a prime example ~ I felt so refreshed after completing her new website! Please visit it, not just to examine my work in putting together this WordPress site using Elegant Themes’ “Envisioned” theme., but to enjoy the galleries of her incredible watercolors. Maybe you’ll like them as much as I do and will contact her to make a purchase.Elaine also teaches visual art journaling ~ if you’re into journaling, you should visit her blog to see how her watercolor illustrations make her memories come to life in the pages!
Here’s a look at the top part of Elaine’s Home Page. You can see the entire page in my Portfolio, but I really do encourage you to visit her site and see it live.
Because I work for so many artists, and just because art is my thing and I believe in its power to transform lives and possibly even save the world, I work with Art Presence, the artist group in my own town to promote the arts and local artists. Being on the Board of such a lively and forward-thinking group of people is refreshing and provides me with a break from my computer to have face-to-face interactions with artists I know, network with new artists and Jacksonville’s business people and city representatives.
I had previously started them off with a very simple site hosted at my own art blog, Art Matters!, but the group was small (and un-tech-savvy) enough that it didn’t really take hold at that time. In March we scored a wonderful location, so the group now has a place to meet, a gallery, and a home. To celebrate this incredible milestone, we got the group its own domain name, art-presence.org, and revamped the site. Now that we have around 100 members, a Facebook page (thanks to artist member Cammy Davis!) and a physical location, the site gets a lot more action from both the artists and the public.
Here’s a look at the top part of this WordPress site’s home page, which uses the Chameleon theme from Elegant Themes. Click the image to see more, learn about our members and subscribe to our blog!
All clients and any blogger using WordPress should back up their databases and update WordPress without any further adieu! That is, if you haven’t done so already. While you’re at it, update your themes and plugins if you find that updates are available. These updates not only increase the reliability and functionality of your blog, make it run faster and increase security for you and visitors to your site. If you need a hand with this, contact email@example.com
I just ogt an email that I have been accepted into the Organic Themes affiliate program and I’m so excited! Organic Themes are created by artists for artists, bloggers and businesses. They’re beautiful, the layouts are refreshingly uncluttered and functional, they are mobile-friendly and the code is clean and updated frequently so it will also remain secure. I can’t wait to work with one!
I have exploring to do before I can say too much more, but I’m still finishing up the mobile site for Wineceros, so not just yet. If you’d like to take a look for yourself, click the banner below:
Boy, is my sidebar loaded with banners and links! I’ll clear them out and make pages for each type of service, but…not yet…and for now I’ll be adding yet one more banner…for Organic Themes!
I’ve been working on a mobile site for one of my clients (has to remain anonymous until it’s complete!). This site is a WordPress installation, and we started with a free plugin by Brave New Code called WP Touch that automatically formats your blog to iOS devices, Android and more. It’s great, but customization capabilities are limited, so we went for the Pro version. I’ll post again to let you know how it went and will also include a link so you can see for yourself, but for now I just wanted to give a shout to Brave New Code.
I joined their affiliate program too late to make a commission on my client’s purchase, so they’re sending me a t-shirt, and I hope to help them sell more plugins. So, below is a YouTube video discussing the features of their latest version. You’ll also find an affiliate link has been added to my sidebar. If you’re interested in the Pro version of the plugin, please use my link! I won’t get rich, but it will buy a cup of coffee for me and my honey, and you’ll get a nice plugin that will make your WordPress blog site look great on almost any mobile device! If you need a hand with the settings, you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
DISCLOSURE: This is not a review site, but I do have affiliate relationships with companies whose products and services I and my clients use. If you make a purchase within a few days of using one of my links, I will receive a small commission for the sale. If you have any questions and want to learn more, please contact me through my Facebook page or send me a message using my contact form StudioPress Themes for WordPress