Just as art can take many forms, an artist’s website can serve many purposes. First and foremost, if you’re an artist, your online home should provide a showcase of your work. But there are other key functions that can enhance the user experience, while ensuring that your talents are also financially (and otherwise) rewarding.
Let’s explore some features that make for a great artist website. Each feature is further illustrated by one of the 250+ outstanding WordPress themes available with a yearly subscription to Envato Elements.
1. Choose a Design Complementary to Your Art
Great art evokes feeling, so it’s important that your website tries to capture a bit of that as well. Depending upon the type of work you do, this could either be quite obvious or slightly more subtle. For example, the look of your site could be an ode to the type of materials you use (wood, clay, etc.). Or, it might feature a background that represents your overall style. Regardless, your website should be a reflection of your art.
The Lenze theme is an excellent choice for photographers or visual artists who want to reflect the personality of their work. The full-screen slideshow on the homepage helps to create an instant impact and sets the emotional tone. It also features a number of compelling portfolio layout options that you can use to create the visual effect you’re looking for.
2. Bring Focus to Your Work
Because the web isn’t necessarily limited by physical space, it’s easy to go overboard when designing a website. This is especially tough on artists because any unnecessary distractions can really take away from the art itself. When taken together, every little design detail we include can add up to something we didn’t intend. So it’s important to ask yourself what is vital and what can be tossed aside. In general, simple is better.
With Arte, you’ll find a theme that really does bring the focus to your work. The design is beautiful but very understated. Built for art galleries and museums, it features an elegant UI and the ability to bring several artists under one website. It’s great for art collectives, but could also be a good fit for a solo artist with an extensive portfolio.
3. Make a Connection With Fans
For many artists, having a loyal fanbase is what sustains their career. Musicians, for example, won’t be able to keep touring and recording without that support. Keeping fans in the loop when it comes to events like concerts should be a priority of your website. And, if you sell your work online, having an easy-to-use shopping experience is a must. Lastly, invite fans to be part of your inner-circle with features such as a regularly updated blog and access to multimedia.
SoundRise provides the ability for musicians to showcase their craft and serves as a great hub for fans. The theme features multimedia playback, includes a calendar to list appearances and WooCommerce support for online shopping. Plus, since it’s based on WordPress, you’ll be able to easily publish a stylish and informative blog.
4. Find An Interesting Concept
While art is often serious, it’s okay to have a bit of fun with your website, where appropriate. You don’t have to go to extremes, of course. But adding a creative twist to normally bland elements like headlines or portfolio listings just make things that much more interesting for visitors. It encourages them to stick around and dive deeper into your offerings.
The Qusq Pro theme can help to spruce up your portfolio with a design that is fun and functional. Its use of multi-colored headlines, animations and staggered gallery layouts are bound to help you stand out. The result is a feel-good repository for your art.
5. Dare to Be Different
Traditionally, art has been a driver of cultural change. It has challenged the status quo and compelled us to think in new ways. A website that does things a little differently can be a small part of that tradition. While that doesn’t mean we should go against the grain of accessibility and ease of use, it does allow plenty of room for innovation.
Color Folio certainly fits the bill of a theme that does things differently. Most noticeably, it’s wildly colorful–yet still very easy to read. Navigation is also different, with the ability to hop from page to page via a mouse’s scroll wheel (don’t worry, clicking still works, too). You’ll find a fun and eccentric UI that also serves the needs of users quite well.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Website
Being an artist poses both a unique challenge and an opportunity. You must find a balance between the need to share your work with the world in an interesting way against the needs and expectations of a modern website. It can be difficult to get it just right. But the rewards can be great for those who achieve that goal.
Ultimately, your website should be about who you are and what you do. Use it to reflect the personality of your art and allow interested visitors to join in the experience.
Each of the themes profiled above can help you get off to a great start. They provide a terrific frame for your painting, so to speak. From there, it’s up to you to fill that frame with something beautiful.