by Michael Hamilton
Many artists, among them NAIA members, are setting up their own websites. The NAIA website is being accessed hundreds of times daily and will be an excellent "gateway" for those members who have their own website and a great contact point for those without. Think of this analogy: what would be more effective, setting up a booth by yourself on any given weekend on the streets of Cherry Creek or during the Cherry Creek Arts Festival? Will you make some sales from your page? It has happened but this isn't the primary reason to have a page. Who is accessing the NAIA site? Potential buyers of art and fine craft, of course, gallery owners and show directors looking to recruit new applicants to their shows and others interested in work for possible commercial use. Visitors will be able to see the "Member Gallery " (with random display of six thumbnail images) and most importantly, search for members by name, city, state and media. So if a visitor wanted to see, say, all fiber artists and/or members in Chicago and/or even members named Jim, the results would display all members in that category (or categories) along with a thumbnail image of each members' work (assuming you have a thumbnail image!) which is hyperlinked to the member's page. There will also be links to your page on the Member Roster and a new slide show. The member pages will be "bookmarkable" meaning visitors will be able to create their own "gallery" of work from NAIA members. Your page will have a short, distinct address (URL) that will stay the same, so your URL will not go out of date if you want to add it to your business card or postcard. Example: naia-artists.org/gallery/smith_mary.
THIS IS AN ARTS WEBSITE - LET'S SHOW THE WORLD WHAT GREAT WORK OUR MEMBERS CREATE!
Each member page will contain contact information (city, state, hyperlinked email and website URL, phone, fax), a short biography/artist's statement and four large format images of work along with image information (title, height, width, date and price if desired). Here is an excellent example (Galen Carpenter) of what you might have in your page. And another (Kathy Eaton). The fee for the page is $65 (this is not included in your membership!). Most of my time has already been spent on the search engine and database. This is a one time fee. Changes to this page (itinerary, images, new contact information, etc) will be handled individually, meaning if many changes are being made I will have to charge extra for them, from a few bucks to $12 to change an image using a new slide or photo. Here is more information for those who would like to update regularly. Corrections, of course, are free. If you are proficient at graphics manipulation, see #9 below.
To keep a consistent look to the site and because it is database driven, sorry, no custom pages with just one exception: those who do only panoramic work. The page will look exactly like the above examples only with your images and information. If you want to design your own page, it may be time for your own website! Websites make so much sense for artists that you should definitely look into it.
I have a good scanner to do this with and should have few problems translating the images to the Web but be aware that there are these variables: monitors, color depth, platform (PC, Mac), ambient light and simply how people have adjusted there own monitors. A bit of flexibility is called for. I will certainly attempt to make corrections if the images turn out way off but that should be rare. If you still have your monitor set for 256 colors and 640x480 resolution...well, I'm afraid nothing will look terrific!
IN ANY CASE, PLEASE! At least send a slide, digital image, postcard or photo for a thumbnail for the Random Gallery and the Thumbnail Gallery. Include SASE if you want it returned and maybe a short description of your work.
To order your page please send $65 (or $60 for emailed text bio) check made out to:
2012 N. 19th St.
Boise, ID 83702
[email protected] Feel free to call: 208-345-6384
Include with payment these items:
- 4 slides or photos of your work - designate one of these image to be ALSO used as the "thumbnail" image to be displayed on the "Random Gallery" and the search results page. You may want to number them in the order they will appear on the page from top to bottom. That ubiquitous red dot in the lower left corner would come in handy!
- Short text (no lists) statement for search results (try to keep it under 40-50 words).
- Longer bio/statement with gallery/show lists for page (try to keep it under 300 words). This will be APPENDED to the above statement on your actual page. (In other words, the first paragraph of your statement will also be displayed in the search results.) You can actually have it any length but it starts to look a little unwieldy and Web visitors are notorious for not reading. Unless you are going to self edit or pay for many changes as your schedule varies, it may make more sense to have a list of the best shows you've done and/or shows you consistantly do year to year.
- I have contact information and media categories for all members already. It's not necessary to publish your street address unless you wish it.
- $5 discount if text is emailed to me rather than having to type it myself! MS Word is OK...prefer plain text, though. You can copy/paste text right into your email message, too. Otherwise I can scan in a text copy of your information - please don't use a fancy font and not all caps. The plainer, the better.
- Does your photographer require credit when images are published? If so, include their name also.
- Would you want a little ? (copyright) next to your image? Let me know.
- SASE for return of slides. I will keep them until you are satisfied with the images online.
- One last tip: save some money by email attaching your four images in a format I can simply plug in. That means each MUST be 400x400 pixels. You may paste your image (centered and with the largest dimension being, of course, 400 pixels) into a 400x400 pixel black "canvas", optimize it to be less than 20-30K or so, and saving as a JPG. Here is an example. If this makes sense, you could probably handle it. The point being that I won't need to manipulate these images AT ALL. If so, deduct another $35.
Finally, to see an example of how this all works, go here:
NAIA Member Gallery. Presently we have 65+ member pages. Try choosing from the media categories or typing in the state box to see how the search can work. You may be surprised to find yourself (a thumbnail and short comments) in there!
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