How to Create an Artist Website

Learn the nuts and bolts of how to build and organize an effective artist website. Creating a clean, easy to navigate artist website is surprisingly difficult with a whole host of challenges. Get practical advice for simple actions you can take to clean up and reorganize your artist website so it can better serve your needs as an artist. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu.

Video Walkthrough

  • Your artist website is a curated archive of your artwork.
  • What is the relationship between an artist’s website and social media?
  • Buying a domain name is very important, you need it long term.
  • Domain names have to be short.
  • Visibly demonstrate that your artist website is up to date; changing the home page image is fast and easy.
  • A website does not need to be updated very often, every few months is fine.
  • Your website should be focused on your finished works, works in progress are more effective on social media.
  • Less is more on your artist website, most websites are cluttered with unnecessary information.
  • Cut back on as much text as you possibly can.
  • You can purchase an artist Instagram or website critique from Art Prof.
  • Don’t try to get creative with fonts on your website, they’re distracting!
  • Put your resume on a separate page so it doesn’t clutter your bio page.
  • Avoid padding your resume.
  • All links should be embedded in the text, don’t put the URL on your site.
  • Set up external links to open a new tab on a web browser, that way people still have a tab with your website open if they navigate away.
  • Should you provide your email, or have a contact form instead?
  • Use icons for your social media links.
  • Format your email like this: person[at]email.com to prevent spam.
  • Link your email address to open a new email window.
  • Show your face on your about page, it doesn’t have to be a headshot, you can have a photo of you working.
  • Avoid using a self-portrait for your bio page, people want to see the person!
  • Consider the style of how you write your narrative bio, do you want to be very friendly and casual, or professional and cool?
  • Hyperbole in your narrative bio is a bad idea.
  • Invest tons of effort in photographing your artwork.
  • “Artists live and die by their photographs.”
  • Should I add a watermark on my image to protect my artwork?
  • Remove any social media accounts that you aren’t updating regularly.
  • Videos on your website aren’t always helpful, in fact, if they are poorly produced they can be a huge distraction.
  • Figure out how to organize your galleries: will you organize by art media, or by body of work?
  • Make sure the words on your menu bar are clear.
  • Words like “installation” are vague, as are works like “work.”
  • Compress all your image files before you upload them to your website to save storage space. ‘
  • On a gallery page, don’t stack your images, people hate scrolling!
  • Use a grid of thumbnails so people can see all the images without scrolling down the page.
  • Writing an artist statement.
  • Have someone proofread your website to catch typos and errors.

Artists Mentioned