5 considerations when choosing an online art gallery for your work
Posted by Cindy A Stephens
I believe that we are in the midst of a transformation in the way that art is (and will be) bought and sold. This shift is just as seismic as the democratization of photography, which was brought on by the rise of digital photo capture technology (e.g., dSLRs, Smartphones).
The way hobbyists and Pros capture and share photos has changed, and the way collectors will buy art is next. Surely we don’t need a clearer signal than Amazon’s (re)entry into fine art at the beginning of the month -- the shift to online buying is well underway.
While some artists will prefer to work with an artist-run cooperative gallery or a traditional brick-and-mortar gallery, the plethora of online galleries available offers artists a new way to get better known and sell work.
There is a vast array of these online art galleries to choose from. Several resources offer lists of galleries for artists to research. What I’ve found, however, is that few offer tips on what to consider when choosing one. I want to share with you what I’ve found during my own research process, and give you five things to consider when choosing an online gallery.
Listen to my 5-minute podcast.
Bonus tip: try these two free resources for determining how much web traffic an online gallery receives: www.compete.com; www.alexa.com
Those points are all good advice, the problem I have with the ones I use is that all of them seem to be inept at displaying the art. Some are better than others, I find the Pod galleries only useful for exposure, people do look . I have only had success with people emailing me privately through those sites. The reason, I think, is when a buyer wants an original, most want to see it, or directly speak to the artist about the piece, it makes sense. Getting something that is not as it appeared online is a bad experience , no matter the return policy.
At the same time, the internet in my opinion can be a great tool in your box. Marketing is the same in both buildings or virtual locations, in the respect of how you value your art, not only in price but in it's company as well.
Example , a watercolor seascape , ocean and sky and on either side is a "waterscape" of little land or water to the scape but two prominently featured as the main subject and very well proportioned nude men. The paintings both had the fellas in some sort of close physical contact.
I'm not anti gay, or nude, however, I don't think the people interested in my type of art, are looking for homo erotic statement art. On another online site many of my images
have much poorer resolution and look bad but I did not load them that way and they did not look bad for quite a while. Are they being downloaded by others , effectively deteriorating the image? I wonder but have no knowledge of it, certainly it's possible at least.
Finally they all seem to have intermittent hacking or system problems that can prevent access, you know , sorry site under construction... does not look good when somebody goes there looking to view your work.
Still I can't resist the free exposure, if somebody robs me , it still will be my work and not my original. They can't steal those virtually.
I could not have gotten to the first page of an image search of my name without using those site and sharing them with certain words online.
I Believe your points are useful and valid , this is my personal experience and not meant to be opposing.
Thank you for offering this advice. I am on the fence about online galleries. Some galleries show a good amount of contemporary art and others are extremely traditional artists. I am not sure if the ones I know of as yet fit a profile that suits my work.
I also do not think the artists' work is secure with the majority. Definitely, there are many reasons to have your work at an online gallery, but more research will be necessary.
It takes up a good deal of an artist's time and efforts to place anything in any kind of a gallery. No one wants to waist their good intentions and time by choosing the wrong gallery for them.
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I am a marketing professional and a fine art photographer. With more than 20 years of experience as a marketer and image maker during the digital technology revolution, I now teach creative professionals how to create their artistic presence in the changing art world.
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