Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Having an Online Presence

image: (c), image used without permission, but you should definitely check out the site - awesome comics!

If you want to get your work "out there" (and presumably viewed by lots and lots of interested parties), in this modern era of the internet, you have to have an online presence. If you google yourself, are you on the first page? Hopefully you are, but if you aren't, that is a goal you want to start working on.

Now you don't necessarily need to have your own website, but it's definitely ideal. However, if you don't have a handy-dandy web-editing program like Dreamweaver, you start talking html, php, xtml, etc., etc. and that gets costly either in education, time spent learning it, or paying someone to create your site.

Assuming you don't have the resources (yet) to build your own site, there are a lot of cool portfolio sites out there, but they don't offer a lot of customization. There's Coroflot, Carbonmade, deviantART, Behance, and many more, so definitely check them all out to see which one floats your boat (or create a portfolio on all of them - most of the big ones are totally free). You can also (less ideally) put your work up on blogger and keep it exclusively as a portfolio site.

Or, you can go to Escape from Illustration Island and check out this handy dandy tutorial to make your own portfolio site using Wordpress to make your own site. I highly recommend it, and wish that we would have read this before we built To give you a head's up on what we're eventually planning, we are going to eventually migrate to a wordpress-based site where our portfolios, blog, and shop are all nicely integrated into one big site. So if you can jump on the bandwagon of fancy wordpress users now, it's a great time to get started.

You also want to make a Facebook fan page for yourself. Ask your friends to like it and once you get to 100 fans you'll be able to get your own url! Snazzy, plus you can use it to send our messages to people who you know are interested in what you're up to!

We also highly recommend keeping a blog. This way your audience can learn more about you, and hopefully through interaction, you can learn more about them. Blogger, tumblr (great if you like short posts or just photos), and wordpress are probably the three biggest blogging platforms that we know of, but there are a lot out there.

Really, the most important lesson to take away here is that it is all about finding your audience, and the only way to do that is to put yourself out there. In whatever form works for you, make sure that you are putting yourself and your art out there, as you are doing a disservice to everyone by not sharing your unique, personal expression with the world!

Any other good venues to explore? Please share 'em in the comments!

No comments: