I enjoy surfing around the Internet looking at work by other artists and craftspeople. However, sometimes when I discover an attractive image or piece of work, if there is no supporting information, I am left disappointed. It is like the artist didn't care to put any effort in explaining the work. Lacking some kind of description, or at least a list of materials, forces me to guess or speculate or make up my own assumptions.
Online viewing is different than viewing work in a museum, gallery or craft show. When online, I do not have the option of looking at the real work, walking all the way around, standing far away and then looking close. An online image is limited by the size and quality of my computer monitor (the 72 dpi of all Internet images) and by the quality of the photographic image posted by the individual artist. People may even be looking at your work on their mobile phones or PDA's (Personal Digital Assistant). A description included with the work will help them decipher this postage stamp size image.
Detailed information will help the viewer to interpret your images. The title, media, and materials give the viewer a better insight about the work. The dimensions give the viewer a clear idea about the size of the work. Some work looks smaller or larger, than in reality. For example, in this sculpture titled Measuring Compliance (left) people often assume it is a "miniature." In fact it is a life size 3rd grade desk and 3rd grade chair. Without the dimensions, would you assume it's height is 7 inches - or 7 feet?. Big difference!
It is also a good idea to group your work on these sites by categories that are appropriate to your work. Most sites offer some method to organize your photos. Take time to make these categories interesting. This way if a person is looking at your albums or sets, you are offering a rich resource of information.
The Internet is your marketing and sales department. What do people see in your work? What do you want people to know about your work? The Internet will speak for you if you simply provide the information along with your images. Compose at least a brief description and statement. You can always edit it later.
Harriete Estel Berman
Basic Label Information.
- Artist's name
- Title of the work
- Copyright symbol
- Date of work
- Media or materials
- Dimensions (height, width, depth)
- Helpful other tags (if possible)
Stay tuned for information about using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for maximum visibility.