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Colorix
04-28-2008, 10:28 AM
I'm sure this question has been asked before, but when doing a search I got every post on WC with those two words... And on the business forum they talk about both, but I didn't find my question already talked about. (I'm sure it is, but I can't find it.)

I really want to ask you pastellists: which is better, easier, more attractive to potential customers -- a traditional site with painting galleries, or a blog where each new painting is presented with the process of making it? Or does one need both?

Charlie

chewie
04-28-2008, 12:11 PM
i think both would be great--if you can keep them up! i know for now, i cannot, so i went with a site. my site is mainly used as a virtual business card, i can send ppl to it without any hassle for either them or me. i would do a blog if i were more 'on top of things' but i can see that falling into a mess, and i think for me, its better to not have one at all than have a sloppy, un-updated mess.

Colorix
04-28-2008, 12:56 PM
Chewie, thanks. A virtual business-card -- that is how I'd use it too. You know: "Oh, so you paint?" "Yes, take my card, you can see my paintings at www etc".

On the other hand, it seems to me that the beauty of a blog is that people are curious about how and why. Some people say they get lots of sales from their blogs.

I'm scratching my head. Being from the 'stone-age', I don't have the instinct for these things.

Snowbound
04-28-2008, 01:18 PM
Charlie, I know artists who have just one or the other, I guess it depends on how you use it. It seems to me, though, that it is useful to have both. A blog can be either loose and informal, or it can be highly structured. It is possible even to set up a blog as a simple gallery, if one doesn't mind skipping some of the bells and whistles.

I started my blog soon after I started working in pastels, simply as a way of making myself share. It's the online equivalent of the grey box in the closet brought out for company. I found I enjoy doing it. In the beginning, I posted almost everything I did: as I say in my intro, it's a journey. As time went on, my posting became a bit more erratic, but there is something usually a couple times a month or more. To my surprise, I get great feedback from it, even though I am posting my experiments as well as some of my successes, and sharing my (very) random thoughts about the process. It's an exploration, not a gallery.

But I also feel strongly that I need a "professional presence" online, with my own domain name-- not to sell from, but an online portfolio I can direct people to, with some examples of my work, my artist's statement, and other information such as shows I've been in and awards if I ever get any. I've been trying to figure out how best to set one up for months. This sort of thing used to be simple for me, but things have gotten more complicated (and I've gotten simpler...).

I've looked at a lot of possibilities, and will probably go with GoDaddy, using one of their simpler templates, since I don't need or want a lot of content, and I do want my own domain name. They host my other business site, which I am going to pull because I don't use it, and simply substitute my new domain name and content.

I'll be interested in hearing what other folks have to say, too, though.

Dayle Ann

WC Lee
04-28-2008, 01:41 PM
I agree with Dayle Ann concerning the usefulness of having both. The blog is more for informal stuff such as experiments, personal thoughts and experiences, and fun sketchy stuff. Whereas the web site if for more formal things such as the artist statement, gallery of completed works, etc. and serves as a portfolio. I have both though my website is supposed to be redesigned and rebuilt but being lazy as I am, I haven't done it yet.

I think the main thing to do first is getting a professional presence online, then perhaps start a blog if you want to. Getting a domain name to reflect the name of your gallery is important too so past, present, and future customers can associate the name with your work (plus it will be easier to remember).

mrking
04-28-2008, 01:49 PM
I think both. I combine them in my site so i do not need two different addresses.

For me the blog aspect lets the viewers see what the artist is up to and not just finished works.

Colorix
04-28-2008, 07:09 PM
Thank you all for the great answers. To have an online portfolio seems to be sort of a baseline. If you have a site on the 'net, you exist. A blog seems more like the icing on the cake, or the spice added to a nourishing meal to make it more exciting and fun. I'd probably love to talk about my process in a blog, though... :-) The artists blogs I've read are fascinating, it is more like meeting a person, seein how they think. A site is where everything is finished and displayed, and gives a serious business impression.

I think I'll start with a site.

But what does a computer challenged person do, who can't program, and who doesn't want to pay the big money for someone to design a site?

I'll have a closer look at your sites and blogs tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

WC Lee
04-28-2008, 07:23 PM
Most web hosting companies offer web site templates or site builders that you can use to get you on your way. Though I would prefer a custom designed site, those options are good for quickly getting the site online. After the site is online, you can learn HTML and thus build your own site. HTML is easy to learn and you can probably learn the basics within a hour. And doesn't require any special application to produce HTML files (though it does make it easier), just need simple text editor, like NotePad, and save the files with a.htm or .html extension.

Please note, using only HTML will produce a static site, dynamic sites requires learning a scripting language (javascript, vbscript, php, asp, etc.)

Tressa
04-28-2008, 07:32 PM
Charlie, Different aspect here..I use my blog constantly, and I get a lot of visits, made sales from it, and overall people seem to find it more interesting. I have used it as my online portfolio for job interviews, networking, etc, but I think the real issue is not which one, but how you maintain it, how much you put into it, and how much feed you set up. I am also on several art sites, including Robert Genns Painters Key, which directs people to my blog. And being on the web for a while, I give people my business card, but I also tell them to "just google me" as you know peeps tend to lose, misplace,throw away, all those cards they end up with!! And when they clean out their purse/wallet, out you go!! But if theyare familiar with your name, they will find you!
good luck however you choose!!
Tres

Trilby
04-29-2008, 03:53 AM
I started with a site with the intention of later doing a blog, but keeping my site current takes enough time and I've realized that I would not keep a blog as fresh as I would like. I have an on the easel page and a scrapbook page on my site that I treat somewhat as a blog, I also have a guest book. I have enjoyed my host site which is Artspan.com. It was for me a simple way to get started with a professional looking site (not wanting to take time to learn yet more computer esoterica) and I get a lot of traffic through them as well as through direct addresses and searches. There are several such host sites, as well as a few free or very low charge places such as artwanted.com and sitekreator.com. just remember that search engines are more interested in text than in images so it's important to include text and to keep updating the text.
You'll like having a web presence, have fun and good luck.
TJ

Karen Margulis
04-29-2008, 03:40 PM
I have both a website and a blog and I think both are useful. I started my blog almost 3 years ago and have rarely missed a day. It keeps me on my toes and painting! It is now just a part of my daily routine. I have made sales through my blog and now rank high in the search engines. I feel like I need a website as well but it is harder to keep updated for me. I too use artspan and I am very happy with them. Good luck and keep us posted!
Karen

Colorix
04-29-2008, 06:10 PM
... you can learn HTML and thus build your own site. ...just need simple text editor, like NotePad, ... dynamic sites requires learning a scripting language (javascript, vbscript, php, asp, etc.)

Will reply to you guys tomorrow, but couldn't resist this.

Lee, 's like you saying to me: you can learn Greek, that's real simple, and then you just need to go on with Chinese.... and some Sanskrit, and Arabic too. :D

Ummm, would a text editor like MS Office Word 2007 suffice?

Pat Isaac
04-29-2008, 06:13 PM
What an interesting question. I have a site and thought that was the best in my situation. I think all your blogs are just great, but I'm not sure that I have the time for this. That is why I haven't started one. I guess it comes down to what you have time for. Maybe in my second retirement.:lol: I have had comments regarding my website, but no sales.

Pat

Paula Ford
04-29-2008, 08:43 PM
I have both and wouldn't give up either.

Paula

klord
04-29-2008, 10:22 PM
Thank you all for the great answers. To have an online portfolio seems to be sort of a baseline. If you have a site on the 'net, you exist. A blog seems more like the icing on the cake, or the spice added to a nourishing meal to make it more exciting and fun. I'd probably love to talk about my process in a blog, though... :-) The artists blogs I've read are fascinating, it is more like meeting a person, seein how they think. A site is where everything is finished and displayed, and gives a serious business impression.

I think I'll start with a site.

But what does a computer challenged person do, who can't program, and who doesn't want to pay the big money for someone to design a site?

I'll have a closer look at your sites and blogs tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

Charlie,

I use a company called www.fineartstudioonline.com (http://www.fineartstudioonline.com) you can check it out and try it, the first month is free. They also have different pay levels. I am totally computer illiterate, and if you can post to the WC you can put work up on FASO. There are several companies out there, but this one is put together for artists, and really easy to use. You can check out my website at www.kimfancherlordier.com (http://www.kimfancherlordier.com), and know that you can select different templates and colors.

Good luck!

Kim

BabyBeeb
04-29-2008, 11:01 PM
I have to pipe up here, because I have both. The website has given me many opportunities: galleries, solo shows, and interviews just from one click to my site. Formal is the key here, because you are showing off your final slick stuff. An artist's statement, the portfolio of course, and events, are all important information to include here. It needs to be current all the time though. Don't let your website get outdated. Too many times I've seen very successful artists sites that still have outdated information and am discouraged by this. I'd use the simple Fineartsstudioonline if I were you! :)

As for a blog, it's simple and is a great way to get your name out there. It allows the human side of you to come out by your comments and thoughts. Some blogs are more formal than others, some are simply a way to show how art is made or the thinking, journaling aspect to it all online. Be careful what you post cuz it may bite you back! Hope this helps,
Brenda

WC Lee
04-29-2008, 11:06 PM
Will reply to you guys tomorrow, but couldn't resist this.

Lee, 's like you saying to me: you can learn Greek, that's real simple, and then you just need to go on with Chinese.... and some Sanskrit, and Arabic too. :D

Ummm, would a text editor like MS Office Word 2007 suffice?

lol .. its not even close to the difficulty of learning a spoken language .. there are only about a dozen tags used in HTML and of course their attributes. Check this web site out, it was the one I looked at when I first started learning: http://www.jmarshall.com/easy/html/. After reading this web page, I could build a web page, granted it wasn't pretty, but it can be viewed in the browser :D Anyhow, I'm serious, basic HTML can be learned in a hour or two.

With regards to MS Word, it can save files as HTML, though the size of the files might be a little bloated. But normally, HTML files are done using a simple ASCII text editor that doesn't retain formatting attributes. There are a lot of free HTML editors available, some are good while others are questionable :D this free editor is pretty good, http://www.evrsoft.com/products.shtml

Scottyarthur
04-30-2008, 01:02 AM
I have enough problem just keeping my site going. Guess I have to many things going on all the time to try and keep a blog too.

dvantuyl
04-30-2008, 09:41 AM
Charlie, I admit I did not read through all of this carfully, and that will tell you about my attention span, very short. In my world painting is everything. I think about painting, I dream about painting, and when on a drive or walk I am virtually painting. However, having a website is very important to me, I keep internet time limitied. If I also tried to have a blog that would mean less time to paint.

My gallery will check every day to see what I am doing and for her I keep new paintings updated as they are completed. She has sold paintings this way. I got to go.......paint!

Colorix
04-30-2008, 04:09 PM
You all have interesting, exciting, fun-to read blogs, and beautiful web-sites! I've spent quite some time looking at them, and obviously a site is a portfolio, CV, etc, and a blog is more personal, but can be strict. Seems it is much a matter of personality and taste -- and time -- which one is preferred. Well, or both site *and* blog.

Those 'mother-sites' for artists wich offer good service and personal look are very interesting to me. Two of you use the same, but the look of your personal sites are different -- both very pro and elegant.

Blogs have the attraction, to me, of enabeling showing the process, and stream of consciousness commentary. I like to 'meet' the artist.

Personally, I feel that a site would suit me, especially if it is easy to change and handle, as that would establish a proffessional portfolio onthenet.

But I suspect I'd happily babble along on a blog... :-D They are charming! Seems like the second step, to me.

Lee,
those links were interesting -- I really like to be able to do things myself (and understand them). I've sort of figured out that the 'tags' of html work like paranthesises (sp?) in language, well, European style of interpunktion, anyway.

Like this: (I'm going to say a long sentence (and put in some paranthesises as I go (btw, WC Lee, WC are your *real* initials (I somehow thought it alluded to WetCanvas) do they stand for Wilbur Caleb (or something more exotic perhaps)) anyhow, it seems I have to mark the start (and finish (would mess things up awfully if there isn't a finish (at least I think so)))))) /long sentence).

(grinning)

If I counted right, and I guess there is the rub, I had to end with enough paranthesises to close all brackets, sort of. Can I do html now? (giggle)

WC Lee
04-30-2008, 10:31 PM
Actually even easier than your example :) Just read the web page from the previous post and give it a shot, it is a lot easier than you think.

Yep, WC is actually the initials of my first and middle names, and I didn't realized it could be misinterpreted as alluding to WetCanvas until after the account was created.

Bringer
05-01-2008, 12:45 AM
Hi,

I have my website to show my works and a blog where I write articles about art.
Both are useful.
I believe that the blog will generate more traffic in the future.

Kind regards,

Josť

Colorix
05-01-2008, 10:03 AM
Josť, you may be right, unless blogging is a shortlived 'fad'. But, they said that about the whole internet, and just look at how huge the "infosphere" has gotten!

Lee, I'll read those links carefully, they are great, and I thank you for them!

MChesleyJohnson
05-01-2008, 12:01 PM
I have both a blog and a website. As someone else mentioned here, the website is useful for things with a "polished" appearance - final paintings, bios, etc. - which you'd want collectors and gallery owners to view. The blog is, for me, primarily a teaching and outreach tool. I post mini-essays about the painting process, WIPs, etc. Also, interestingly enough, I've been getting quite a few sales through my blog.

Deborah Secor
05-01-2008, 05:02 PM
Let me pipe up here and add my bit, too. I like to find a website for an artist. It allows me to see just what they do at a glance without having to dig too much. I can see thumbnail images to get a sense of what the artist does, what media she uses, see close-ups of some paintings, and read over the resume or llook at the contact info, etc. It gives me a polished overview of the artist.

Once I've seen the web pages, it's nice to find and read a blog. That helps me get to know more about he process, the media, the direction of the artist. Too often when I find a blog the artist doesn't give me enough information about herself and her art. It's like interrupting a conversation--I want to say, "But who are you? What medium is this? Have you painted long?" That's what the web page does best.

I don't know if I'm typical, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that a lot of the viewing public wants this kind of information.

Others may have said it, but I want to encourage you to try your own web page. Mine is hosted by www.homestead.com and it is sooooo easy to use. I can choose a design and then customize it any way I want to, the uploads are easy, adding and removing things from the page is friendly (no .html required--I had to figure out more of that 'Greek' on my blog!) It's not a cheap host, but it's worth it to me to have the creative control. I can change the background colors, fonts, move things on the page, and do a lot more sophisticated things, too. All of it was about as easy as figuring out how to do it here on WC. I'm sure there are lots of hosts that offer you the same kind of plug and play options but I guess the thing Homestead offered me was the ability to start with one and then truly redesign it--so I'm not stuck with someone else's design. I sound like an advertisement...but..well, I really like it! :)

Hope that adds some thoughts for ya!

Deborah

Colorix
05-01-2008, 07:40 PM
Michael, Deborah, thanx! Yes, it does help (and threads help many people). Deborah, I hope that host gives you a percentage, you're an excellent marketer for them. Deborah, I find I think a lot like you do in this matter, so I guess a blog will be born, after the 'first child' of a site/page.

dvantuyl
05-21-2008, 03:37 PM
Hi Charlie, I read through all this and decided to try a blog. I think you all helped me to understand the value a little better. And yes, so far it has taken time, but I just did an underpainting and just waiting for it to dry and spending time updating, it all works! Donna

JKiv
05-22-2008, 03:43 PM
Hi Charlie, nowadays I`ve got both, the blog (or diary, as I named my blog) is in the site, so I only have to give one address. On my blog/diary I post new paintings and tell about them, the rest of the site is for all my paintings in their own categories and of course contact info, prices, etc. Its in finnish, I`ve thought about swedish or english, haven`t done anything about it yet though...

So I think both, if you`ve got time to update them. I think its always really interesting to read about how artists got the themes for their paintings or are they satisfied with the piece, what are they going to do next and so on. So...I hope you end up creating a site AND blog :D
-JaneK