Do artists need their own websites?
This has been an interesting learning experience researching all these artists. Here are some reflections from someone who hunted hard for artists by their names. The best result was when their name popped up in the domain name like justinogilvie.com or justin-ogilvie.com. If you want to buy a domain name, this kind of thing is the best way to go for sure, simple, clear and concise. The searcher can be pretty sure right away that they have the right person. If your name is gone already, try for something like jmogilvie.com or justinogilvie-art.com. It does not cost much to buy a domain name and buy it for 5 years if you get one as search engines notice this. I buy and host my sites through Updaddy, good rates, good 24 hours support.
There are nice free places to show your art, too like Saatchi online gallery and others mentioned on our links page. This is maybe the second best way to go and pretty easy to do yourself or have a computer savvy friend do for you without too much trouble. Having a fairly simple website made from a free web template site and learning how to manage that is probably the next cheapest way to go. There will be a learning curve but not too steep.
Paying someone or trading art for a good site is the best way to go but be sure to mention that you would like good search value and not just a good looking site as some web designers seem to miss out on loads of simple search value spots- like page names, image names, page titles and alt tags.
Don’t want to manage your own sales or contact with the hordes who will find your site? You don’t have to. Your site can be just your “wall” where you hang your art and share a bit about yourself. You can still direct any contact to the galleries who show your work, no problem and have contact email go straight to them.
The advantage of actually having your own page, no matter how small, is to make sure that you are represented in your own style and image online and not be at the mercy of others who sadly, may come and go. There were many good contemporary figurative artists who I just could not find a good web presence for and who I just had to leave off this list. Some I have flagged to check back with in a few months but others have just not made themselves easy to find and that surely is not their intention.
Linking to other sites you respect and allowing links to your site makes the whole ball of wax function, too. Although I was happy to oblige the three artists who requested that I not tell anyone of their existence in the alphabetical listing of artists on page footers, I really cannot understand why they would not welcome the possibility of even one more visitor to their own site. If they have a site, don’t they want anyone in the world to find it? Oh well, I am happy to make room for others who are happy to toot their own horns and celebrate their artwork with a focus on the human form. I am keen to wander through all these sites myself!! I have really only skimmed them to make sure they deliver on my promise of good quality and quantity and a safe site that functions well. I just go, WOW!! and HOLY COW!! and plan to get back to a few total stunners soon, after this big membership drive. There are still a couple of hundred that I have not heard back from yet…