Archive | Websites RSS feed for this section

Retro style, now technology

13 Aug

Photographer Rodney Smith has a sophisticated, very slick website, with a carefully thought out favicon and a bundle of resources geared to make you sign up for newsletters. Smart move!

His portfolio is very easy to use: hover over the thumbnails, and see a large version pop up. Fast, elegant and no going backwards and forwards or opening a new page. Smooth…

Rodney Smith portfolio page

Of course, Mr Smith now blogs, and his call for ‘technofiles and blogorithms’ is put across in rather nice typography:

Blog by Rodney Smith


Independence, interdependence, internet art and home-made conspiracy theories

4 Aug

Which US corporations have directors on the board of other institutions? What are the links? Designer Josh On collated data from 2004, and made it available on, and interactive website that allows you to mix and match the data and create your own theories on what the vested interests might be…

Josh says:
[In 2004] ‘There was a rise in the antiglobalization movement, there were more and more interest in social networks on different fronts and there was the dotcom crash. I think people were looking for anything that was exciting, that was happening on the internet and wasn’t commercial.’

Art and online activism: RTMark

3 Aug

Art and online activism, a history:


Artists’ reasons for having websites

31 Jul

‘I love websites, because you can show the viewer the pictures exactly as you want them to see them. I’m confident because I know what people are going to see. I know what they’re going to click, and I know what’s going to happen. There’s no paper damage, there’s no fingerprints… God, I hate fingerprints. What if it bends? It creases? A website is comfortable, reliable. Any person can see it, anytime. It’s not like a meeting, being late… It’s just there.’
Maria Gendelman, photographer.

‘Having a web presence, I think that’s really important now. But I think it’s almost worse to have a really badly designed, complicated, annoying website because it’s quite counterproductive. If you’re going to make your own website, make it very, very simple, just to have the information that you need on it, easy to access, and keep it up to date. Maybe you might need to go and do some extra courses in Dreamweaver or whatever to learn how to do it yourself, because it’s so much better to do it yourself rather than getting a friend to do it but they don’t update it for you.’
Cathy Lomax, director of Transition Gallery

‘I’ve got a lot of work through the web, a lot. Through having a web presence, not necessarily through my own website. You have a presence, you are a real person, you’ve got a history, you’ve done a load of work, and have a background. So it’s easy for them to get a picture of you.’
Alexandra Abraham, artist

Copyright, Creative Commons, Free Culture and Clipart

27 Jul

It is not true that putting your images online automatically makes them free for all to copy and use. With recent stories of publishers lifting images from Twitpic and other platforms to use without the artist’s consent (or payment), the online world is rife with misunderstandings, thiefs and ARTISTS!

Belief in free culture, as expressed, for example, in the film ‘Steal this Film‘ could damage artists whose copyright is violated. Of course, in a nice world, people share good things with each other. But where is the line between promoting your new discovery amongst your friends and stealing intellectual property and crafted labour? Usually, it’s commercial exploitation.

Many argue that giving some work for free and having work copied can lead to a viral kind of popularity that in turn leads to increased recognition and revenue.

Some artists prefer a Creative Commons license, which operates on the principle that people can copy the work and share it, providing that the artist/author is always named alongside the work, and that the images are not exploited commercially. A fair agreement, of which you can find out more on the Creative Commons website. A Creative Commons license on your work would be the legal way of ensuring that others understand that you are happy for your work to be shared for personal enjoyment. Copyright is stricter in some countries than others, and ‘fair use’ of the work can be much tighter.

Whatever your choice, nothing seems saner than a simple bit of communication on your views. Here is a plain, clear message on artist Lisa Falzon’s Facebook page:

‘All these images are © Lisa Falzon. All rights reserved. Do not alter or repost anywhere without my express permission. This isn’t clipart.’

Lisa Falzon Facebook page

For more information check out these sites. The debate is open!

Designers and Artists Copyright Society, DACS, UK

Creative Commons licensing

Free Culture, book by Laurence Lessig

Belief and the mysterious reality of the internet

24 Jul

I’m back on the subject of how the internet may alter perceptions of what’s true, amidst the millions of anonymous cybernauts who could be hideously fake people, posers with malevolent-intentions, or just those who like pseudonyms, alter egos and cross-dressing, for art’s sake or otherwise…

I recently met an artist who confessed that she sometimes poses as a man when making initial online contact with galleries or in other situations where she feels that her ‘masculine self’ would perform better – or be better received (There would be lots to say on gender inequality, but this is not the place). Pause for thought…

Spanish artist Yolanda Dominguez has recently had great media success, and a good deal of controversy, with an artwork for which she created a persona ‘Katy Salinas’, whose blog, Facebook account, and other online presences led many (over 15,000 visitors) to believe that ‘Katy’ was a real person. The controversy was fueled by the potent topic Yolanda had made part of the work, which is how much importance do we give physical appearance, and whether we increasingly demand unrealistic levels of ‘beauty’ from older people. If you can read Spanish, here is one article. You also still read Katy’s blog. Will stories like this make us loose faith in what we encounter online? Or are we too wary and skeptical of the internet’s Big Brother  mysteries and dangers anyway?

Article from

Mystery artists with an online presence

21 Jul

Not all artists who have an online presence want to be contacted, or even known. Some literally put up images for you to see them and nothing else. I don’t think these examples are orphaned pages that became detached from their author in the mass of WWW data. Perhaps complete anonymity is a choice made to subvert the art world; perhaps it is to explore art freely on one hand, while keeping a consistent (and unsoiled by experiementation?) art practice elsewhere.  Maybe it’s genuine philanthropy? Or is it to acknowledge tribal and medieval cultural practices that were thrown out with Enlightenment? I’m as bemused by possible reasons as I am by these finds:

Artist Russell Herron's website


No contact, no contact form, no email address…  just art.

Spike Splash

10 Jul

Having gone through about 50 nice and clean artist websites with lots of white space in one day, it was quite a welcome slap in the face to come across this: it may be too noisy and OTT for some, but I personally find it well organised and good to look at. Not, of course, that appearance is everything, when it comes to websites and blogs!

spike dennis website

Scribbles and Scrabble

6 Jul

Some artist websites are not font-perfect. I like how Alexone plays with drawings and photos of Scrabble pieces  to create his tabs:


Music to Visuals

4 Jul

Just as I received an email from an artist* telling me that her pet hate on artist’s websites is music, I thought: “mmh, can’t recall the last time I saw a website with music – at least not an art one…”

And just then fate intervened and I found this one! Click to get the Indian vibes.


I have to say, in this case especially, I like the music, but I personally don’t encounter much music on websites. What do you other artists think? I didn’t ask that in the questionnaire, so you’ll have to comment here, or email me ( Thank you for contributing!

* Thank you for sharing your opinions!

Internet case studies

3 Jul

The August 2010 issue of Computer Arts magazine features a review of a new publication by Taschen: The Internet Case Study Book. Trust it for the cover, because it does what it says on the can. It reviews 60 examples of online success in different areas, social media, campaigns, e-commerce, etc. You can see the first 100 pages with Taschen’s lookinside facility. Great to get a few more ideas of good practice, and continue developing your online presence!

internet case studies

Another beautiful artist’s website

1 Jul

Anna Raymond is a textile artist whose website is made in Flash and doesn’t show up on mobile devices (word of warning – the internet keeps on changing), but on a computer screen, it’s delicious!

Easy to navigate, with fun moving parts and a textured appearance that you don’t see often on computer screens, but I personally relish, this is a toy of a site!




You may have heard Flash being slandered a lot lately, or been warned not to use it because mobile device makers have not integrated the software into theirs. But let’s not condemn Flash. I am not a web designer, let’s be clear about that, but a Flash website can have an alternative format in what is called ‘the back end’ (webpages that are kept online amidst your website files, but not made visible). This means that a mobile device can pick up the specially-made alternative pages, where Flash won’t work. Thank you, Stuart from Sennep, for explaining that to me.

Sleek Black double-blogging website

24 Jun

Carl Gent is an artist who has kindly helped with this research. He has a website that is unusually minimal initially, but it gets more and more interesting as you explore it’s hidden gems. Open it and play!

Stylish help

23 Jun

I love this website. It’s very clever, changing format depending on what size screen it’s opened on (responsive design), but I like it mostly because it’s humourous,  beautiful in that a-little-bit-retro kind of way, and full of good ideas and lots of tips for artist websites! Take a look:

Online diaries

22 Jun

In conversations I’ve had recently with various artists and web developers, it seems that the very flat colours/backgrounds on many websites are not what artists who place o lot of emphasis on texture in their art prefer. Debate rages as to whether you should have a minimal background to enhance the work, or a background that stylistically matches the haptic feel of the works. So far, I get the impression (just from talking to people – this is not statistical evidence!) that web developers seem to say ‘uniform flat background’ more than artists who work with 3D/textiles and textured paint. Ultimately, it’s down to taste, and that’s a matter of opinion!

Jennie Hale has a very tactile online diary:

jenny hale webshot

This example is viewed best on small screens (screen size = another consideration for artists websites). I choose this example too because it is unusual for an online diary (blogs are plentiful, as you know) to actually look like an old-fashioned hand-written one. This one uses some of the visuals we would expect from a physical object. Like photography, the online interface sometimes tries to blur the distinction between the real and the virtual.

Online evolution

20 Jun

A website is a work in progress. Some just evolve the way children grow up, and develop organically. Some, occasionally, shoot in a new direction and are re-thought from the bottom up. Visually, a great leap was made by The Little Artists John Cake and Darren Neave:

Pre-2008 version. Well crafted, vibrant and very unlike most other artists websites. But on first impressions it does look like a Cbeebies project…

Current version. Still makes good play with strong colour combinations, and the fun factor is going nowhere! But on first impressions this IS an artist website.

Quote #2

17 Jun

Tony Cattermole is a business advisor who specialises in SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and has looked in depth at their online presence. The Business Link website features this pertinent quote:

“The results prove that there is a digital divide among London’s SMEs – those that embrace the Internet as an important component of their business and those that think they can do without. That mindset could hamper their road to recovery. Websites are a cost-effective way of generating sales, reaching customers and launching new products and services.”

I went to see Mr Cattermole, and again and again he said; “websites and not events, they are processes.”

His 5 top tips are:

  1. This is a form of marketing not technology – communicate with your customers
  2. Put your customers first – make sure the website meets their needs and answer their questions
  3. It’s your words that matter – stylishness is less important
  4. How will customers find your website? Make sure that you optimise it for popular search engines such as Google
  5. Don’t delegate the content to your developer – you know your customers best

Crafting a website

16 Jun

Just made a call for wow artists websites on social networking sites, and some were linked here. Fast results!

This website by designer Wieki Somers features mostly ceramic and porcelain objects. While there seems to be no obvious connection between the butterflies and the shape of the sculptures, the flapping creatures work to add visual consistency to the site, and the movement adds interest and is definitely original. Zandra Rhodes used to call her dresses ‘butterflies’, here the butterflies are sculptures, each, I interpret, with different wing patterns. It looks great gives pause for thought. Nice!

Surf the net and drink tea

15 Jun

This blog is not about the art displayed on the websites featured here (but if you’re interested in that, click here). The issue at hand is how are artists using the internet? Or presenting themselves online?
Artist Jared Gilbey‘s website features some rather smooth animations that are fabulously professional, funny, and comfortable like a cup of tea. Whilst it’s not very tactile, the play on words is thought provoking. Check out his animation!

Jared Gilbey artist

There’s a lot of discussion surrounding the use of Flash animation for websites. Some mobile devices don’t support it, and Google can’t read the text embedded in Flash, but I am reliably informed by professionals that a good web developer will make the website search friendly and accessible from mobile devices.

Artist interview

13 Jun

I’m excited that tomorrow I have the privilege of  interviewing Alexandra Abraham, an artist who has an exemplary website: it’s clear and easy to use, has personal touches and is very up-to-date.