If you’re a visual artist still working on building a strong reputation, it can be challenging to know how to gain exposure to a wider audience. It can seem like becoming a name in the art world, begins and ends, with having an exhibition in a high profile gallery like White Cube. In actual fact, there are many things you can do that will not only increase your profile but also help you gain more fans and attract buyers who will want to invest in your work. This article will highlight five unconventional ways to get more exposure for your work online, some of which you might not even know exist.
1: On a digital art-buying app like Sedition
Sedition is a fantastic new way to display your digital work alongside well- established artists such as; Damian Hirst, Tracy Emin, and the Chapman brothers. The app focuses solely on digital offerings and doesn’t list, sell or display anything that’s not been created by either computer, video, or camera. If you work in these mediums or want to try it out, it’s a great platform to help you gain exposure.
The slick, well-designed interface enables browsers to quickly flip through and preview hundreds of limited edition work and once they find something they like, they can purchase and download it directly from within the app. All artworks sold can be copyrighted by the creator and have a unique limited edition number, which means you get to decide how many copies of your digital creations you want out there.
The site is free to use initially, with a commission fee charged on all works sold, and is an innovative way to garner more fans and sales. This works in several ways as people can buy your work, but also they can follow you, receiving notifications whenever you upload new work. Also because your work is listed in the on-site catalogue, browsers will also be able to preview your watermarked digital artwork before they buy, increasing your exposure.
Download Sedition free on the Apple or Google Play store to find out more. You can also sign up from within the app if you want an artist’s listing to sell your digital creations.
2: Exhibit in virtual reality
Online worlds may seem the sole preserve of gamers, World of Warcraft fanatics, and teenage boys with dubious anime obsessions, but many digital artists are finding they can be used to great creative effect too. Second Life is a virtual environment which caters to a wide variety of different tastes, from vampire role players to Higher Education institutions, like the College of NorthWest London, who maintain a virtual presence there.
It’s also frequently used by real world digital artists, who harness the multifaceted platform and building space to create virtual exhibitions of their 3D work. With the ability to create an entire 3D environment, including the use of soundscapes and interactive objects, and then display your exhibition to over 900,000 regular Second Life users, it’s easy to see why many real world artists are using the platform to enhance their fan base.
Second Life is free to download and use and is totally open source, meaning most of its content is user created. While you do need to learn how to use the platform in order to create and “build” stuff, once you’re “inworld” it’s easy to find tutorials and classes you can attend in order to learn. Bryn Oh is a pseudonym created by a real world Canadian artist, who exhibits her haunting 3D spaces and soundscapes within the virtual world of Second Life. Brynn even received a grant from the Canadian government to create her digital works within the virtual world, and several other digital artists have now followed suit, including the interestingly monikered AM Radio, dubbed the virtual world’s Banksy.
Visit www.secondlife.com to find out more and download.
3: On a gallery listing site like The Saatchi Gallery’s programme for unknown artists
If you work in the visual arts, The Saatchi Gallery is likely a name you’re familiar with by now, but you might not know about their extensive online programme that nurtures upcoming talent. The site, which attracts a wide international audience of art lovers and buyers, allows you to make a free profile and list your work, which you can also make available for sale.
As well, they run regular high profile competitions which give artists the chance to gain extra exposure, and the website’s curators frequently headhunt new talent to spotlight and showcase among the site’s thriving community. Selected members of the site have been invited to have their work featured in exhibitions at The Saatchi Gallery in London, as well as featured prominent on-site showcases, many of which attract wealthy investors.
Visit www.Saatchi-Gallery.co.uk to find out more and sign up for an account.
4: Via a thriving art community like Deviant Art
If you’ve heard of Deviant Art at all, chances are, you’ve filed it under fodder for gamer geeks and anime fans, due to the popularity of fantasy style illustration on the site. However, there’s far more to Deviant Art than first meets the eye. For a start, the site has one of the strongest social networking communities outside of Facebook and Twitter, with the caveat that everyone on the site is either a creator or lover of art, typography, sculpture or graphic design.
Deviant Art or Dev Art as its users call it, is chock full of all types of visual content, from typography to hand drawn illustrations and much of it is extremely high quality. You can display digital art or real world work, like paintings and sculpture and users rate it using a star system which goes from one to five, with the highest rated naturally receiving more attention. There are many on-site competitions that give artists a chance to raise their profile, and attract more fans. Users can also commission you for a project. Many artists find they get a lot of commissions through Dev Art, or they can enquire about purchasing one of the works you have displayed if you set if for sale.
One of the most useful and unique things about Deviant Art is its vibrant loyal community of fans and this is where the true value of the site lies. Developing a following will not only help get your name out there, but will also expose your work to potential buyers. If you work with visual media, Dev Art is one site you definitely want to have a presence on.
Visit www.devart.com to sign up for a free profile where you can showcase your work.
5: On your Instagram feed
Although it’s a mainstream site, not a niche art community, Instagram is the perfect platform for artists, as it is designed for showcasing visual content. Having a great Instagram presence puts you in touch with a global network of fellow artists, art fans, and even buyers. It can help you gain a lot of exposure in a relatively short period of time if you post regularly and don’t mind doing a little networking.
You can use the site to showcase completed work, but it’s also ideal to show off work in progress, or short videos and behind the scenes shots, giving your followers an insight into your life as an artist. Make sure your work makes use of relevant hashtags, as this is how most site users will find you, and set your website link in your bio because you can’t place direct links in Instagram posts. You can also encourage people to visit your website by saying something like, “if you enjoyed this, you might want to click the link in my bio to see more of my work”, at the end of all your Instagram posts.
Many artists have sold work or gained new commissions through showcasing their work on Instagram and it’s definitely a social media platform you should not ignore if you’re an artist, sculptor, graphic designer, or photographer. Visit the Apple store or Google Play to download the Instagram app, and get started building your social media presence.
Have we missed anything? How do you get people to see your work online? Let us know in the comments below!