LESS IS MORE…more or less.
Here are a few tips to consider when preparing to design a website for your artwork:
Quality = size and focus
The most important feature of showing your artwork online is the quality of your images, whether they are photos of your artwork or videos of your performances. You have spent endless hours crafting your art…spend a few more taking the most beautiful, crisp, high resolution photos and/or videos of your work. Include close-ups of work to show texture, if that is important to you. If you have extremely large or small pieces, you may want to include photos of yourself or your pet cricket standing next to your pieces to give your viewers an idea of how large or small the piece actually is.
Color & Texture – Compete or compliment?
When it comes to creating a background for your website, think of using colors and textures that compliment your work instead of competing with it. You don’t want your viewer to find themselves in a war of what to look at; the site design or the artwork?
Many artists solve this issue by going with the minimal approach to web design, using an all-white or one color background to show off their work. This approach allows your artwork to take center stage, tossing the components of the site to the side so viewers can really enjoy the ‘experience’ of the artwork.
If you want to incorporate your own artistic style into the design of your site, pull out an element of your work; a fiber, a dab of paint, a pencil shaving, or the texture of clay or glaze and use that to subtly accentuate your design. You can also use your artwork as a backdrop for your site, but be sure to do so in a way that doesn’t draw your viewers eye away from your artwork. Claude Venon Art uses a swatch of one of their paintings to anchor the site, but by having a solid background behind the artwork itself, the viewer can remain focused on looking at the artwork.
How to stand out in a sea of minimalist designs
Well, first of all, your photos and videos will set you apart from other artists, simply because your work is different. But how do you make a minimalist site uniquely yours? Well, FONT this. Google now offers free web fonts to use on all sites. Something as simple as using a different font for your name and adding a pop of color to one of the words can really set a nice unique tone for your site. Leslie Parke does a great job with this. Check Google web fonts out for yourself!
Your website IS your online gallery, so if you are stumped with what colors and textures to use, think of the place you have most enjoyed showing off your work. Was it in a gallery? Outdoors? In your own studio? Find the colors and textures of that space and use them on your site.
If your work is typically hung on a white wall, then use that color as your background.
If your work is placed on marble or wood pedestals, use those textures as a background for your work, but make sure they are used in a way that does not distract from the photos of your work.
You can even use closeups of your raw materials to lend an interesting background or detail piece to accentuate your design.
If you are a performing artist, mimic the environment in which you like to perform. Use a huge photo or texture from that environment to show off the energy of the space you like to perform in.
Just remember, when it comes to displaying your artwork online, less is more.