Today I’m writing about foliotwist, my own company, so feel free to skip this post if you’re not interested. And if you do read it, be warned. . . I’m probably as biased about foliotwist as I am enthusiastic. :)
OK, so let’s start with a little background info. For those of you who don’t know, last month I launched a new website service for artists called foliotwist.
For a long time I’d wanted to create a way for artists to display, promote, and sell their art from their own website. Each website would be professionally-designed to include a blog, a portfolio, a mailing list, integrated paypal. . . in other words, everything you’d need to sell art online.
Of course, it also had to be easy enough to use so that artists wouldn’t have to edit their websites with FTP, write HTML code, or already be a computer programmer. Simplicity was a must.
Luckily, Zac, my business partner and the co-founder of foliotwist, is an excellent web designer, and we also have a few very good programmers working behind the scenes, so we got all of those things into the first version of foliotwist without too much trouble. (You can see the original launch announcement here.)
But are we finished? No way.
Zac and I both agreed, from very early on, that we don’t want to think of foliotwist as some sort of final product—instead, we believe that our role is to continue updating and improving foliotwist based on the needs of the foliotwist community.
And actually, that’s what I find so exciting—with foliotwist I feel like there’s a real solution for artists who want to manage and promote their art on their own website. . . and it’s not just because of what we’ve created so far, but because of how foliotwist will evolve over the coming months and years based on our artists’ feedback.
For example, since launching last month, one of the most requested items from our artists was the ability to upload multiple images for each artwork. It took us a few weeks, but yesterday we finally added that feature to all of our foliotwist websites.
Below you’ll see a shot of the new, simple image controls in each of our artist’s admin panels (the painting is Cézanne’s Still Life with Basket of Apples, by the way):
For jewelry makers, sculptors, and other 3D artists, you can now upload images of your work from up to five different angles to give a better overall picture of your art. If you’re a painter, you can add close-up shots of the texture in your paintings, or upload a photo of how your painting looks when framed and hung on the wall.
Now that I see how obvious this is, I keep thinking, “Shouldn’t we have had this feature right from the start?”
Well, yes, probably. :)
But we didn’t think of it, and that’s why we’re glad that our artists are letting us know what they want. . . in fact, based on their feedback we already know what our first big upgrade will be. (Hint: it’s all about website customization.)
Anyway, to end this post I just want to thank all of our early adopters for giving foliotwist a shot and getting involved. Without you we couldn’t do it—and we wouldn’t have a reason to.
I should also mention that there’s a list of all our member artists at foliotwist.com, so if you’re interested in seeing who our artists are, go check them out there.
For anyone who wants to chat about foliotwist, please don’t hesitate to send me an email or use the contact form. I’m always happy to discuss the pros and cons of our service or take your suggestions on how to make foliotwist better.