Ok, I have bitten the bullet. After four years of stubbornness I have finally paid for my own website.
My logic was that, with all these free services like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest allowing me to connect with new and interesting audiences, what was the point in shelling out my hard earned cash for my own website?
The answer lay with OtherPeoplesPixels – a business owned by two Chicago-based artists, Jenny Kendler and Brian Kirkbride. Their slogan is “Spend time on your artwork, not on your website”, which is something I always tell artists at my digital networking workshops. An online presence is now an integral part of being an artist, but it shouldn’t become more time consuming than actually making your artwork. That’s why I love tweeting so much. It takes seconds to do and is a fun activity whilst taking a five minute coffee break from drawing at my studio.
OtherPeoplesPixels offers a number of templates, ranging from minimalistic to the bright and brash. I opted for a simple design with no clutter or distractions, presenting my work in a clear and accessible way. I created 5 simple categories: Portfolio, News, Contact, Links and Resume. It is very direct and easy to understand, with a short artist statement on the homepage explaining the context of my drawings.
Through my work as an editor for a-n I come across too many artist websites that are so packed with information you almost need GPS to navigate the various sections. I never understand why certain artists make it so difficult to a) See their work, b) Find out what their art is about, and c) Contact them. Hopefully these are things I have avoided…
I have been really impressed with OtherPeoplesPixels customer service, in particular the speed with which the site went live (around 30 minutes after payment). I read an interview with Jenny where she discussed her commitment to supporting the arts community, and that is definitely reassuring. At the end of 2010, they started The OtherPeoplesPixels Fund which provides grants to non-profits working for the arts, the environment, and social justice around the world. They also apparently do a lot for their local art scene in Chicago. Not bad eh?
I’m really pleased with the results. Check out my site and let me know what you think: