Setting Up a Portfolio Website: What Artists Need to Know

I remember the first time I set up a portfolio website.

 

I’m not gonna lie… I had NO idea what I was doing!

 

But fast forward about 4 years and 6 websites later, I can definitely say I’ve figured out a thing or two about creating a great online portfolio.

 

And get this — I have almost no formal HTML of CSS experience!

 

My secret?

 

Countless hours of tinkering with website themes, plenty of research, and LOTS of trial and error.

 

To make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I did when I was first getting started, I created this video to give you the rundown on website building for artists. And the good news is, you really don’t need any coding or web design experience to get your site up and running!

How to Create Effective Social Media Ads to Promote Your Art

If you run a Facebook Page or Business Instagram account, you’ve probably been bombarded with suggestions on how to turn your content into an ad. Obviously, social media sites heavily depend on user ad-spend to generate revenue, so the more people that buy in, the more money they make.

 

Personally, I have nothing against ads. Sure, poorly-targeted, spammy ads can be annoying. But if you’re willing to invest the time and money into developing a strategic ad campaign, by all means, go for it!

 

However, the key is being strategic.

 

I don’t have any plans to run an ad campaign anytime soon, but I know more than enough about social media advertising to identify a bad ad when I see one. And unfortunately, I’ve been seeing lots of bad ads come from artists, arts organizations, and creative businesses.

 

What is SEO and how Can Artist Benefit From It?

I’ll admit, I didn’t know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) until recently.

 

Even though I had a portfolio website for years — and spent a lot of time tinkering with and improving it — I had no idea how to use tools and strategies to make my site easier to discover in Google Search. I just assumed that I had no control over the order of the way links were listed in Search.

 

I mean, it eventually ranked #1, so I wasn’t complaining.

 

But then, when I officially said goodbye to any sort of career in photography, I actively began to research marketing concepts and strategies.

 

And lo and behold… I discovered SEO.

Zakk Vega: Opening a Music Studio + Building Community in Unlikely Places

I truly believe that having a good conversation is one of the best ways to learn — especially in the arts.

 

That’s exactly why I sat down with Zakk Vega, owner of Studio 270, a music studio in Yuma, Arizona.

 

When I found out that my friend Zakk was returning home to open a music studio after a couple of years touring, I was definitely taken by surprise.
Although Yuma isn’t a place short of talented artists and musicians, there has always been a lack of opportunities available to help develop and refine their creative skills. And when places did open up, they didn’t last for long…

 

Well, after a year since opening it’s doors, Studio 270 is still going strong. They offer affordable lessons, practice space, and a recording studio to a growing community of musicians in the far southwest. Not only are they providing a service that is greatly needed in Yuma, but they do it with contagious passion and dedication.

 

So if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to open up your own creative business (or what it takes for follow your creative dreams), whether it’s music-based or not, you’ll definitely find value in what Zakk has to say!

 

THANK YOU + A Running List of Art Orgs You Can Support

So much more has happened in the last three months than I could have ever expected. From winning the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art’s Good ‘N Plenty Award, to hearing feedback from artists and fans, aftrART is much further along than I envisioned when I first had the idea to start this project.

 

I just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU to everyone that has supported this project, especially SMoCA and everyone that attended the Good ‘N Plenty Event back in October.

 

Not only did I want to say thanks, but I also wanted to share some thoughts on the importance of supporting arts organizations, museums, and centers. If you’re lucky enough to have some of these resources in your community, I really encourage you to take the time and go. These places exist to foster culture and enrich communities with art, and as artists and creatives, we owe it to them to participate!

3 Reasons Why You Should Plan Your Creative Projects

Truth be told, I plan obsessively.

 

In college, I started planning my honors thesis two years before I was required to begin. Right now, I have a list of 75 blogs and videos I plan to produce for aftrART. And I’ve had my 2017 budget planned out since October.
 
Planning is a big part of my life. It gives me peace of mind knowing that I have something to reference when things get a little crazy.
 

Don’t get me wrong…

 
There’s plenty of value giving yourself some time to explore your creativity without restriction. But as soon as you set a goal for yourself, your next logical step should be to come up with a plan of attack.

Your art can't speak for itself

What is an Artist Statement?

Quite simply, an artist statement is a piece of writing that accompanies a series, project, or body of work. Typically written by the artist, it is one of the best ways to help your audience relate to your art.

 

The wonderful thing about art is that it can be abstract, figurative, or open for interpretation. But because of that, sometimes your art can leave a large part of your potential audience in the dark.

 

That’s where your artist statement comes in; giving people just enough context can help them better connect with the work you’ve made — and that’s what we’re all aiming for, right?
 

A great artist statement provides clarity to the reader and gives them a reason to care about your work — so this is one part of the creative process you don’t want to neglect!

The Art of Communication [For Artists]

As a former lab aide, studio assistant, and camera rentals associate, I’ve spent plenty of time talking to artists with all sorts of backgrounds.

 

But regardless of where they’re at in their career or what kind of art education they’ve received, many artists have been mislead to believe that visual art requires no explanation or context. That, in fact, their art can speak for itself.
 
Seriously, when I hear someone say something like, “I’d rather let my audience find their own meaning in this piece,” it’s like nails on a chalkboard.
It. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Discover the two things art schools are getting wrong

2 Things Art Schools are Getting Wrong

Even though I discovered my passion for photography early on, I didn’t start college pursuing a studio art degree. I liked the idea of going to school for art, but there were a few things holding me back.

 

First of all, I lacked the self-confidence in my work to think that I could be accepted into a competitive program. Secondly, I had reservations about pursuing photography because I couldn’t envision what a career would look like after I graduated.

 

So, thanks to my own insecurities and uncertainties about my future, I started at Arizona State University as a Digital Culture major.