ArtBreak.com is a new social networking website and online art gallery for artists—with a refreshingly simple design and layout.
The first thing you’ll notice at ArtBreak is a large (and constantly changing) image at the top of the page, right below the main navigational links. Below that are 12 “hot right now” images which are based on whatever artwork has been recently viewed, favorited, or complimented by ArtBreak members.
Additional thumbnail images of recently uploaded artwork and new artists round out the rest of the home page.
Many artists would probably say the design is too simple, but its simplicity makes it easy to navigate and keeps the focus entirely on the art. I’ll admit that I, too, would prefer a more stylish layout, but what ArtBreak lacks in style it makes up for in no-frills functionality. (It sort of reminds me of Craigslist, actually.)
Signing up for an ArtBreak account is completely free. Just fill out your username, password, and email address and you’ll be all set. Everyone is welcome to sign up, whether you intend to sell your art or just display it online.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get your own personal page to keep track of your uploaded art, your favorite artwork, other artists, and a few other things.
Uploading art seems a bit tedious at this point—you have to upload each artwork separately—but you are allowed to upload multiple images of each artwork, which is a fair trade-off I suppose.
If you want to sell your art you’ll need to upgrade to a seller’s account (still free) by filling out your address and choosing how you’ll accept payment—current options are PayPal, check, or money order. Once you’ve made a sale, ArtBreak will send you a PayPal invoice for 7.5% of the sale price, which is actually the lowest commission rate I’ve seen online so far.
For art buyers and other visitors, ArtBreak is pretty easy to browse and find what you want. You can narrow down your results by category (paintings, photography, sculptures) and then click through different filters like “hot right now” “most viewed” or “most recent” for even more control.
You also have the extra option of filtering out all of the not-for-sale artwork (handy for determined buyers) or if you prefer, you can browse through the artists directly as well.
One other nifty feature I found on ArtBreak was the Randomizer link—when clicked, it returns a completely random work of art. (Not a bad way to pass the time.)
There’s also a small but growing forum on ArtBreak.com for socializing with other ArtBreak artists.
Overall, I like ArtBreak’s simplicity and the fact that the commission rate is so low. If you’re planning on using a blog or other website to drive traffic to your artwork, ArtBreak seems like a good low-cost choice to finalize the sale.
(This is assuming you don’t feel comfortable sending buyers directly to PayPal yourself—that would cost even less.)
You will have to share the site with a lot of other artists, and like any social art network or shared gallery online you run the risk of potential buyers getting distracted and buying someone else’s work instead of yours.
In addition, some of the artwork on ArtBreak tends to be a little edgier (more mature) and you’ll want to consider that aspect as well.
So if you’d like to join—or just need a quick art break—then head on over to ArtBreak.com and check out the site for yourself. : )
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