Now that we’re well into the internet age, you’re probably aware of the many marketing and sales opportunities the internet provides for artists.
However, uploading your work to a website and creating an online portfolio also gives you a powerful way to understand and strengthen yourself as an artist.
For example, here are a few of the benefits that I’ve personally experienced from my own online portfolio at Foliotwist:
1. Easily keep track of your pieces
The most basic benefit to maintaining a collection of artwork online is that it allows you to catalog and track your pieces, as well as organize them according to subject or medium.
If you sell your work at art shows or fairs, it’s easy enough to log into your art website and mark your pieces as sold, eliminating the need for paper records. And if you use a print-on-demand service, you can also keep track of works that might still bring you future sales, even after the originals have sold.
2. Have digital images ready to send at all times
If you plan to submit your artwork to juried shows or professional organizations, having pre-made digital files of your artwork ready to go makes the application process much easier!
Instead of deciding which pieces to photograph, you can scroll through your online work samples and pick out your best pieces, knowing they are already formatted and ready to view online.
3. Gain better understanding of your artistic strengths
If you post your artwork to a website, you likely spend some of your time preparing images of your art before uploading them. Such preparation may require cropping, sharpening, or adjusting your photos so that they represent your pieces as accurately as possible.
Working regularly with photos of your work permits you to see the images flattened in a small format, allowing you to assess the composition and details of your work in a way that might be difficult if viewing it on the easel.
For example, browsing through your thumbnails might illuminate your brilliant use of color, or your tendency toward split compositions. You can use this knowledge to be mindful of your artistic strengths and weaknesses as you create future pieces.
4. See how your artistic style has evolved
Laboring day after day in the studio doesn’t give you much opportunity to step back and see the overall evolution of your art. But scrolling through an online portfolio will help you assess your work, and note the long term development of your style and skills. This can be especially easy to do if you post your work to a blog or print service, where work is stored in chronological order.
It’s also essential to be able to describe your artistic style to people who ask about your art. Having a frequently updated portfolio provides you with a way to analyze your work for consistent themes and techniques, making it easier to readily describe your work to others. Your online portfolio can also be used as a visual road map, allowing you to see what styles and themes you’d like to explore further as you build your art career.
If you’ve been posting work regularly with JUST exposure in mind, I’d highly recommend going back through it and see what you learn about yourself as an artist. I have no doubt you’ll gain some insight not only into your own growth as an artist, but perhaps even into how others see you as well!
And if you don’t have an online portfolio. . . maybe it’s time to start! Check out the rest of EmptyEasel’s articles in the “selling art online” category for some good examples of easy-to-use art website services.