Cristina Lavina Ferez gives tips on creating a great website in this free sample from The Ultimate Concept Art Career Guide. Developing an online presence is a vital part of launching a career in concept art, as it allows you to reach out to a large number of fans and potential clients. It is often the first point of call for many people and giving off a good first impression through your website is essential. Read through the tips below to find out the dos and don'ts of building an effective website.
Tips for a great website
Keep it simple
Use a simple template for your website. Choose one with minimal colors and limited decoration. Think about what you want people to focus on when they look at your work, and make sure the design of your website does not distract from that.
Make it accessible
This may seem obvious, but you need to make each section of your website easy to access with a single click of a button. You have probably come across websites which have links that you cannot click and this immediately makes it difficult for someone to navigate. Do not frustrate your audience and future employers with poor navigation.
Be easy to contact
It is important to have a clear and simple route between your portfolio and your contact information. Whenever someone is looking at your portfolio, they should be able to easily find a way to contact you, either through a contact page or a prominently placed listing of your email address.
Organizing your portfolio work into separate categories on your website is useful to the viewer. For example you could group your work into environments, illustrations, mood pieces, and so on. It is important that your audience can find the work they are most interested in. Adding in forward and back buttons is also very helpful in enabling your viewer to move from image to image within each grouping.
Include client credits and logos
If you intend to upload an artwork you have created for a company or client project, you may be required to add a text credit and the project or studio's official logo on your work. This will signal to your website visitors the professionalism of your portfolio and also ensure that you do not upset your clients. However, you should always check your contract, or with your company contact, that the image is not under a non-disclosure agreement and that you are entitled to share the work before you post the image online.
Consider a homepage image
An image on the home- or landing page is something you do not necessarily need to include, but it can be a good way to add personality to your website. Placing an illustration or artwork which you feel is a
strong representation of your skills on your homepage can be
an excellent introduction and
also act as a statement for what visitors to your website are going to find there. However, this may not suit your chosen website theme so if you feel it compromises the aesthetics of your site, it is better to not use
Adding an "About” page to your website to introduce yourself makes the website more personable. In this section you can put a portrait of yourself and give some background information about who you are, what you are interested in, and any training or career experience you have. Putting a face to your work will make you more approachable to fans and potential clients.
For more great tips and advice on developing a career in concept art from leading industry professionals and experienced freelance artists, visit our online shop to get a copy of the book.
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