When you’re an artist, creation is only half the battle. Generating concepts and developing a consistent style is all a part of the process, and over time it can become easier and more natural. It is the very essence of an artist that attributes to the quality and emotion behind their work. This is true whether you are a painter, a sculptor, a writer, a performer or anything else.
But while making the actual art is often the main focus for artists, there is always the less simple process of promoting that work, whether that’s through art websites, personal meetings, traditional galleries and showcases, or other methods. Without that promotion and publicity, surviving as an artist can be a heavy task to undertake. Some might even find it unnerving or a roadblock they can’t get past.
The good news is that promotion is easier than ever, thanks to the Internet and the way it has been adapted to integrate more seamlessly into our lives. Artistically it is no different. Endless numbers of art websites meant to help artists market themselves have been created, with literally millions of people from all over the world visiting art websites every day. This includes artists, art enthusiasts and even buyers or potential clients.
It was difficult to sort through so many fantastic resources, but these are the 20 top art websites that will help you build your own portfolio that manage to really stick out.
For those who are less than talented with website design – or just don’t have the time/energy/patience to deal with it – you can sign up with FolioLink. Rather than giving you a profile on a database like most other sites, they provide an art-specific site hosting service.
They have pre-made templates to make building your site easier, and they are created specially to feature an artist’s portfolio. Prices average around $239 per year.
A portfolio hosting site that allows you to start your own gallery on their server. It is based through their page in a way similar to how a classic social media site works. So there are browsing options, ways to search and highlights. They also have a list of upcoming art festivals that can be customized to your local or nearby area. They cost $30 per years for membership, but the first year is free.
The site works in a way similar to ArtPickle, as it is a hosting site for a gallery profile. However, they are more sales oriented and you can post prints or originals for customers to buy. They start at $26+ per six months for their service, but there is a 14-day free trial.
4. Art Majeur
Here you have a dual option selection: you can either buy a premium membership or have a free one. The free membership is worth it because the features are high. You have a gallery profile, a 1000 image posting limit, your own mailing list, visitor stats, search engine optimization and more.
There to provide helpful promotional opportunities for niche artists, they specialize in photography and digital art and manipulations. They are always looking for people to feature in their gallery, and they are right at that cusp of being not-too-populated with other artists, but receiving a good visitor rate.
A more exclusive website, Gallery Today works as an online fine arts gallery. Just like a physical art house, they are selective in who they choose to accept and highlight. Each submitted piece of work must pass their critics, and only those they put in the highest percentile will be allowed to have their work shown. Selective, but great for promotion if your work makes the cut.
Another hosting site, this one is similar to FolioLink. For between $13 – $18, you can get a plan that helps you create a gallery site that will be your own through their templates. They also have various resources that you can view and use. What sets them apart is they have their own massive directory of artist websites. When you join you will be added to this database.
8. Gallery Box
This is a hosting site that is a little more comprehensive. Unlike the others, it is based more on promotion itself than in helping you create the perfect portfolio. Expecting you to do that yourself, it helps you with marketing by providing a hosting dedicated completely to art. Plans cost around $15 per month, with discounts for plans longer than a year.
Similar to sites such as Elfwood, Epilogue is dedicated to science fiction and fantasy work of all art genres. The categories are easy to search and there are many incredible artists there. It is also popular with visitors that are looking for art work in this niche. It is free to join and an easy way to get your stuff seen. But they are fully moderated so work has to be approved, adding additional quality control.
10. Art Promote
A very handy tool, this is a search engine for artists. However, it is human edited to reduce the risk of spam and link flooding. They work as a directory search, which runs through a list of websites in their database. You can submit your own to be included.
11. Artist Search
Socially minded, Artist Search is based on a blog format. You can set up your own to allow you to network with others while promoting your work. There is a way to set up a donations service through them.
Another hosting site that lets you set up a web page through them for your work. What I like about them is that they have an awesome front page. Artists are featured in easy to see lists, with a thumbnail of their work. The free account gives you five images, and a paid account for $100 annually has 50 images.
13. Absolute Arts
If you are looking for a resource site, this is a great one. They have links and calls for artists updated daily. You can also set up your own portfolio through their site while using their tips to get started. The database is large and easy to search, too.
Young artists should all join this website. If you are in high school or college and so just coming onto the art scene, Ugallery was created not only to help you get started, but to promote your work. The earlier you get started, the better.
The premium membership is really worth it on this site. They not only give you a gallery to feature your work, but you will also get access to special projects and exhibitions, which you can join and so further expose yourself. Membership also gives you access to the benefits of being seen on their search engine, and visibility from their advertising campaigns.
A huge community of artists that is growing by the day, DeviantART has attracted people from all genres. A free profile will give you most benefits. But a membership gives channels to customize searches, feature boxes in your gallery, more targeted keywords and more. They have a printing service. The cost is around $4.95 per month, or you can use donated points.
Completely free, this is one of those rare unlimited services. Without spending a dime you get unlimited gallery space, a profile, search targeting and more. They are a great little site for link spreading, though you won’t get visitors as often as some others without link promotion.
18. Found Myself
Another free site, this is one of the best I have come across. Not only do they give you a gallery to host unlimited images, but they let you sell there. They take no part in your transactions or business affairs, and so take no cut from those deals. They just offer tools and let you do what you will.
19. Your Art Links
An enormous database, this is a good place to find other artist sites, resources and even supplies. They do have the option of including your own gallery on their list, which can’t hurt. They are free, as well.
On e of the best art resources on the web,. Whether you are looking to browse their thousands of fine art prints, find supplies or suppliers, check out local art shows and auctions or discover the latest art trends, they have it.
How do you promote your artworks online? Do you know any art websites that we didn’t list? Please share your tips!