This post displays the default WordPress Gallerythat comes standard with every WordPress install. All Artbiz themes are outfitted with this gallery by default and are configured to use a thumbnail for next and previous images.
Uploading images whilst working on a Page (or Post) allows WordPress to create, and store, a direct association between each image and its parent Page (or Post). It is this association that is used to create your gallery.
Tip: When creating a gallery, try to ensure that the images you’re uploading are all roughly the same size (e.g. 1000 pixels wide by 750 pixels high). The final gallery of thumbnails will look a lot neater as a result.
Once all the images have been uploaded, check that each image has a human-readable title. No titles like abc2864.jpg, please. Give your images real titles like “My Dog” or “Roses”. If you have made changes to the image titles, remember to select “Save All changes” to record your amendments.
After you’ve uploaded and edited your images, click the “Save all changes” button. Once the changes are saved, the Gallery tab will be displayed on the “Add an Image” box and will automatically gain focus.
Scroll down to the bottom of the Add Media window to the Gallery Settings section. When you have finished entering your Gallery Settings, select “Insert gallery”. Then save your updated Page.
I received a phone call one Friday afternoon from New Haven artist & curator, Suzan Shutan. She was in the process of finalizing an exhibition proposal. But before she finished she decided to do one final Google search for art made with pins & needles.
It just so happened that I wrote a post at henigmanbruce.com (my fine art site) about my work with pins and needles (you can read it here). Suzan found it on Google and included my work in the exhibition proposal with some pretty amazing international artists.
Being found online by Susan created a domino effect that started with the Pins & Needles exhibition at Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, CT. When the exhibition opportunity came through I wrote for a A.F.A. project grant and was successful.
My Heels series was created for the exhibition and I posted images of the work to my Facebook profile. An artist friend (that I had never met) posted a couple of links to shoe museums, she thought I’d be interested in. I submitted my work to The Virtual Shoe Museum and was included in their online collection.
A few years later that same online collection site put together a major exhibition at Grassi Museum in Germany. I was included in the show and subsequently the Museum kept my piece as part of their permanent collect.
From there a New York fashion magazine, Heaven Has Heels, found my work at The Virtual Shoe Museum and approached me for an interview. Which I happily agreed to.
I don’t know what, if anything, will happen next, but I firmly believe that none of this would have happened had I not written about my work and had my images ranked in Google.
There are many good reasons to craft content for your website, whether you blog or not, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is sharing your work with the world and letting them into your world so they can get to know the person behind the art.
In a recent article I wrote about why artists should blog and I jumped on the bandwagon and started writing about my work on my fine art website.Then with life and work and all sorts…well I slowed down on the manic postings.
It seems to me that with everything I read about blogging it is an all or nothing scenario. That you must write a post at least 3 times a week and if you do your search engine rankings will increase and will get you all sorts of recognition. And if you don’t be warned the search engines will penalize you for not having fresh new content when you say you will. But what if you’re not that gregarious and still want to share your thoughts and ideas?
Personally I believe put out there as much or as little as you want. I know die-hard bloggers will totally disagree with me but still I think that it is better to say something than nothing at all. The great thing about WordPress is that you can configure it to make it search engine friendly even if you don’t post a lot. Using plugins like Google XML Sitemaps you can tell the search engines to come back once a month and not everyday. There that takes the pressure off, whew.
What I like about the blog format is that it separates the stuff that I want to talk about from my actual portfolio. This keeps my image pages clean and crisp just like an artist wants and what galleries and collectors want to see. And with WordPress I can have the “blog” hooked into my website which makes it really search engine friendly. It also tells visitors that this it is where they can read more in-depth about my work. I can go when the mood strikes and talk about what is moving me at the moment… or not.
10 tips on How to use your website as a submission tool
Do your research. Find a gallery that fits your work.
Respect and follow the submission guidelines that are posted on the gallery website.
If submission guidelines are not posted then contact the gallery and ask if they are accepting submissions and if they accept website submissions. The more we as artists ask for our websites to be used as a submission tool the more likely it will happen.
Write a cover letter in the email introducing your self and stating why your work fits with the gallery.
Address your email letter to the appropriate person. If that person is not listed on their website perhaps phone and ask who you should address your submission to. This will show that your are professional and respectful.
Read my post on Writing there are some good resources to help you put together a letter.
Attach at least one image into the body of the email, preferably at the end to encourage the gallery to click-through.
Wait a couple of weeks and send a follow-up email (unless they state specifically not to – don’t call us – we’ll call you) and ask about the status of your submission. Include your URL which should be part of your signature – read “Shameless Self Promotion for Artists”. Be respectful and thank them for their time.
If you don’t hear back, well you don’t hear back. Let it go and carry on to the next.
Please have your site up to date. That means your CV, contact info and your images.
What you should not do…
Throw your URL into an email and say “I am submitting my website for review”, click and send.
Address your email letter to “Dear Gallery So and So”.
DO NOT batch email to a number of galleries at the same time.
The procedure for submitting via your website is really no different from what you would do normally. You still need to do your homework, write your words and take your pictures. Perseverance Furthers!
Since the art world is moving more and more toward website submissions it is very important – no – it is paramount – that your images are high quality. That does not mean that they are large file size and 300dpi. That would take forever to load and your visitors will leave your site before the image finally gets there.
What is does mean is that your original digital photograph is of high quality because when it is reduced in size and made web ready it will hold that same quality even though it is a smaller image (around 72dpi).
Always resize your images to be the same height by their proportional width. The next and previous links will be in approximately the same position making it easier for your visitors to find and advance.
View your images and website on different computers with different monitor sizes. What looks good on your gigantic screen make not look so good on a 14″ monitor.
Group like genres together in the same gallery.
Have a read through these photography resource sites on how to photograph artwork.
Here are some ideas: self promotion for artists to increase the traffic to your website (If you don’t promote your website who will?)
People need to know that you actually have a website. Tell them, publish your website address on everything include adding it to the signature of all your emails. I know one gallery whose business card has only their website address on it and nothing else. Certainly this may drive traffic to their site if only to retrieve their phone number and address. You may not want to go to that extreme but do put your website address on everything that goes out including on the back of your paintings.
An artist I know keeps prospects and clients informed of new work by creating a postcard that announces new work on her website. The postcard cover always includes her website address as well as an image of the new work. The message on the postcard back encourages her clients and prospects to visit the site. This sends the message of her continual success to her client/prospect base and brings more visitors to the site. VAAA has a great postcard printing program for their members.
Another artist client of mine includes an image of her work in all her emails. Clever girl!
Artist websites tend to be heavily weighted with images, as they should be. But search engines (Google and the like) are looking for text and will not extract text from a jpeg (just so you know). Consider writing a short statement on your gallery page that briefly outlines what that particular body of work is about.
Search also engines like new and fresh content. If you have something to say consider writing a blog. If that doesn’t appeal to you create a news page and post your upcoming events or even create links to your favorite art sites and tell us why you like them.
Links are also important especially one way links that point to your website. Try listing your site in some art directories like artistincanada.com