Category: website design

Book Club: Artist As Brand Part 8 – My Website

My reading of Greg Spalenka’s Artist As Brand continues with section VIII. What Makes a Great Website/Blog.

I found the book for a great deal on the Nook.
Or you can buy it via my Amazon referral link
and give me a little kickback!
You can also buy direct from the author!

Blog vs Website

Section VIII talks about what makes an interesting website and blog.  I love the allusion to a website as your studio while your blog is a conversation and is more interactive.  That immediately puts into perspective how a website should reflect your style while a blog can be more conversational and more casual.

For those who don’t have much experience designing a website, this section has great tips on suggested sections (ie. About, Contact, Press, Newsletter sign up, etc.) and exactly why you’d need them.

Newsletter Strategies

Spalenka also presents great suggestions for writing newsletters. I always have a hard time figuring out what’s relevant and have had a problem having enough art to show (since my attentions/products were so split up).  My newsletter has gone quiet while I build up enough of a buffer of a new consistent body of work to talk about.

Example of Online Brand (from My Own Experience):

Shadowscapes – The Art of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Stephanie Pui-Mun Law immediately sprang to mind for me while I was reading.  She has a fantastic online brand identity and social media/website presentation.  Most impressively, she built most of this herself from the ground up, having been a computer science wiz before she became an artist.

Stephanie has a centralized shop on her site and I can always tell I’m on Stephanie’s sites when I see her dreamlike Celtic knotwork, watercolor textures, and soft color palette.  Her newsletter also has a similar feel and updates her fans on upcoming events, new art, new tutorials, and a monthly giveaway which all feels relevant and cohesive to her brand identity.

My Homework

These sections definitely got me thinking about how I want my Angelic Shades and The Fantasy Art of Angela R. Sasser sites to be different.


Angelic Shades Studio – Should be a vintage inspired theme with Art Nouveau flow and flourish.  Soft pale colors (blue, purple, light grey, and white).

Store should serve fine art buyers and my target audience (ie. fancy mats and framed art, postcards, greeting cards, etc.).


The Fantasy Art of Angela of Sasser – Should be elegant and sleek with just enough flourish to not make it too stark.  Black, white, or neutral with accent colors.  Words and images blended together to reflect my love of characters, stories, and narrative images.

Store should serve book lovers, gamers, and character fans. (ie. journals, bookmarks, playmats, dice bags, themed sketchbooks/storybooks, graphic novels, etc.).


Re-designing these sites with more of a specific identity in mind is definitely high up on my to-do list!

I’ve left out SO much concerning all the various resources Spalenka mentioned, so definitely go support Spalenka’s book/workshop if you are finding this blog series helpful!

Next Up: High Touch Venues – Conventions to Galleries

Book Club: Artist As Brand Part 7 – The Art of Social Media

My reading of Greg Spalenka’s Artist As Brand continues with section VII. Brand Promotion – The Art of Social Media.

I found the book for a great deal on the Nook.
Or you can buy it via my Amazon referral link
and give me a little kickback!
You can also buy direct from the author!

This section  provides a detailed list of forums and communities for networking, many of which I hadn’t heard of before.  There are a lot of sites dedicated specifically to networking ‘tribes’ (ie. Ryze.net and Tribe.net) that I have yet to tap!  I’ll have to post later over at The Muse’s Library with some thoughts on these sites and their usefulness for artists once I’ve had a chance to properly assess them.

Shop Tips

Spalenka also makes a strong argument for having a shop on your website instead of using a portal shop like the many POD sites (Zazzle, Fine Art America, etc.) or markets like Etsy.  I’ve been back and forth on this issue for years now.  Running a shop on Etsy, for instance, gives me a shop front that’s easily accessible and discoverable by a public market and is supported by the marketplace.  Etsy does take a percentage, but the setup provides a nice backbone for a shop that I didn’t have to build myself.

I’ve built shops from the ground up, spending hours upon hours perfecting it, only to have something go wrong on the technical side of things.  Not to mention the fact my website alone simply does not get the traffic of eBay or Etsy, no matter how much I promote it.  Even still, Spalenka argues that marketplace trends are always changing while your website will always be the same central location and this is very true.

Etsy, for instance, is battling with changes at a corporate level with many artists left disgruntled by the flood of wholesalers taking over the market.  Your central website, however, will never go out of style and a shop would be easy to find if it were located there.

Bearing this in mind, I aspire to create a shop front on my site using WooCommerce, which I hope will be an easy to implement plugin for this WordPress based site.  I’ll probably still use Etsy during high traffic seasons and to sell quirky cute handmade things featuring my art, but it will probably not be my main shop front anymore, granted I can get WooCommerce working!  Adding one more thing to my business re-organization to-do list.

Publicity Tips

This section also features some fantastic tips on publicity, such as ideas for blog events and links to press kit tutorials.  It’s a bit overwhelming!  I know I need to hit publicity harder, as it’s something I really haven’t relied upon. I’m just never sure where genre art like mine can find an audience and partner site to be featured on, since I don’t work with well known IP’s, nor do I have a really recognizable body of work, just yet.

Putting a pin on this section to come back later when I feel I’m finally ready with a decently sized body of consistent (theme and skillwise) work!

I’ve left out SO much concerning all the various resources Spalenka mentioned, so definitely go support Spalenka’s book/workshop if you are finding this blog series helpful!

Next Up: What Makes a Great Website/Blog