Working from home during isolation is challenging. Explore how you can display artwork online, build your community through social media and connect with new audiences.
Sharing your work on social media is a quick and easy way to start your online presence as an artist. The most popular platforms are Instagram, Facebook and Twitter but there are more niche options too. Artists, photographers and designers also use Pinterest, Deviant art, Dribbble, Behance, Flickr and 500px.
Curate your own content to show your best artwork, commissioned pieces or even work in progress. Potential clients and collaborators can discover your profile, but social media also works as a tool to engage your community. Instant messaging, comments and hashtags make it easy to start conversations.
Most social media platforms are free to setup, with the option to pay for advertisements or boosting posts. With any free software, there will usually be adverts in the app and it’s worth checking out the data and privacy before signing up.
During isolation, many galleries and museums have moved their exhibitions online to keep their visitors engaged. As an artist, you can submit work to be displayed in their online exhibitions. This is a great option to reach new audiences as well-known galleries and museums have large networks of art supporters.
Be the first to hear about calls for entries by signing up to gallery mailing lists or following them on social media.
Shed Shadows & Light, John Maule-ffinch
For a more immersive experience, you can create a virtual exhibition by adding your artwork to a 3D gallery space. Share the link for your viewers to explore your artwork from home. RBSA member Roger Griffiths used a platform called ArtSteps to create his virtual exhibition which is now live.
Read our previous post to discover how artist Lucy Morrison created a virtual gallery.
Virtual exhibition by Roger Griffiths RBSA
Blogs are useful to artists for many reasons. You can start your own blog to give your supporters a deeper insight into your practice. Or you can share your work on established blogs to reach new audiences. You don’t have to be an expert writer; most established blogs will have a dedicated editor to polish your article.
Extend your skills to design or work with a professional designer and produce a beautiful catalogue to show your work. Catalogues are a popular choice for celebrating an exhibition as your supporters can keep them long after the exhibition has closed.
Make your catalogue with well-researched text and quality images to show online while galleries are closed. Friend of the RBSA Kanj Nicholas recently shared her catalogue after her solo exhibition, Room to Grow, was postponed.
Exhibition catalogue by Kanj Nicholas
Videos can be more engaging than images or text and often perform better on social media. You can use videos to make art tutorials, show your work in progress or talk to your audience.
With high-quality smartphone cameras and a range of tripods and accessories available, making videos is accessible for any artist making work at home during isolation. RBSA artist, Francesca Currie, made a series of video tutorials to share on her website and social media while at home.
The most popular video streaming sites are YouTube and Vimeo but you can also share videos on social media.
Video series by Francesca Currie RBSA
A website can encompass all the above. It is your space to showcase your work and makes it easy for people to contact you. There are several ways to create a website, from site builders like Squarespace and Wordpress, to custom designs by professional web developers.
There are trade-offs for each option. Site builders are easy to use and can be an affordable option, but they are limited in custom features and prices go up if you need plugins. Alternatively, getting a custom made website might be more expensive but can be a good investment for a professional, unique site to showcase your work.
By Magda Petford, RBSA Marketing Coordinator
Did you find this article useful? Share it with artists you know or tell us in the comments below.
The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) is an artist-led charity which supports artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of exhibitions, events and workshops.
The RBSA runs an exhibition venue – the RBSA Gallery – in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, a short walk from the city centre.
The gallery is currently closed due to Covid-19.
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