Online Galleries And Hosting Your Art
So you have sketches and maybe finished art that would be display worthy, and may need a semi permanent online hitching post to show them off. Question is, where? And, maybe, how?
Short answer: All of them.
Answer: All the image friendly ones.
Long answer: All the image friendly ones, that have a category system + your own gumption to tag your work and make it discovered easily.
So our real question is, how do I prepare my work for online viewing, and what does each online gallery require? Well, two real questions, plus a tip on etiquette.
Preparing work, step by step:
- Do art, finish your work. I’ll perhaps, one day, post a huge concise guide to digital painting, but right now I’m assuming you’ll have scanned/digitally painted work ready to rock.
- Shrink down the dimensions to a size range between a large postcard to under an A4 page. If you are selling that art in a physical or digital form, maybe at a convention or an online store, add your watermark to it in case you’re worried about image theft.
- Save as a JPG, so people don’t have to wait long to download your image, et voila.
Hosting artwork, on some suggested sites (aside from your own – you still need social media):
- Instagram (only the phone app uploads images)
- A public Facebook page
- CG Society
Blogger/Blogspot has since improved in hosting images, whereas using WordPress might require searching for image plugins that will display images in a pleasing way.
- A domain or username someone can easily spell! I often find it difficult to promote other artists when I forget their online handles, mainly due to almost sentence-like usernames. Please keep it short and sweet.
- Know the category of your work. Sites like Deviantart will prompt for a category your work fits into, so understand the context of your work and the meaning of the categories. Example: don’t claim your drawing of a famous character is ‘Original Art’ (your original property), when it’s actually ‘Fan Art’ (drawing another company’s IP made by you, the fan).
- Learn how to use #tags on places such as Tumblr and Instagram. Tagging gives organisation and also more precise search terms when you want people looking for artwork. Tagging your work with #art for example, will return a very broad search result. However, if you add more descriptors concerning the content of the image, like #girl #red #happy #travel etc. viewers will zero in on your work quicker.
- Type clearly, even if you’re posting from your smartphone. I’ve seen folks approach employers and forum threads with the most awful typing: ‘hello i am dale.. .. .. i am looking 4 studio work .. .. please check out my art at www .domainnamehere..com …. thank you….’ I believe they’re still looking.
- Be professional and handle critique with a stiff upper lip.
- SHARE, SHARE, SHARE.