The future of the art market is becoming increasingly digital and having an online portfolio as an artist is crucial. It has been almost three decades since the World Wide Web began to revolutionize consumer behavior and the power of the Internet is now stronger than ever. The Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2019 found millennials were more likely to buy art online with 79% of respondents saying they had bought art more than once (compared to 64% the year before). New art buyers are also more drawn to buying art online with 36% saying they have purchased online in the last year and 70% of these buying art online more than once (compared to 31% and 64% respectively the previous year).
However, what exactly should artists be doing to showcase their work online? The Internet is a vast virtual space that may appear saturated with information and, at times, a little daunting. Follow these five steps to promote visibility and create a successful online portfolio.
1. Get Snap-Happy
The images of the artworks you intend to sell are of paramount importance. A high quality photograph allows the buyer to truly appreciate the artwork and purchase with confidence. Use high resolution images when building your online portfolio (Singulart requires 1500 pixels by 1500 pixels as a minimum) to capture the beauty of your art. Multiple images of a piece are also useful to offer different perspectives and a better sense of the artwork. Particularly when it comes to sculptures, images are essential to communicate the true shape and size.
2. Add a Picture Perfect Description
A description adds a personal touch to an online portfolio. Often the connection between a buyer and an artwork is not solely visual, with the understanding of the technique and inspiration involved allowing for a deeper admiration. Don’t let selling online feel impersonal, instead use your online portfolio to share your passion and expertise with a global audience.
3. Create Structure Using Collections
There is an abundance of information online so ensure your portfolio is clear and well organised to attract attention. Structure your portfolio by creating collections according to theme, technique or date. Such an arrangement will allow collectors to navigate through your artworks with purpose and see the range of your talent. Embrace the use of collections as an online feature that beautifully documents your portfolio!
4. Display Sold Artwork
An advantage of an online portfolio over a physical space is that an artist can display sold artwork that is no longer in their possession. Sold artwork can be of great interest to a collector as older work can illustrate your artistic journey. Furthermore, if you work on commission, a sold artwork offers another example of your artistic capabilities. On Singulart it is possible to list an artwork as ‘for sale’, ‘currently unavailable for sale’ or ‘sold’, so as to enable our artists to be able to exhibit all of their art.
5. Keep it Current
Updating an online portfolio is crucial as it encourages buyers to frequently visit your page and thereby increase visibility. In addition to this, often the internet uses algorithms to prioritize active pages over inactive ones. Not only should artists try to upload images of new artwork, they should be sure to include recent exhibitions, prizes, publications and residencies. Updates are essential to create a connection with new buyers and to maintain a relationship with existing collectors.
The benefits of an online portfolio are numerous. An artist need not compromise the human element of art and instead can create a profile that is personal, well organised and a comprehensive reflection of their work. What is more, an online presence appeals to a global audience with Singulart translating its website into 8 different languages and currently selling to buyers from 42 countries. Singulart does not require exclusivity, so embracing digital does not mean artists should neglect physical galleries – artists have the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. With just a few simple hints and tricks an artist can embrace the online art market with confidence.