Today I will be reviewing the 1st of the free online portfolio sites that I have to sign up for. So follow me through the process.
As I look at the next site on my list, FineArtAmerica, I do feel a bit daunted. This is one of those online sites where you can not only show your art, but also sell high-resolution prints of your work, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. The first thing I noticed was a map of my state and “Your current location” with my city listed (how did they know?). Further down the home page, there is an artist spotlight featuring the work of artists from my hometown. Nice.
They seem to have a lot to offer besides the ability to show your work and sell prints of it. They have good search tools for finding artwork and artists; a page of brick and mortar galleries located in my area, and more pages of galleries located successively further and further out. The list doesn’t seem quite complete or accurate, though, so I assume it’s made by people who submit their own info (some important local galleries are missing from the list, and some things that are listed as galleries are mere one-person shops). They also have a nice events calendar, so I can see that may be useful tool.
They have jobs listings, community links, news, and a tour of their site, which I highly recommend, as it more extensive and more interesting than what I can cover here. My first impression is that even though the site looks packed with information, art and options, it’s well designed and well-thought out, so I’m intrigued.
They offer two levels of artist portfolios; a free one which does NOT include the print-on-demand feature; or for $30.00 a year, the level with print-on-demand, which actually looks like a great deal, if one is ready for that. I’m going with the free one for now.
Uploading the first piece of art plus info was also easy, and each art piece has it’s own webpage (it’s own link), with places to: recommend, post a comment, add to favorites, submit to Stumble Upon, and share on Facebook. The viewer can also “Add This Artwork to Your Favorites Collection,” and “Add This Artist to Your Watch List.”
Besides including the usual (art, title, medium, dimensions, and price), you can add a description and tags. Dominant colors and a URL link to the piece are auto-generated. Very nice. They also add little boxes onto your piece (on rollover) that the viewer can click to see a small portion of your painting at full-resolution (with a ghosted watermark). This is a great feature that I will very much appreciate if and when I decide to offer prints for sale. At present, the resolution of my online images is too low to print from or to see any more detail.
Like most online portfolio sites, the first piece of artwork shown is the last piece added, but the cool thing is, you can change the position in which they are shown. Oh, yah! Plus, they allow you to show up to 100 pieces! Pretty generous.
You can also add upcoming events to their calendar, view events by location, date, etc., view how many people have looked at your comments, and read comments they’ve left for you. While I was uploading my art, almost all of it got viewed by quite a few people , and I already received a nice comment.
Now this may be the coolest thing of all: you can set up your own mailing list right online through them, and mail HTML newsletters to everyone on your list; the newsletters will come through your email address, and you can see who opened them. I think I will try it out.
FineArtAmerica was designed by artists for artists, and it shows. They have quickly moved to the top of my list of free online portfolios. I’m truly wowed! I suggest you run, don’t walk, over to FineArtAmerica and set up your portfolio.
***It’s been several days since I signed up with FineArtAmerica. I still love it. On day2, I was a featured artist on the home page for the Austin area; a number of people have commented on my works there, and I have commented on a number of other artists’ works. It’s a very friendly community.