Having a website that I built from scratch and maintaining it as often as possible is probably one of the most beneficial things that one could do. During grad school, I was still rather unfamiliar with simple things like working with Photoshop to get my artwork documented and ready for print. Just getting out of the studio to spend a few minutes on sending out email was a chore and was not really considered as a useful networking tool at the time. But as much as I hated sitting in front of a computer for hours on end, forcing myself to learn the basic foundations for creating a website, fumbling over tutorials, reading and re-reading various application manuals it has all paid off. Being an artist running away to the studio and ending my communications with the out side world seemed like an ideal lifestyle. Just me and the kitties, painting, listening to music and drinking endless cups of coffee. Well actually, this can be done now. You can lock your self away, thanks to having a website that's ever expanding with the potential to reach the far ends of the globe.
When I first built my site, I thought that people from all over would instantly take notice of my art, as it turned out only my friends and colleagues where aware of the goings on in my studio. I installed a hit counter to keep track of visitors and only averaged about 4 hits per day. What was I doing wrong?
Finally I harnessed the power of Google. I would spend hours on end just typing in anything that came to mind, searching the web for like-minded artist. Eventually I began to create a personal network of Artists and Designers who all shared a similar style and philosophy when it comes to making art. Eventually I found artists' sites that really appealed to me and then checked out there link pages and a whole new level would open up. We traded links, emailed each other back and forth commenting on style, site design, and the general coolness that their work possessed. After trading links with several artists, the hits started to come, and the process of getting noticed began.
Web portals started popping up several years ago from personal blogs to online forums and collectives about art and design. Staying in contact with these networks has been extremely beneficial. I started getting invites to group shows from various parts of the country strictly through email and referrals to my site through these online networks. Here are a few long time networks that I frequently use:
Another useful tool that I make common use of is sending out email newsletters to a list where visitors had opted on through my website. I found it actually helped boost sales of paintings through the studio and gave galleries that I had previously shown with a peek at my progress.
As a visual artist it is important to spend a fair amount of time in the studio. But when it came down to really getting noticed as an emerging artist, introducing myself to other like minded artists via email or through an online community has been really key.
Jeremiah Ketner has been busy painting and exhibiting his works all over the nation. Recent shows include, Introspective Bubbles, Lunar Base, Brooklyn, NY, "Primary Red" Pr1mary Space, Detroit, MI, Art Chicago, Chicago, IL, Represented by Hotcakes Gallery, Junc Gallery, LA, CA; New Cartoon, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, TX, and a Solo Show at Hotcakes Gallery, Milwaukee, WI, February 2005. Ketner was born in The Quad Cities, IL and is now currently living in Chicago, USA. He shares a sunny cozy apartment with his wife, baby boy and two lovely kitties, where they enjoy drinking kona coffee in the morning and listening to records.