Why be online?
As well as getting work out there and being noticed, having an online presence allows you to be wherever you want to be, finding opportunities outside your geographical location, and taking your work to new audiences.
There are many opportunities to network, build collaborations amongst artists with similar interests, and receive support, encouragement and motivation. In keeping with the tradition of cooperation in offline artist communities, there are many groups and forums sharing information and insight, so no artist has to be alone.
Another benefit of being online is the opportunity to promote or sell work (if you’re that way inclined!), to make a good name and living from the painstaking process of making.
Louise Atkinson Untitled, 2004
There has been a widening of participation in the arts in recent years, with free gallery entry, public works and more offerings in broadcasting and publishing, resulting in more curiosity about, rather than animosity towards, art in the social sphere.
This interest means that artists, as well as promoting work, can choose to take a holistic approach, by presenting the narrative of the work and the story of its making to an eager public, who want to be part of the action and feel they’re buying into an artist's way of thinking.
Being online provides you with the opportunity to advertise your skills, work and experience to a new audience - in novel ways.
Good Artist Discussion Forums
The Rant - open debate on current issues
Artists Talking - art practice and issues blogs
For many artists and curators with a busy schedule, in which making work, surviving and other commitments have to be juggled and squeezed, taking time to maintain an online presence can be a task that falls to the bottom of the list.
Admittedly, there's a 'child in a sweetshop' danger in artists having access to a never-ending stream of inspiration. It can mean swimming into the ether, following distraction after distraction, only surfacing for air hours, or days, later.
However, by designing your online presence to cater for your needs and being smart about it, you can cut down the time you need to spend on keeping yourself visible and have all the information you need delivered to you, using any of the amazing sites and social networks out there.
The key to keeping yourself buoyant in a sea of information is by regularly updating your content, as this is what Google look for in their search results. In order to do this, you need to feel comfortable with the technology you're using and the way it fits you, your work and your methods.
The key to keeping yourself buoyant in a sea of information is by regularly updating your content, as this is what Google looks for in its search results. In order to do this, you need to feel comfortable with the technology you’re using and the way it fits you, your work and your methods.
The idea of creating a website may seem an impossible task, but there are a number of different methods of easily developing your presence (without spending a small fortune employing a web developer), such as blogs and subscription sites, including Axis, specifically designed for showcasing contemporary art.
With economic times forecast to get worse before they get better, there can be no denying that there are some difficult times ahead for everyone, including artists.
As the wider community turns to art as a source of comfort and inspiration, the definition of the market can change, becoming more flexible as the artist-gallery-collector relationship is supplemented by other dynamics.
In the online world, every connection matters, as reputations can be built through word of mouth, and personal relationships developed with followers of your work.
Emily Speed The Buildings Were Only Buildings
Because of the People, 2008
Novel approaches to funding your work can be found, through trading multiples, offering invites to your studio or private view, in exchange for a small donation. Sites such as flattr, although in their infancy, are designed to encourage small but frequent financial backing for projects from regular followers or web users who are just passing through.
With so many ways of using the web, so many connections to be made, having an online presence is an opportunity that can’t be missed. Quite simply, the internet gives artists the power to place creative thought and energy at the centre of a new universe, where artists are waving, not drowning.
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