Creating a Portfolio Website: What Artists Need to Know to Get Started


hey artists today I want to talk to you about setting up your portfolio website so this is a crucial part in being an artist in my opinion there is no better way to show off your work online and I think a lot of people feel that way a lot of people whether you’re applying for jobs or your you know submitting to grant awards exhibitions people want to see that you’re taking yourself seriously and a portfolio website is a great way to do that one thing that you might want to do after you finish this video is download my guide how to art it is a beginner’s guide to establishing yourself as an artist and a lot of what I talk about right now will be touched on in that diet plus a whole bunch more so definitely download that once you finish this video i will put the link in the description and now i want to share everything I know about setting up a portfolio website both mistakes and successes that way you can build the best portfolio website possible so the first thing that you want to do is purchase a domain i personally would recommend Google domains because it’s super easy to hook up with any of the major website building platforms that are available to consumers it’s reliable and I don’t know about you but I am totally wrapped up in the google universe so i have a gmail account i used google drive i use google docs and sheets and everything like that so i know that i’m not going to forget to pay for my domain in a year and it won’t expire like my last question I know godaddy is really popular and that’s actually where i purchased my last domain i don’t recommend them but Google domains absolutely you know there’s other alternatives that are usually even cheaper than godaddy the second step is choosing which website building platform you want to build your website on one thing you need to know is unless your self hosting your website you don’t need to worry about getting hosting which can be expensive you need to solve host if you are building your website on wordpress wordpress.org not wordpress.com that is how idols after arts website but my artist portfolio website is actually built with square face which i would definitely recommend it a little bit more expensive than a few other options but I’ve had no problems with it and then if you download how to archive listed all of my recommended of website building platforms and then after that you will want to start closing the website rate so all of the platforms that i’ve included on that list have their own professionally designed layout and so you’ll want to pick something that really highlights and reflects your work and then customize it for that it you know is unique to you and it really suits what you’re trying to show everything one of the website building platforms that I recommended have their own professional design theme that are responsive meaning that they will show up looking great on you know a large monitor or you know something you know small like an iphone in case you didn’t know top of your website visitors will actually be looking at your profile on mobile so you definitely want to make sure your portfolio website looks great across all different screen sizes and it’s easy for them to navigate i also want to mention that almost all of the website building platforms but i’ve included on that list all have some kind of free trial period you can set up the website that you want and see if you like how the platform works and if you hate it you can move on to the next one it’s no big deal but once you’ve made that decision once you pick your domain decided where you want to build your website decided on a layout then of course you need to start setting up your portfolio so with your portfolio you absolutely want to make sure that your work looks great typically a white background is going to look the cleanest and some people often for a black background but kind of outdated now it’s much harder to read a white text on a black background than it is to read a black text on white background so the first thing that you want to figure out is your homepage the homepage is really important because that is going to be so much crap thanks so much more topics in the rest of your website so you don’t want to neglect it you want to make sure that it looks interesting and maybe there’s a nice video on it maybe there is a gallery of photos that includes different pieces from different bodies of work next you’re obviously going to want to really focus on making great galleries for your work the galleries are where you can have a grid of images of your work or videos maybe it’s a slideshow you know some go vertically from go horizontally you know somewhere in a grid and you can click and they will expand there are so many options and they’re all great you know you have something that feels right for your artwork that you’re going to be happy with and that helped your viewers experience your work in the way that you want them to experience it another thing that I think is really important is including your artist statement with your arts one mistake that I’ve made for a long time and I just barely corrected is that instead of writing my artist statement in text i would write my artist statement and like a PDF document and then screenshot it and then upload it as the first image of my body of work because that’s how it kind of worked with my layout that’s how it seemed to make sense but the reason why i don’t recommend doing not is because there’s no way for Google to see that Oh her body of work is about Colorado so hopefully your layout has a spot for you to write an artist statement either next to your work or above or below that way Google can properly indexed that work so i ended up setting a primary page so that when you click on one of my portfolios in the menu the first thing that will show up is a page that is dedicated to my artist statement and then underneath that is a button that says you know view gallery and then when you click that it’ll open up the full gallery and what I like about that is you can’t see my photos without understanding the context first I think it might be a turn-off person that just you don’t want to get to that content right away but I mean it’s simple and it will make sure that you know my work is actually indexed in Google because there’s text to direct it to my website and ever since i did that I’ve actually seen an improvement in my search rankings and yeah I I think it’s really effective but what you want to do once you’re ready to get your artwork up on your site is separate them out in different bodies of work and i don’t recommend putting all of your work online this is supposed to be the best of the best if you want to show in progress work or you know not focus on your greatest or if you want to put that in your blog and then write a little bit about it like I’m working on this project i’m exploring these ideas but really for your portfolio’s they should be strong powerful complete work that makes sense amongst other pieces and you’ll want to do individuals portfolios for each body of work another important lesson I learned much later on was that you really should host your blog on your website for the longest time I was sharing all my blog content on tumblr and only tumblr because that’s kind of what I was taught to do that’s what other artists were doing but then I learned about search engine optimization your blog content is really valuable to search engines because it is new a constant stream of content you know you’re going to probably be updating your website maybe once a year once every few months but you know you’re going to be generating blog content much more frequently which help you rank in search a lot better you can learn more about SEO up there so after you have your galleries and your blog and your homepage all set up you’re going to want to write an about page here about this is really important because quite simply people are going to want to know who you are they want to know why you’re making the work you’re making they want to know your back on in your experience if you want to learn more about writing an artist bio a and you can download that guide i’ve included a few examples of my own that way you can get started and in addition to your artist bio you absolutely need to provide contact information your email your social links i wouldn’t recommend putting your address your phone number on your website i like to include my TV which is a list of my accomplishments the exhibition’s I’ve been in the publications that I’ve had and I have an online version of that on my website as well as a PDF document that is downloadable for anyone that you know feels like they want to meet me on file I hope your face during not but you know if somebody’s really interested in your work and might want to hire you for some reason it’s good to have a CV or resume on your website that way it’s easy for them taxes another thing that is valuable to include a list of upcoming events if you’re super active in your community and your showing work all over the place make sure that you have you know an event list that way is people are in the area they can see what you’re up to you and something else that I’ve noticed a lot of people do and i actually do on my blog on my website is make a list of other artists that you want to support it doesn’t really benefit you and a lot of ways but I think if I think it’s a fun way for artists to support each other and I actually do get a lot of inbound weeks from my artist friends websites and so that’s kind of cool and I think that is about it like i said please download that guide if you want more information to help you set up your portfolio website please let me know if you have any other questions that i can answer or if you want me to take a look at your website and but you know what i think i would love to do that so please just let me know in the comments and I will talk to you very soon and thank you for watching

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