Show Off!

Are you hiding your accomplishments? If I visit your website or blog, would I know that your work was on the cover of a magazine, featured in an article, or that you received an award?
I’m not talking about a list on a résumé. I’m talking about graphics and photos. As a visual person, you can surely relate to the power of an image. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? If it is, you’d better have (or get) some pictures up on your sites.
Before I go any further, let me be perfectly clear that any images on your site should NOT compete with your artwork. You should show off your art above all else. It should be front and center. Photographs and graphic elements are always subservient to the art.
Okay, now we can get on with things.

What do you show off?

I spilled the beans a bit in that opening paragraph, but let’s go back over it for clarification.

Jane Wilcoxson, Marlina. Acrylic. ©The Artist

If your art is on the cover of a magazine or pictured in a newspaper, tell us about it! Scratch that. Don’t tell us, show us! Scan it or take a photo of it and share. Just remember that you are dealing with copyrighted material and be sure to get permission where necessary and to give proper credit before you share it.
If you received a grant or an award, let us know! If you accept the honor in person, get a photo. If there is no physical trophy or if the “trophy” requires reading glasses to see, just get a photograph with the presenters—perhaps in front of a sign with the event title.

If your award won’t be presented in person, snag a JPEG or image from the presenter’s site (if it’s a good one and with permission) to use for your own.

Don’t forget installation shots of your exhibits or displays. Solo exhibitions yield nice photos, especially when they’re captured by a pro. I have a client whose work was in a juried exhibit and was THE feature work. It was on the wall underneath the title of the exhibit. Photo op!

Where do you show off your accomplishments?

If you have a website, you can spotlight your feats on your About, News, or Media Room pages. On a blog, you can do the same if you have Pages capabilities. You might also add one or two images to your sidebar. Of course, this is after you have written a post with all of the details. The sidebar image can then link to the post for more information.
Don’t forget to add these pictures to your fan page on Facebook!
FINAL WORD: Don’t wait for someone else to show off your achievements. We might eventually uncover the juicy stuff in your résumé, but don’t make us work that hard. Show us with an image.

You can also make photocopies touting your accomplishments and send them to your top prospects or favorite collectors.


The podcast is an audio version of this post.

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9 thoughts on “Show Off!”

  1. Hi Alyson as usual your posts seem to be completely relevent to what I’m doing. Only just today I put up a new blog post about my recent trip to deliver one of my sculptures to a collector based in Switzerland. My previous post was an excellent opportunity to show me exhibiting one of my wall pieces alongside an original Vincent van Gogh in a top UK gallery.
    I have tried with my blog to not make it “all about me” rather I try to give peole an insight into my inspirations, my art practice and what I’m interested in in general. I am wary of writing light weight posts so sometimes there is a few weeks between them. However I have had lots of good feedback with people saying that they like the essay format and the links and connections that I make. I also make sure that news is on my website homepage. I have lots of images of work on my gallery (beings) page but I do have a quick pop up gallery on my homepage. My first image here is a recent gallery shot of a solo show. Finally I have a Projects page. This has a selection of images which have been taken by a professional photographer.
    Thanks again for the advice and suggestions.

  2. Wonderful suggestions, Alyson. Artists can also list their interviews, galleries and other venues where their work can be seen in the present, uses of their art on CDs and book covers, etc. (I think you mentioned that one) and places they’ve been quoted–on the net or in print materials. Thanks for the reminder.
    I keep an envelope where I stuff papers that list “permissions granted” and such, but I need to go through it to make a list for my blog. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. You’re right, we need to pat our own backs. Sometimes it might feel boastful but it can help in marketing and getting into more shows and galleries. I have 2 blogs on my site, one is more personal and one more about the profession but still with a personal touch. I seem to have a pretty good readership on both. People want to get to know the artist, let’s give them what they want.

  4. Alyson Stanfield

    Kirsty: Glad I’m speaking to you. Looks like you’re doing a great job!
    Lori: You will always know when something doesn’t sound authentic. If you’re genuinely connected with your art and are crazy about sharing it with the world, you’ll be just fine.
    Lynda: Just be sure not to keep it on a list. Use a picture!

  5. elizabeth st. hilaire nelson

    Hi Alison, thanks for the tip. Just yesterday I posted on my blog about having been chosen to receive a United Arts of Central Florida Professional Development Grant. I took your advice and added the logo to my sidebar with a link to my original post.
    About the magazine articles, I have been in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine a few times and they actually will not let you reproduce the article due to copyright laws. I’d LOVE to have been able to put my featured article on my website and blog as a PDF but it was a complete “no-no” and I had to settle for a JPEG of the cover of the publication.

  6. Elizabeth: Congratulations on the grant! I’m going to go check out out.
    Yes, I understand that some magazines won’t allow this, which is why I made sure to say Ask for permission. You could probably quote from it, but the cover is nice.
    One thing I didn’t mention is to be sure to renew your photos. Don’t keep the same images up forever. They become tiresome–just as the magazine would on a rack if it were there for 6-12 months. Oh! I sense another post about this.

  7. elizabeth st. hilaire nelson

    When you say renew your photos, you mean the art photos that are in the slideshow or at the bottom of the page? great idea. Fantastic.

  8. Elizabeth: I’m just saying don’t let the photos grow stale–wherever they are, but especially when they’re a feature in your blog sidebar or on your News page or website home page.

  9. elizabeth st. hilaire nelson

    Thanks as always Alyson for the PUSH! I have updated my slideshow and ultimately deleted the images at the foot of my blog page that were stale and had been there since day one. You are a WEALTH of information.

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Get a transcript of episode 182 of The Art Biz (Rethinking Mailing Lists for Artists) followed by a 3-page worksheet to evaluate the overall health and usage of the 3 types of artist lists.

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