d-ART was an early entrant into the rash of sites offering free online artist portfolios. I signed up early on — in January 2003. I haven’t fully participated in all that they have to offer (forums and critiques, for example), but I find them to be a great online portfolio addition to my own artist portfolio website. They’ve updated their look and options a time or two over the years, always improving an already very good online art database. Here is what my portfolio there looks like now:
- each artist gets their own set of pages that include:
- your photo
- a banner, which can be of your own design
- a bio page
- gallery “wings” of thumbnail pages with up to 50 images in (as far as I can tell) unlimited wings
- large image pages with artwork information, price, dominant colors, and “private bids,” “add to favorites,” “contact seller,” and optional “buy now” buttons (see Paypal/Google below)
- a browse/search box for your art gallery wings
- a links section
- your own signature or avatar
- the ability to add Paypal or Google checkout to your listings
- the ability to integrate e-Bay listings
- the ability to sync your database enabled website with d-ART’s database
- an artist’s forum for information that others submit about your art
- community critiques by other artists
- a contact form with spam protection
- monthly stats of views and clicks
- your work can be found on the d-ART site by:
- a direct link
- “browse artist alphabetically” on the front page of the d’Galleries
- browse work by type, genre, subject and price
- search the Marketplace by new listing, random, keyword, type of art, subject, media, price, size, and/or color
- keyword search at the top of every page
- browse the Critic’s Corner
- directly from Google.com / Froogle.com (via their daily database feed)
Of course, as you might expect, those artists who pay to to be a featured artist or be hosted on their site get more goodies, but what they offer for free is quite good.
d-ART is an excellent site for the art buyer, and a very good one for the art seller. In the past 12 months alone, I’ve had almost 390,000 thumbnail views of the 33 pieces of art I had on there last year, and almost 68,000 clicks to the individual pieces; I’ve had several inquiries about individual pieces, though I have as yet made no sales through d-ART.
However, as good as d-ART is, I would not use it instead of a website where the URL can be a name of my choosing. Using it in addition to your own website, however, can only help get more eyes on your work. On the other hand, when you have your artwork listed on several online sites, you need to be very careful to keep the information current and accurate on as many sites as you have a presence on.
To that end, one of the greatest things that d-ART offers is the ability to sync up your database enabled website with their database. My next step with d-ART will be to attempt to do just that. Once I have done that, I will post how easy or difficult I find that process to be.
One last noteworthy comment I want to make; d-ART does make it very easy to add new artwork and information about the artwork — if you are uploading a number of pieces, the best practice is to batch upload pieces that are similar — then after filling in the information on the first piece, be sure to click on the checkbox “this piece is similar to the last” and then all you have to edit are the titles and whatever else may be different about the remaining pieces. On the other hand, editing bits of information about the artwork that is already in your d-ART Gallery must be done on a piece-by-piece basis, and is very tedious. I speak from experience (having just spent way too many hours updating my portfolio there).