An artist’s website is a critically important tool. As artists our “product” is simply visual aesthetic. So if the website doesn’t support your work visually it’s like being served a gourmet meal on a dirty plate.
Here are six common “artist websites” mistakes that I see all too often.
1. The artist’s website is over-designed or not well designed. It’s not clean and simple, so it’s competing for attention with the art.
It often looks like the artist has either designed their website themselves or they’ve paid someone, who’s technical and can build a website, but isn’t a skilled graphic designer. Think about the design, or rather the non-design, of an art gallery or an art museum. Think of the walls. What do you see? Complete minimalism. That’s because it works and the rules don’t change with the virtual environment.
2. The boring first person artist’s statement.
I have yet to read an artist’s statement on-line that doesn’t make me cringe. What is actually interesting about your story as it relates to your work? What have collectors told you? Tell us in the third person so that the reader isn’t distracted by a tone of self-involvement. And so that you can feel free to brag a little. This exercise is to help sell your work! You’re speaking to a broad audience so be clear and use language that non-artistic types, patrons, will understand.
3. There are no prices listed on the artist’s website.
This is a common practice that I do not agree with. What’s the big secret!? Like anyone, collectors want to know what it’s going to cost them. Don’t make it hard on them. Collectors are not all going to call you to get the price. And by hiding the price you’re implying that the price is negotiable. And we know how I feel about discounting art.
4. The artist has a website and not a shopping cart.
If you only have a website and not a shopping cart you’re missing sales. An art consultant once told me that she had no intention of selling art on-line because it’s “a high touch, high feel experience”. Are you kidding me!? My biggest single transactions have been originals sold on annrea.com.
5. There’s no picture of the artist.
Collectors want to know the artist. We all like to see who it is we are doing business with. Give your audience that opportunity and show them a picture of yourself. No brooding expressions, sunglasses, or French berets.
6. Art is displayed but it’s “sold”.
What if you walked into a store and you found the perfect dress that you were in love with. You then prepare to pull out your American Express, you look at the price, and it’s marked “sold.” Ugh! How frustrating would that be? I think that some artists do this to prove that they actually sell their art. If you what to showcase previous work that has sold, put it in a separate archive section.
If you are ready to take your art business to the next level, you are welcome to apply for artist business coaching and consulting services. Individual hourly consulting is also available.