Jo's Web Wizardry

Jo Atherton

The Web Wizardry 12 Tips of Christmas
To recap the key themes for any artist wishing to establish themselves online and provide a practical digest of handy hints and tips to refresh your online presence, I give you The 12 Tips of Christmas. They may not include any pear trees or partridges, but I’m sure you’ll find them useful!

1 Facebook

As with many things, you get out what you put in, and Facebook is no different. Its your chance to keep your audience up to date with what you’re working on, or share your inspirations. Enjoy writing posts which reflect your personality, for people to get to know the person behind the artwork. You’ll be surprised how friendly and supportive your fellow artists are.

2 Twitter

As an artist, Twitter is a great way of growing your network of contacts. Many galleries are on Twitter, so you can expect invitations to private views, call for entries and other exciting opportunities. How easy would it be for you to miss important information like this on Facebook?

3 LinkedIn

Other networking websites we have talked about here, such as Facebook have social activity at their heart. This is fine, but for the artist trying to make professional contacts online (sourcing potential clients, galleries, event organisers, etc), it can often mean wasting time wading through cat photos before finding useful, relevant posts. LinkedIn avoids all this by being a professional focused network.

4 Writing for the Web

Online, you have a much shorter time to grasp people’s attention and tell them what your page is about. It was always said that someone will make up their mind whether to stay on a page within 10 seconds of arriving. These pointers will help you polish the text on your webpages to grasp the attention of your visitors.

5 Pinterest

In Pinterest you can create as many boards as you like on any subject, be it sunsets, penguins, Harpenden or cakes, allowing you to curate your own mood boards. This article should come with a warning - you will lose a couple of hours exploring the content!

6 Online Newsletter

Do you collect email addresses when you are selling at a craft fair, or displaying your work in an exhibition? Email is a quick, direct and free way of reaching out to your audience and you need to be exploiting this communication channel to stay connected to those people who like your work.

7 Instagram

Instagram is a photo sharing website and application that can be downloaded onto mobile phones. Rather than simply snapping photos and uploading them to Facebook or Flickr to share with your friends, Instagram encourages a whole new world of creativity with exciting filters and easy image manipulation, not to mention a beautiful world of inspiring images for you to browse.

8 Selling online

Consider a review of websites which allow you to create your own virtual shop, whilst being part of a creative selling community. Just with art fairs, shops and galleries, there is a huge variety catering for different markets.

9 Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding, also known as crowd financing or crowd-sourced fundraising, refers to the collective effort of individuals who pool their money via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organisations. Artists are making use of this exciting new way of raising funds to support your projects.

10 Brand

As artists, it’s hard to think ourselves as a brand, as it sounds so corporate, but a few days spent thinking about your work, your inspirations and what makes you unique can pay dividends.

11 Sourcing opportunities

It’s especially important that, as artists, we be bold and experiment with our practice. Keeping an eye on opportunities will provide you with exhibitions or events to aim for. Knowing where to go for this information can be half the battle, as often a whole morning can pass online without realising it. This article provides a list of some great starting points for Call to Entries both in the South East and Internationally.

12 HVA Website Gallery

In this economic climate, producing artwork is just half the battle. Having put your heart and soul into a beautiful piece of work, you need to creatively promote your art and find new ways of taking it to your audience. As a member of Herts Visual Arts, did you know that you are invited to list your work on our Gallery pages? This includes three images and space for an artist statement - a great way of establishing your online presence.

In 2015, the focus of this monthly article will be changing. I will be providing a monthly digest of articles online which will relate to working as a Creative. This could include support for working alone, tips for sourcing funding and everything in between.

Don’t forget that if you need to reference any online help, you can do so on the HVA website via the helpful Tips for Members pages.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and I’ll see you in 2015, ready to grasp new opportunities and face exciting creative challenges.