Creating a website is always a work of art. Even the most understated, professional-looking site is the result of careful planning, thoughtful design and hours of hard work. Websites are the architecture of the internet, serving as stores, gathering places, offices, meeting rooms, and for some people, well-loved websites can feel just like home. This is especially true for people whose artistic talent and creative ability makes up a large part of their identity. Websites for artists can be stand-ins for studios, art galleries, listening booths, sound stages, writing desks… anything they need to practice, perfect and share their art with all comers.
Websites for artists can be extremely challenging to build. With many projects, the web designer is in full control of the visual elements of the website, but when the website is built to showcase art, a designer can find themselves with many diverse elements to include—and they all have to look good! There’s also the added puzzle of how to create a site that embodies the artist’s style, is eye-catching and attractive, and doesn’t overshadow the art that it’s meant to put in center stage! In the art world, finding the right frame can make a picture perfect, and playing in a perfect concert hall can turn a night at the symphony into an unforgettable musical experience. The same idea is true in websites for artists. The website must show off the work in a way that will make it unforgettable.
Another challenge web designers face when building websites for artists is the deeply personal nature of art. Artists don’t create art just for the purpose of selling it. Even when they are promoting their work to the public, it remains something that they created with their hearts, hands, minds and souls. They’re not going to be happy with a cookie-cutter website that looks like it could belong to anyone. Artists will want a website that is uniquely “their own” so that viewers will not only buy what they’re selling, but be interested enough to come back for more. The relationship between artist and customer can be a complex one, and a website has to be ready to handle any and all aspects of that relationship.
Anyone who makes websites for artists knows that artists love to be in control of the images, words and ideas associated with them. This is true of actors, painters, writers, and anyone else who shares their creative vision with the public. Artists have many good reasons for this, so it is important when designing their sites that you not only include them in the creative process, but give them the power to update and manage their site and its contents. On-site blogs are an excellent addition, letting artists captivate their audiences with a sparkling dose of personality and creative process. As with any collaborative art, communication is the key to making a truly great art-based website.
It can be easy to get swept up in the (admittedly fun) artistic aspect of web design, especially when making websites for artists. Few online projects allow so much opportunity to let your own creative side out to play, and the temptation to pull out all the stops to make a visually stunning website can be strong. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone designs websites, nor even understands very well how they work. Like all sites, websites for artists need to be practical, functional and intuitive. Audiences want to be wowed by what they see, but when it comes time to put down money, they want that to be an easy and secure process. So by all means, do your best to wow everyone with a dazzling website design, but don’t forget to make the site accessible and user-friendly! Artists and customers will both be grateful.
Making websites for artists can be one of the most rewarding pursuits in the world of online business. Making shops, galleries and even homes for all the bright minds of the internet world is a chance for artists and web designers alike to shine. Somewhere in the middle of the connection between designer, artist and consumer, you will find the true magic of sharing, creating and enjoying the art world online.