Artist Kate Renee attended the first After School Specials and offers her summary of tips and topics covered on presenting your work online. She joined us again as a panelist for our second panel, which covered tips for marketing your work through content development.
The After School Special program is a series of three panels that present practical information about presenting, marketing and selling artwork online. The panel discussions are built on a partnership between SooVAC and mnartists.org and were designed to provide artists with a place of dialogue and conversation rather than a typical workshop. The idea behind this was to guide and showcase possibilities for artists think about in terms of their careers, rather than presenting a typical ‘how-to’ or top ten list.
Our first panel featured, Jesse Draxler and Beth Bowman, both artists, alongside Alison Beattie from Fallon. They shared their tools, tips and topical information about online venues used to promote their work including their artist websites and social networking platforms.
If you’re interested in following along or recapping the material covered during our panels, Katie Czarniecki Hill from mnartists.org has been busily live tweeting during each discussion. Follow #artistsprofdev to catch up with our conversation
Alison Beattie began our conversation with speaking about UX, or user experience. She posed five questions to the audience to help them think about how their viewers and audience are navigating, using and experiencing artists’ websites.
1. Who is your audience?
2. What does your audience need?
3. What is their context?
4. What can you do for them?
5. What does your site say about you?
Jesse Draxler showed us how he began with a standard website template and customized it to fit his needs and make it easy to view his work. One handy tip he shared is to have your CV or resume already open online. People are less likely to wait for a downloaded version to pop up. Jesse’s website is a great example how artists can organize various series and groups of images in a digital gallery, providing three separate ways to navigate through the images to allow easy access and navigation.
Beth Loraine Bowman showed us how she designed her website to be like a social networking hub. Her Four Square, Vimeo, Flickr, Pinterest and other sites all feed into her website and her viewers do not need to jump around each of her social networks.
+ Some audience members pointed out that we often come across an artist with the same name who already has the domain registered or someone in another field who is popular for their career. If you can get your name or artist name as a domain, put forth the money to save it now. As an artist who has also had issues with this, I decided to go by my first and middle name to help stand out from the thousands of other “Johnsons” out there. While it’s not practical for every artist to have a different artist name, think of other ways to differentiate yourself. Consider offering the current domain holder to sell it to you.
+ Panelist concurred that you can ramp up your current SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by providing live links, posting often and use categories for blog posts or hash tags (#) on Twitter posts.
+ Artists can monitor their activity through Google Analytics and have Google send you notifications when your name appears elsewhere with Google Alerts.
+ New options in domain names! .art is due to come out in 2013! (http://www.newgtldsite.com/dot-art-tld-domain-names/)
+ While our panels offered many tips, suggestions and possibilities to our audience, we also thought to suggest that artists should not go home and do all of this at once! Take your time and consider what is relevant to your arts career.
+ Carolyn Payne, Executive Director of Soo Visual Arts Center, was also kind enough to type up a list of words and definitions discussed at the panel to help clarify and guide artists as they work through building their online presentation materials (see below).
Glossary from After School Special
by Carolyn Payne, SooVAC Executive Director
Blog: a Web site containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites.
Blogger: a free tool for creating blogs.
Blogspot: is also a free tool for creating blogs.
Cargo Collective: a free resource for building and hosting a personal webpage within a community of webpages for creative.
Etsy: an e-commerce website to set up an online shop.
Facebook: a social networking website.
Flickr: a way to store, sort, search and share your photos online.
Goodsie: an e-commerce website to set up an online shop.
Google Alert: A tool to get emails sent to you when Google finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your name or search term
Google Analytics: Google Analytics shows you how people found your site, how they explored it, and how you can enhance their visitor experience.
Instagram: a free photo-sharing app.
.me: a service for personalized domain names.
mnartists.org: an online community of artists, artwork, organizations, articles, events and opportunities that also supports artists with off-line programs and resources.
Path: an app to share text, music, images, and location with a smaller number of people on a smartphone.
Pinterest: a visual bookmarking/social networking site.
Society 6: an e-commerce site for artists that also makes your products(prints, t-shirts, etc.)
Tumblr: a blogging platform/ social networking site that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio.
Twitter: a social networking site that allows you to send and read short, mostly text based posts.
UX: User Experience– a user’s overall satisfaction level when interacting with your website.
URL– the address of a website.
Vimeo: a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos.
WordPress: a free, Web-based software program that anyone can use to build and maintain a website or blog.
YouTube: a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: KATE RENEE
Kate Renee lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kate graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in fine arts, art history, and a minor in design, and has worked with various galleries and museums in the Twin Cities including the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Larson Art Gallery, American Swedish Institute and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. She designed currently manages the Solo Exhibition Program at Altered Esthetics.
Kate is building a national and international reputation with exhibitions throughout the United States. In 2011, Kate began a six week residency at Prairie Center for the Arts in Peoria, IL, where she focused on building a new body of work. Currently, she is a workshop teacher at Bloomington Theatre and Art Center where she teaches arts business workshops. She also is a marketing assistant for Michael McGraw’s Local Artist Interviews.
Join us for Panel 3: Selling You Work – Use online Services to Sell Your Art and Fund Your Projects
Tuesday, September 18 | 7 pm | SooVAC
Your art is up and the word is out! Ready to make a living? Learn from professional artists who think beyond the gallery and turn their web presence into income through alternative distribution models like Etsy.
This session will include:
+ Real life success stories
+ Introduction to selling through Etsy
+ Demonstrations on managing your account
+ Tips and helpful hints
$20 per panel or $50 to attend all three
SooVAC and Walker Art Center members receive $5 off