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Artists are constantly struggling with ways to display their work. Even the most talented and well-known artists have had trouble at one point or another getting people to pay attention to their work and receiving recognition for their talent.

It is not easy to get your art into an art show or have an exhibit dedicated to your work until you are already establish or have a connection somewhere. Fortunately, in this day and age, we have the internet, which is an extremely useful tool when trying to get your work off the pages of the sketchbook and out to be admired by the rest of the world.

Many people do not know how to use this resource to their advantage. There are many options when trying to create a space for yourself amongst the world wide web. Deciding how to do this in a manner that positively reflects you and your artwork takes careful planning and consideration.

Importance of Getting Yourself Out There

Every artist has a portfolio, typically a book compiled of their best work, or to show their range. Since we live in the digital age, artists now more than ever have an opportunity to get their work out there to the rest of the world. In a world consumed by technology, a paper portfolio seems to be old fashioned. Artist can now scan their artwork into the computer and create an online portfolio that is organized, easily accessible, and literally at everyone’s fingertips.

If you are serious about your art and want to take your career/hobby/passion to the next level, creating an online space to display your artwork is the next step. In the same way that social media seems to be taking over the way in which all people interact, online profiles and portfolios are becoming the new job interview.

Using a Free Service

There are numerous free portfolio sites – such as 1x, Carbonmade, or Zenfolio – in which many people create a space for themselves within this larger site. After choosing a username or simply using your own name, if it is available, you can display your pieces free of charge. Depending on the site, you may be able to edit other aspects of your personal page with changes to the background, headings, font, etc. Sites like these are completely free, which is a major advantage.

However, when using these types of free websites, many are unsatisfied with the level of professionalism attained. These sites contain the work of many, sometimes thousands, of different users. The fact that you have not taken it to the next step – creating your own website just for your own personal work – may take away from the credibility of your work.

Creating Your Own Website

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Creating your own site simply for your own work will help you come across as a serious and devoted artist. When creating your own personal site, you have full creative control over what your site will look like. This will more accurately reflect your individual style and artistic concepts. Additionally, personal sites do not have the restrictions that exist with many of the free portfolio websites. This way, you have more options for linking to galleries your work was in, magazines that have published any of your art, press releases, and so on.

Having your own domain will come across as more professional when placed on business cards or used in any other form of advertising. The downfall is, of course, the money. You will need to buy your personal domain and hire someone to design your site (if you do not have the required skills in HTML, CSS, etc.). Do not be afraid to first use a free service and moving to a person site when the timing is right for you, your career, and your budget.

Most “free portfolio sites” offer paid options as well – something to consider. You might decide that upgrading the available features might be worthwhile. In addition, many artists who have their own websites also maintain a presence on various portfolio websites as well. Many of these sites have a social networking aspect built in, making it easier for visitors to discover new art and artists.


Regardless of the approach that you choose to display your artwork, just remember to be true to who you are as an artist and a person. Your artwork reflects you and therefore so should your website, business cards, studio, exhibits, etc. Put thought into the way your work is displayed. It does not matter if you are using a free service or your own site, it is important to have a site in which you can take pride.

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Posted by Stephanie Alderson

This guest post was contributed by Stephanie Alderson at Spotted Frog Design, a web development and online marketing company serving businesses across the Philadelphia area.

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