Dear Artwork Archive,
I’m scared to switch or update my website provider and lose my site information. I’ve spent a lot of time arranging my art images into different page galleries and breaking up my art into sections. I’ve heard horror stories about problems with upkeep for the HTML updates or sites no longer supporting older browsers.
I spent 10 years building my site (200+ pages). Thinking about changing anything, even doing simple updates, stresses me out. Any recommendations?
Dear Website Purgatory,
We get it, the internet is a changing landscape and website builders or blog sites can be difficult to navigate. Some providers will update your site automatically as template themes change, plug-ins update, and widgets are added. Many website providers will prompt you to select this option for them to automatically update your site. If you’re into crunching code and on top of your website, you may be comfortable doing this maintenance yourself!
As intimidating as it is, don’t let the fear of changing technology stop you from having a robust website. After all, now more than ever art careers live online and your website is the way for potential clients and buyers to discover and contact you!
Another option that will take the stress off of you is to embed your Artwork Archive public profile onto your website. That way you don’t need to worry about entering your works in two places and your Artwork Archive public profile will automatically always be updated on your website.
Dear Artwork Archive.
I’m frustrated about the lack of transparency in fine arts institutions and grant-giving bodies.
It seems the open calls from acclaimed institutions and grants are performative. The artist selection shows curation with an agenda. To make matters worse, there is no feedback given to applicants.
Some fine art institutions and brands seem to use small grant open calls as a method for getting application fees and ad targeting for paid products. What is up with that?
You’re a platform for artists, what do you think?
Grant Me the Transparency
Dear Grant Me,
You’re right, sometimes grant-giving seems so altruistic that it’s easy to overlook problems in the process or the frustrating elements for applicants. The name "open call" seems welcoming, but not every open call is the right fit for everyone. So how should you be approaching art opportunities?
If you find yourself frustrated with your grant applications and lack of results, rethink the grants you are applying for in the first place. Do some more research about past recipients and eligibility rules. What type of artwork is this granting body looking for? Does your experience match the opportunity?
Phrases in grants like “emerging artist,” “early-career artist,” “mid-career artist,” and “established artist” may help you narrow down which opportunities would be a good fit for you along with the mediums or themes in which they are looking for. Granting institutions are looking for specific characteristics for their award recipients. If granting institutions don’t explicitly state what they are looking for in their grant submissions, a curatorial or awarding panel is a great clue-set for you to figure this out!
Flip your script. Granting groups having a curatorial goal in mind for their award recipients only helps applicants better find the right opportunities for them so they don't waste their time applying if it's not a good fit. Having a better idea of what a grant program is looking for will help you to find the grants that you are more suited to!
You mentioned that grants don’t give personalized responses or feedback to applicants. Some programs will tell applicants that non-semi finalists or non-finalists will not be contacted. Other programs will send an automated email letting you know that you haven’t been selected. There are also some programs that you will never hear from.
Of course, it hurts not to be contacted after putting time and effort into an application. If you are invested in the grant you’ve applied for or would like feedback for your future applications you can always reach out or find a critique group to gain some insight. Smaller granting organizations might appreciate you showing your interest and dedication to earning a grant.
So, when you are applying for an opportunity, ask yourself the following questions. What are the pros and cons of the application process itself? Does the time, energy, and effort for an application match the reward it will have if you gain the opportunity for which you are applying? Is there an application fee? If something feels off, it deserves more investigation.
The bottom line to avoid frustration is to apply to opportunities that are a match for you. Have a targeted approach. If you are selective about what you apply for and thoughtful in your application process, you will have more opportunities come your way.
On another note, Artwork Archive just announced the Art Business Accelerator Grant! That program grants unrestricted funds, a lifetime Master level Artwork Archive account, and six weeks of art business resources. All applicants, not just grant winners, will receive the art business resources. Plus, there is no application fee! You can find out more about the eligibility requirements here.
Dear Artwork Archive,
I need some help with my art marketing on Instagram. I am wondering if I’m using hashtags correctly. I use them, but I don't know much about how to optimize them to get my posts more visibility.
I have been writing detailed descriptions on my posts lately in case anyone is looking to show my art or learn more about works. Do galleries look at Instagram accounts?
Here are the hashtags I use regularly: #art, #artist, #inthestudio, #arte, #worksonpaper, #printmaker What do you think?
Hashtags can be #tricky. On the one hand, using hashtags is a great way for you to help people find your art, on the other hand hashtagging can sometimes distract you from art.
Here are some tips for using hashtags on Instagram:
Search the hashtags you’re thinking of using. What came up? Does your art align with the search results? Searching hashtags before using them can help you to gauge how your artworks and words align.
Choose both broad and narrow hashtags so that you can bring people to your art but not be lost in the digital shuffle. Your hashtag #art will land you among thousands of posts but a hashtag #oilpainting will get you more targeted views. Experiment with the balance between using general and specific hashtags to find what works best for you.
Be goal-oriented. You can use your hashtags to help achieve your artist goals. Are you looking to be noticed or for more opportunities within your local arts scene? If so determine which hashtags your city uses for art and add them to your hashtag list. Are you working with an unusual material or using a difficult technique? Hashtag it! Hashtagging can help you describe your art as well as be a search optimization tool.
Don’t use more than a handful of hashtags. Look at your posts. If the hashtags are overwhelming your art or your caption, you are using too many hashtags. Hashtags should be used to be additive and shouldn’t take away from what the focus of your posts, your work! A good rule to follow is not to use more than five or six hashtags.
Hashtag or @ other artists or ideas in your post. Just like being goal-oriented in hashtagging, you can use your hashtags to extend the social value of your posts. If you are collaborating with other artists always make sure to include them in your posts and to hashtag other identifying features like the location of a work or a promotional partner.
Scroll you later,