This is a subject near and dear to my heart. Opened up Awakening Dreams Studio when I was just 21 back in 2000 and ran it for 4 years creating my own works of art. I decided for personal reasons to change direction in my life yet I still paint and draw to this day.
Almost 20 years later in design and marketing, I am baffled that so many fine artists do not have their own website that wants to make a living on their art. Working with other artists, I ask them why they feel this way, and I get a plethora of answers. The more common ones are that they have Etsy stores or sell over social media or on art galleries websites. While these are all good places to have your work shown or sold, there really is a need for an artist their have their own website.
Do Not Depend on Just Social Media
Social media works for the short term. I have seen several fine artists blow it up on Instagram. Yet you never know when their rules or algorithm will change. As I am writing this, Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify on Capitol Hill. It’s undoubted there will be changes to Facebook. Also, who owns Instagram? Facebook. It’s simple, at the end of the day, artists do not own their Facebook profiles or pages, or Instagram profiles, or even your Twitter profile for that matter, they do. And if those companies want to change their rules and it affects your profiles and ultimately your profit, well there is nothing you can do but roll with it.
Visibility and Knowledge
First, there really is no such thing as too much visibility when it comes to artists. The more places you, as a fine artist, have your name and work at, the better chances you have to be found by Google and ultimately potential buyers. Buyers, in many cases, want to know more about an artist. A website gives you the chance to tell your potential buyers as much as you want about you, your story and your work.
An artist having their own site showing their work solidifies in your potential buyers’ mind that you take your art and art business seriously and it’s not “just a hobby.”
Freedom of Content.
No matter what other platforms you are using to market your art in the digital space, there are usually limits to what content you can put on. When you have your own website, it is your sandbox to play, build and put whatever you want on it. It is the one place there are no text size, image size, amount of images and work, or content limits to what you can do (beyond whatever content management system you’re using to build your site). You can choose whether you want to set prices and sell online or just show your work and have them contact you.
Ability to blog.
Your blog is where you can let your personality show. New web content is always a good thing to Google and it’s a great platform to show a new work-in-progress, art opinion or stories about you. And before I get hit with a lot of “that is what social media is for,” take this into account. Facebook itself has made several algorithm changes effecting who does and does not see your posts. Though using social media outlets are good, you have much more control over your own content on your own website.
All about sales.
Whether a fine artist decides to sell your work directly off your website, or simply gain more exposure, a website helps them do one of the most important things, sell or open sales opportunities. All four reasons above lead directly to that end. You may think a good website might be costly. There are platforms that help keep the cost low. Take into account that the better your website, the increased chances you have to sell. In the end, not having a website is not worth the risk of leaving potential money on the table from your art.