Art, Artists, and the Web:Part: 2--First Steps in Building an Artist?s Website

What you should do and know if you are an artist and you have decided to have a website.

1) Look at "Web Sites That Suck."

If you are an artist and have never had a website, the concept of a website can seem unnerving. The first thing to do is look at a web site called "Websites that Suck", www. websitesthatsuck.com by Vincent Flanders. This is a website that is so funny, and so enlightening and it is very hard to stop looking at it. You will also learn a great deal as an artist about the Web and feel much more at ease after that experience.

2) Get a domain name.

A domain name is "www. name.com" of your web site. Artists need to have their own name as part of their domain name, "www. yourname.com" or "www. yourname artist.com". It is not a good idea to have the gallery that may represents you as part of your domain name. Web visitors are looking for the artist, the artists art work, not the gallery. But, by having the website in your name, you also help the gallery, because you can promote the gallery on your website.

3) Find a person to design the website.

People like to design for artists; this is one of the "perks" of being an artist. There are a lot of great people involved with the Web who do not have huge overheads who can design a very good website for you. The cost can be for as little as $500 or less.

4) Find a Hosting Company.

There are many places that will host your website for $100 or less a year. Your web designer should be able to help you with this.

5) Web browsers come in different sizes.

Web browsers come in all different shapes and sizes, from very small to very large. It will be impossible to make your wesite look perfect for every size web browser. This means that you as an artist will need to make some compromises. This is a good thing to know while you are thinking about your website design.

There are websites that let you look and see how your website looks in different sizes and on different web browsers for free. After your web design is completed, lookup "web browser size test tool" on a search engine to find one.

6) Copyright information.

It is impossible to completely protect your images on the Web. People simple do not pay attention to copyright information. Your best protection is to keep the images small, so if a visitor enlarges the image, it will look blurry. Also put "your name © the year" under the image of your art work. All the fancy things that are suggested for protection do not work. You can put copyright information all over your art work, I've seen it done, but it defeats the purpose of your website and web visitors will not return.

© Mary Baker 2005

Mary Baker is a contemporary realist painter, whose studio is in Newburyport, Massachusetts. This New England city, north of Boston, has been the inspiration for the artist's realistic oil paintings. Mary Baker is a professional artist and has shown in New York art galleries.

You can visit Mary at her website, Mary Baker Art, at http://www.marybakerart.com, see her beautiful paintings and read her articles on a variety of subjects including, Art, Artists and Money, Tips on Breaking the Creative Block , Art,Women and Creativity and the four part series on Art, Artists and the Web.

A list of articles can be found on her Site Map and Mary's paintings can be seen on every page of Mary Baker Art.

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