I’ve talked on here before about online galleries, particularly the places that let you list a portfolio free of charge. I myself have had a resonable amount of traffic from some of these sites and the two that produce the best sales results to date have been Artmajeur.com and Boundless Gallery.
Boundless Gallery take a commission from each of your sales – 25%, whereas Artmajeur do not take a penny. I know who I would rather sell through but I find the exposure from both sites worth the trade off, each produce fairly good results for me in the major search engines.
There is however, another great place to show your paintings, photography, sculpture or whatever mediums you work with. That place is Flickr. If you have never heard of it before, please read on, because I think you will find participating in the program hugely beneficial.
First off, it is FREE to sign up with Flickr. Good enough incentive for you starving, poverty stricken art types? It should be, because Flickr is one of those places where the more you put in, the more you will get out of it. It is first and foremost an online photo album, and I discovered it more by accident than anything else. It has grown from being just a place where people store their digital pictures however.
There are hundreds of groups within Flickr, catering to a variety of subjects including art. Many of these art groups deal specifically with painting and drawing, and, as a member you can post messages and pictures of your work. This may not sound like much but, if you take an active part in the groups, posting your images and discussion threads, you will be able to network with other artists in similar fields to your own. It is a great place for critiques of your own work, a place to gain valuable insight into the art of others, and to make contacts which could be very beneficial. It is not unreasonable to expect that art buyers and collectors will also browse the group archives, so, if your work is out there, you may find new audiences and potential customers.
Another useful spin off is, that when you post messages on Flickr, they will be indexed by the search engine spiders. Your photos can be tagged with as many keywords as you choose too, so it is another place for those busy little robots to find you.
I have discovered some very good paintings on the site, it’s one of those places where you start browsing and a few hours later, realize that you only went to have a “quick look” – it can be a very absorbing place. In short, what a great gallery for artists, and all free, gratis and for nothing!
Here is just one example of some of the really nice work I’ve discovered on Flickr recently, from Vancouver based artist Paul Sydney. Great paintings, thought provoking and original – thanks for sharing Paul!
Setting up a Flickr account is as simple as ABC. You don’t need any specialist knowledge at all. Sign up, upload your photos, browse around the groups, and see what goes on in this huge community. You can mark any photo on the site as a “favourite”, you can add other members as contacts, you can even subscribe to a feed (or many feeds as you choose) and be notified if the pictures in that person’s collection are updated. It is all part of the legend that is Yahoo, so go on, go and check it out for yourself.