Artition.com is a new social network for artists that offers pretty much everything you’d expect from a community-focused website—groups, profile pages, messaging, etc—in addition to an online “store” where artists can sell their art.
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In December of 2008 they won some recognition in the 2nd Annual Open Web Awards hosted by Mashable.com, which is a pretty big honor and I think shows that they definitely deserve a look.
Let’s see how Artition.com compares to the other art networks reviewed by EmptyEasel in the past:
Pricing and features
Like any good social network, joining Artition.com is completely free. Using their storefront to sell your art will only cost you a 10% commission fee, too, which is just about as low as any I’ve seen (ArtBreak and Zibbet are slightly lower at 7.5%).
Artition also allows its members to upload more than just images of traditional visual art. Videos, literature, and even music is fair game. As far as I know, Artition is the only social networking site doing this.
In your personal profile section you can write blog posts, view your artwork, browse your network of friends, and do a few other things. I’ll admit, at first I had some trouble uploading new artwork, but after about 5 minutes I figured it out.
Here’s what gave me some trouble: before you can upload art, you have to create a new gallery. . . the confusing part was that there’s no “new gallery” link immediately visible when you click on “My Artwork.” Then, after clicking on the “Galleries” link, the “new gallery” link doesn’t appear where you’d expect it to.
I should also mention that the entire “My Artworks” section has a big “Explore” at the top of it, but “Explore” is the title of another dropdown menu. . . which is also unnecessarily confusing.
Basically, the navigation menu itself could use a little work. Once you get to where you’re headed, though, everything seems solid.
Design and layout
At first glace you’ll notice that Artition has a clean, professional design – I’d say that it’s probably better-looking than any other social network for artists I’ve seen. Sure, there’s a lot of pink going on, but for Artition it works.
The home page also has a nifty feature (I think it’s called a carousel) where you can scroll through several images from throughout Artition.com. Off to the right of every page there’s also a “tag cloud” for easy access to some of the more popular works of art posted on the site.
As you explore artwork, Artition does a good job of leaving lots of white space, using big thumbnails, and presenting the artwork descriptions in an easy-to-read fashion.
I would have liked to see thumbnail galleries instead of lists of artwork, however, because using the list format limited Artition to only 5 images per page. Most art websites have some sort of gallery which shows 15-20 works at once.
Finding and buying art
Visitors to Artition can explore the artwork by “Popular,” “Recent,” “Most Viewed,” “Top Rated,” “Featured” and “Most Discussed.”
There’s also a basic search function in the main navigational area (which I think should probably just be a search bar by itself) but a search bar actually does appear when you visit any of the main sections of Artition.com.
Interestingly, visitors have two options for buying artwork—one option is through the “Explore” link in the navigation bar, and the other option is through the “Store” link.
If they start out by clicking “Explore” they’ll see all artwork, including those not for sale. By visiting the Artition store, they’ll only see artwork that IS for sale.
There seems to be a lot of artwork on Artition, but not a whole lot of activity. The “Groups” page for example was very empty, with only 25 members taking part.
I also noticed that the pages on Artition.com seemed to load rather slowly as I browsed around. I assume this is probably because the company (and servers) are located in Germany, and I’m in the US.
For European artists, Artition.com may run a lot faster.
I think I’d recommend Artition just for its good design and the low commission rate, but keep in mind that the community seems is a bit small at this point. It’s also very new, so I doubt it gets many visitors compared to other more established social networks.
If you’d like to join (or you just want to browse through some art) please head over to Artition.com and take a look around for yourself.