Whether you create your art digitally, in a traditional format, or via immersive installations, an online presence is now more important than ever.
It’s the opportunity to get your work out there and your name known, and so it is hugely important not to waste that chance.
A website will often be an artist’s first introduction to potential fans and buyers, so it’s imperative to create a strong imprint on a visitor’s mind. The following ten websites are our favorites from some of today’s most innovative and important artists.
10. April Coppini
Native New Yorker April is a talented artist who specializes in charcoal drawings. Her subjects of choice are animals, and her work with bees is particularly special. So lifelike are they, in fact, that you almost expect them to fly right off the page.
April’s site is as minimalist as they come, and the home page is nothing more than four words and a small drawing on a stark white background. This brave approach to a portfolio pays off, and the simple black text dares you to further explore her simple site. Click through to the art page and work is organized simply by year and availability. A comprehensive info page gives viewers a real insight into April as an artist and a person, which is a great gift to be given as a fan.
French photographer Guillaume resides in Montreal, Canada, and is known for his surreal photography style. His subjects center around stark, empty landscapes which focus on being emotive without being brash or obvious in their intentions.
His website is brilliantly juxtaposed with his work in a way that really lets the images speak for themselves. The homepage is minimalist to say the least, with a clean white background and nothing more than thumbnails for his collections and links to Instagram and Tumblr.
Flat, simple, and uncluttered, visitors scroll his work from left to right instead of the traditional top to bottom, which gives more of a gallery experience than other portfolio sites. The captions which accompanies each collection mirrors the images themselves, in that they say a lot without shouting too loud.
Bridging the gap between fine art and the commercial world, Shantell creates performance art, large scale pieces and clothing designs, to name but a few of her talents. Born in the UK but now living in NYC, and boasting collaboration with Puma and Kendrick Lamar, she is well known for her bold lines and ultra-modern artwork.
Shantell is passionate about inviting her viewers into her creative process, and this is evident in the way that she uses her online platform. The color palette is completely monotone, and visitors are treated to a moving background as they scroll down the homepage of Shantell’s site. Click on the ‘play’ menu option and you can adjust the way in which the website interacts with your scrolling, creating a fun user experience.
The main menu is at the bottom of the page, rather than at the top where it might traditionally be, and is bold and eye-catching like Shantell’s work itself. Visitors can browse recent work, or check out her online shop if you fancy owning some of her unique art.
South African Charles is an award winning art director, designer and illustrator. He is also a hugely successful branding artist, and has created work for Microsoft amongst other well-known companies. Charles is known for his strong political views, and his portfolio proves that he’s never afraid to create art which demonstrates those beliefs.
We love Charles’ website because of its combination of playful illustrations and simple, clean format. Icons in the menu bar animate in a fun way, and it’s that attention to detail which makes the site the success that it is. The home page is his ‘about me’ page, which bucks the trend of going straight in with the artwork, and this shows a quiet confidence about the fact that it is Charles himself that visitors are truly interested in.
Rebecca is an American illustrator with a beautifully clean and simple style. Her work is humorous and is inspired by pop art and graphic novel art. Her fun creations have been featured in exhibitions at Everson Museum of Art and Szozda Gallery, and she is currently working on creating an original graphic novel.
Rebecca’s site is probably the most traditional portfolio on our list, but it deserves its place here for her clean typography and artistic restraint. The portfolio page is laid out in an attractive grid design, and the sketchbook page gives the viewer an intimate insight into Rebecca’s creative process. There’s a handy link to her online store, too, where you can buy Rebecca’s designs on t-shirts, homeware and stickers.
The second photographer on our list couldn’t be more different from the first, and both the site and the work that it contains is fantastically bold. Italian Erminando loves photographing people because “everyone has a history and a story to tell”, and he does a superb job of bringing those stories to life in his images.
The transitions between web pages are fun and thoughtful, and there’s a real sense of cohesion across the entire site. The menu is centered on a changing image, and Erminando’s work is helpfully divided up according to the subject. The ‘about me’ page features an autobiographical video which gives his fans a deeper insight into his life and work, which feels like a real treat. What could have been a simple and uninspiring photography portfolio is anything but, which is exactly what we’d expect from such a brilliant creative mind.
Julie is a freelance artist and graphic designer working out of Amsterdam and Paris. She’s worked for a host of impressive clients, including Nike and Heineken and is known for her graphical elements mixed with strong, colorful lines. Julie’s talents lie in bringing a product to life, and she uses her creativity to identify what lies at the heart of a brand.
Her website, is fun, cheeky and cool, all at the same time, and visitors are greeted with an animated gesturing hand as the site loads. The first text we see is a sassy invitation for us strangers to scroll down her colorful, dream-like homepage, and if you take Julie up on her offer you’ll be rewarded with a cool animated list of her clients and an overview of some of her favorite work. The mostly monochrome website lets the color of her art shine through, and like her work, everything is about perfect synchronicity.
Bulgarian-born Philip’s digital prints are dramatic, eye-catching and somewhat retro. His award-winning designs are famous for their strong color and line work, and are a fun contradiction to his fine arts education.
Philip’s site has similarities to Erminando’s, in that it also uses a clock-like menu on the front page. That’s where the similarities end though, and the bold black background and animated graphical pattern create an almost sci-fi feel. The movement really draws your eyes to the site, and creates a hypnotic effect that makes you want to stay and browse for longer. His bold work really pops against the black background, which wouldn’t have been the case had he chosen to play it safe with the usual white background.
The most prolific artist on our list is the infamous mystery man of the art world: Banksy. Little is known about the creator of some of the 21st century’s best known art, but his work can be easily recognized by members of the art world and the public alike. Think witty, politically relevant large scale street art, and you’ve got Banksy.
Banksy’s choice to keep his website super minimalist makes sense, considering his desire to remain out of the limelight, and the monochrome color pallet is wonderfully simplistic. There’s an option for Q & A, but in true Banksy style he doesn’t give anything away about himself other than a contact email address.
Work is broken up into ‘Inside’ and ‘Outside’, and the hand-sketched menu is true to his style as an artist. The fun way in which he’s scribbled out the ‘Theme Park’ option of his site now that it’s closed is a playful homage to his well-known street style.
Artem is based in New York and Moscow and is a renowned visual artist and designer. A talented art director, Artem has worked for Condé Nast Russia and Offsome Magazine and has a wealth of experience in the fields of arts, culture, fashion and media. This multitalented artist’s work includes paintings, a book cover, branding and photography.
Visitors to Artem’s site are greeted by a bold blue and white home page which brilliantly stands out from that of similar artists. Simple borders and text invite the visitor to find a way into Artem’s world, and when you do get in you are greeted with a bold list of artwork and achievements and a simplistic biography. This website is text lead, which is an interesting approach for an artist, but we love the boldness of this.
Wrapping it up
Whichever format you choose to create your art in, it’s important to have a fantastic website to showcase it on. These artists prove that the sky’s the limit when it comes to website design, and it shows that there are many more possibilities than a simple portfolio format.
Which artist’s website do you love? Let us know in the comments.