The Best of The Practical Art World

I’m very happy to share that this November, The Practical Art World surpassed 200,000 visits! Over the past year and a half, we have enjoyed your generous feedback, emails, comments, and questions. We love hearing that the articles posted here on the site have helped you as professional artists, so THANK YOU!

In honour of the first 200,000 visitors to The Practical Art World, we’ve compiled a list: Continue reading

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10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career- Week 7

Week 7: Seek out and learn from critical feedback

“The crit.” Are there any more cringe-worthy words for an art student or artist? Though their aim is to help, critiques of artwork have gained a terrible reputation.

Art can be deeply personal, which is why having it critiqued can be very difficult. Many artists just want to hear that their work is good, that what they are doing is validated. But when you think about it, what helps you to grow, improve, and push yourself more: simple praise or thoughtful criticism? Continue reading

10 Ways to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 3

Week 3: create a structured project

One of the best ways to get yourself thinking and working creatively is to do it regularly and frequently, and soon it becomes second-nature.

It can often be difficult to set aside time for creative endeavours, or to become motivated to work on things. A fantastic and simple way to overcome these deterrents is to create structured, time-based creative project for yourself.

In setting up a structured project, you have many different options. The key is to create a project where you’ve already set up specific parameters for what you are going to work on, and also one that it requires you to work regularly. Some examples of a time-based, structured creative project are: Continue reading

10 Ways to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 2

Visitors experience Olafur Eliasson’s “The Weather Project” at the Tate Modern

WEEK 2: View art in person

These days, much art viewing occurs online. This makes sense in one way– the internet offers potentially global reach to virtually every artist. You can Google “Gerhard Richter” and see almost his entire catalogue instantly.

Despite this wide accessibility and the fact that the internet is an incredible tool for artists, Continue reading

WordPress vs. Blogger vs. Tumblr Part 2: Examples of Artist Blogs and Websites

In March, I published a post entitled WordPress vs. Blogger vs. Tumblr, Free Artist Websites where I wrote a brief overview of the pros / cons and features / benefits of these three different hosting sites. I included a link to an example website or blog for each one. Since the post and the example links have been getting a large number of clicks, I thought it would be useful to post more examples of artist websites created on WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr.

WORDPRESS

JAMES FOWLER | @jamesfowlerart

The artist James Fowler uses the WordPress theme Twenty Ten. The site has been nicely configured to appear as a static landing page, more as a website portfolio than a blog. There are clear links featured at the top of the website which link to images, cv, contact info, and other pages.

MY PHOTOMATON | @hugobaeta

Hugo Baeta’s Photomaton blog actually uses the same theme as The Practical Art World, Twenty Eleven. For his site it has been customized Continue reading

How to Email your Artwork

The days of lugging a large portfolio full of prints around are waning. Through some meetings might still require a physical portfolio, much art world business including image presentation is initiated over email. The reasons are obvious: it’s non-cumbersome, convenient, and free. Artists email their artwork to introduce work to a prospective gallery, to send a price list and / or available works to a client, or even to show their work to a curator or writer. Though not many galleries would take on an artist without a studio visit, people do often purchase work through images online. In any of these instances and others, email is used to begin a dialogue. Therefore, it is important to send a clear, professional, and properly-sized email of your artwork.

Image format and image sizing

Whether you are emailing your artwork to a gallery or to a client, you should always keep the size of your images to a minimum. This is because emails with large-sized files attached can be blocked by servers, plus you don’t want your recipient to grow impatient waiting for images to load. In rare cases, if you send a high-resolution or print quality file of your artwork, someone could print it out themselves and essentially steal your art! Luckily, you can send small-sized files with little or no image quality loss by emailing images of your artwork in JPEG format. JPEGs are the art world’s standard for emailing images and can easily be compressed into small, manageable sizes.   Continue reading

WordPress vs. Blogger vs. Tumblr: Free Artist Websites

Free blog hosts are a great resource for artists who want to create their own portfolio or website online. Below I have provided a short summary of three of the most popular free blogging hosts: Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr.

Blogger / Blogspot

Blogger by Google hosts free blogs using the format www.(yourname).blogspot.com. Blogger is useful for setting up a working journal or studio blog about your practice, updated as you add new images or news to it. It is more suited to a journal or conventional blog format where you can post news, pictures of work, the progression of works in progress—rather than a formal portfolio.

The disadvantage of Blogger and the reason it is not good for a “formal” portfolio or artist’s website is that by default, you cannot have a static landing page. It is technically possible to alter the code to change your Blogger blog to a static page, but you need to edit the template in HTML. If you are up for the challenge, Blog Help gives a good explanation here.

Blogger allows you to “monetize” your blog, should you choose to put advertisements on it.

Here is an example of an artist’s blog on Blogger, works by Claudio Rodriguez Valdes, using a non-static landing page.

WordPress

WordPress hosts free blogs using the format http://(yourname).wordpress.com. Like Blogger, the templates to choose from are non-static, although the process involved in creating a static landing page is much simpler, Continue reading

Should you Include Prices on your Art Website?

There is thought to be a stigma around including prices on an artist’s website. But whether or not you should include prices on your website depends on what exactly you use your website for. There are of course no clear-cut rules; below are my suggestions for deciding what works best for your artistic career goals.

If you are a self-marketing artist, there are advantages to including prices on your website. If you are interested in selling your work directly to clients, art consultants, designers, etc, then clearly listing the availability and prices of your work makes it easier for potential buyers to decide whether they would be interested in investing in your work. This simply saves them emailing you to ask. I have heard of many self-marketing artists hesitating to list their prices, but if you are truly interested in selling your own work through your website, consider that many high-end commercial galleries clearly list prices on their labels. It does not diminish the artistic value of your work.

If you are setting up your website as an online portfolio with the intention of acquiring gallery representation, I would suggest that you not include prices on your website. A professional gallery will not necessarily care what you charge for your artwork, because Continue reading