Not so long ago an artists internet portfolio with even a reasonable number of images was an expensive, time consuming and frustrating proposition for visual artists of all kinds. Painters, photographers, illustrators and people, like me, that make functional art all need to present a lot of good images.
In the early days, computer load time verses quality and quantity was a dilemma for artists developing their own websites. It was not just delivery speed that was the problem. Early surfers used dial up systems that tied up their phones while they waited, patiently or not, for your image to trickle down their screen. The better the definition of the picture you used, the slower was their trickle.
What's more, artists websites, whether designed to be speedy or spectacular, rarely delivered the access to the millions that website developers promised. Competing for attention with keywords like watercolorist and American Artist was no easy matter. This became especially true for individual artists websites when collaborative sites with multiple artists began to develop.
Early group artist portfolio sites were not very useful either. For a start they always cost money, often significant amounts. They offered space for only a few images and very clumsy or non-existing payment systems. They did not allow links out to other sites and some even demanded exclusivity.
How Times Change
Today it is content, not the space to display it, that is the currency of the internet and artists being steady providers of unique content are valuable assets to website publishers. This has led to artists being offered free portfolio space on numerous websites and is now emphasized by the Redgage system which pays content providers when their content is viewed regardless of the self serving nature of the information.
Free Portfolio Space for Artists
In 2011 free artist portfolio sites like Artwanted and Saatchionline offer artists nice clean ad-free interfaces complete with slideshow and zoom capabilities that are perfect for displaying artwork. They allow multiple images of substantial size even to their free users. For example Artwanted currently allows 50 items for a free account while Saatchonline provides for 20 artworks. Redgage is advertising supported but places no limits so effectively enables artists to show their entire inventory for free with the potential of a little income for doing so.
Links to Sales Pages
It's not just the quality exhibition space that Artwanted and Saatchi provide that make them so useful to artists. They also have good page rank and generous linking policies to artist's own websites and payment pages without commissions or even reciprocal links. Redgage has high page rank and encourages multiple links out both from its user's profiles and in promotional articles.
Sales System Alternatives
Artwanted has no problem with artists that want to manage their own sales but also has an optional shopping cart set up with a competitive 15% commission rate for artists without their own websites and merchant accounts. They also have systems designed to benefit graphic design artists and photographers by printing and marketing their images on a whole range of products.
Ease of Use
Free artist portfolio site designers have worked hard so that technically challenged artists can easily learn the uploading and editing processes. Features like automatic picture resizing and individual item view statistics make adding and managing artworks easier than on most personaly managed artist websites.
The Redgage Edge for Artists
The Redgage edge is that Redgage is not a website for artists exclusively. It claims to monetize what people are already doing. That includes posting art images to the internet. It pays small amounts on a calculatedly complicated basis which trickles pennies into accounts based on the number of views an image, article or link receives. This innovative notion and the promotional potentials of its linking policies combine to make this a fast growing well trafficked site. What's more it's a site heavily populated with Creatives and Would be Creatives; Writers, Photographers, Digital Artists, Straight out Photoshoppers as well as Painters and Illustrators. Just the kind of people who are interested in art and potentially buy art.
Putting Artwork on the internet either on group websites or your own quality artist's website is no longer difficult or expensive. Posting corresponding images and links on Redgage now makes promotion easier too. Artwanted.com is great for servicing customers that find your work. Redgage increases the chance of new customers finding it. Ones that didn't know they were looking for you.