Strikingly

Strikingly is a relatively new entrant to the field of stress-free website building. 

You may have noticed a trend online for single page websites - ones which present content in a long, scrollable, format.  Strikingly does that for you, and very well indeed.

If you are looking for a compact and professional web presence, which you can put together in minutes, without any knowledge of coding or the inner workings of web design, then this is worth a look.

Registration is free and fast.  You then have a selection of excellent templates to chose from.  All of them are filled with dummy content so you can get an idea of how they will look and function once you replace that with your own material.  What is very useful here is that there is a good degree of customisation ranging from swapping predefined colours across the template, to adjusting fonts and images.

All of the ‘mechanics’ are taken care of so your site will scroll smoothly between pages or you can use simple navigation ‘buttons’ to jump to specific sections.

Editing is remarkably simple - just click on a text box and type.  Click save and the site updates.  Images are equally easy to deal with - again simply click on the image you want to change and drag a new one into your browser window, or select any of the editing tools to crop, resize or adjust.

Pages in the template can be reordered using ‘drag and drop’, you can rename them, hide them from the navigation menus or delete them.  There are also a whole rage of extra pages you can include, edit and rearrange.

The finished sites display the calm and sophisticated presentation we now expect from professional presentations.  Images and text  ‘slide and fade’ into place as you scroll.

Multiple Views - getting noticed


All the sites made with Strikingly are responsive and automatically adjust themselves to display well on desktop monitors, tablets and phones.  You can test these views with a single click and make any adjustments needed immediately.

Google recently changed its ranking system for websites to favour mobile-friendly sites (April 2015) and that is what you will get if you use this system without having to worry about it.  There are also some valuable setting options to help make your new site visible to search engines.

Packages

When you consider that all of this is free and with such a level of elegant design detail, it makes it an excellent choice.  Your free account gives you an unlimited number of sites (which even in this world of ‘fremium’ business models is unusual.  You also receive 5GB of monthly Bandwidth which is enough for most people to start.  Your web address would be www.yourname.strikingly.com

If you would like to use your own domain name (see our guide here) you can upgrade to a paid version with extra bandwidth and services.  This is around $8 per month or, if you buy two years up front it drops to $7.00.  Their top of the range package costs $16.00 per month or $14.00 for two years and for that you get unlimited bandwidth, removal of the Strikingly name from your sit and other facilities.  Switching plans seems an option they are happy to support (with some restrictions)  and if you have a college email address you can get 3 months of the top package for free.

We tested out the free version, used the image and text editors, changed pages, moved them around and can honestly say it is one of the simplest and most elegant systems we have used.  You can see what we put together in a few minutes at www.welikeartists.strikingly.com

If you need a professional, modern and functional site, which is simple to launch and update, then visit www.strikingly.com



A Manifesto

Strikingly has a manifesto which suggests a level of interest and support not normally found in online businesses.  We have included their main comments here as they connect remarkably well with those of our own site and suggest a respect for the creative individual which appears to go beyond the ‘hard sell’.

  • We believe that every human being is by nature creative and entrepreneurial.
  • We believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to turn their ideas into reality.
  • We believe in the promise of the Internet to empower everyone.

We were a little unsure just where to categorise Strikingly as it is actually a single page system and we do have a category for that, but based on the fact that this is more sophisticated website builder we have included it in websites.

What can we do for you?

So, here you are - wondering what on earth we do and why our site might be useful for you.  

We had this video made to try and answer some of those questions.

 

This one was produced especially for us in Sri Lanka and aims to highlight the key aspects of WeLikeArtists.com as well as the variety of support and information we publish on the site. 

We have great advicespecially written guides and lots of links to extra resources which, we hope, might help make your art, and your practice, just that little bit more effortless.

We also have an earlier video here and you can both of them, plus some videos we have found particularly useful, on our expanding YouTube channel.

Welcome to a new respect for Artists!

Artdoxa

Artdoxa contains a wide range of artists and offers portfolios to present work in a crisp and professional format.

Their site bills itself as “the community for contemporary art, artists and audience” and offers an easy to use platform for establishing a professional portfolio with a community focused on contemporary art.

Portfolios are open to anyone (no selection process or curation) and is aimed at artists, collectors, curators, dealers, people with an interest in contemporary art.

Setup is simple and you can upload unlimited images, videos and other files.  There is a ‘favourites’ service so you can ‘collect’ and bookmark portfolios which interest you - particularly useful for the collector or curator.  There is also a commenting system so you can establish conversation with professionals working in similar media or with similar processes and practices.

Well worth your time exploring the vast range of contemporary artists already online there and perhaps being part of it yourself.

www.artdoxa.com

Check This

Sometimes you just want a simple web presence without the trouble of setting up a web site or online portfilio.  'Checkthis' offers you just that - a single page for a few words, an image, a video and some contact details.

You can use it to announce an event, and have the page last a day, a week, a month or indefinitely -  perhaps as an announcement for an exhibition, project or event.  What is really nice is that you don’t have to register with the site and neither does anyone else to see your page.  You can make it public or private and, once you set it up, which is remarkably quick and simple, you are given a short web link to distribute.  There is also built-in social networking so you can have the link to your page automatically posted on your favourite social platform.

You can have as many single pages as you like for as many announcements as you like. If you fancy editing them once they are created, you can register with 'Checkthis' and do just that, as many times as you need.  If not, there is no need to register, but you still have the opportunity to make a page.

Frédéric della Faille (Fred) , founder and designer of 'Checkthis', comments, : "...Some call it the microwave of web publishing. Others say it's 'between nothing and a blog'. I love that. It sums up what Checkthis is about – simple, fast and open to all.”

You can see the page we made here:  checkthis.com/5uiu  We set it not to expire!

Give it a try - make your announcement and ‘fiddle’ with the layouts, backgrounds and options.  Fast, simple and effective - just what artists need.  www.checkthis.com

The Video

Here is our first little video, which attempts, in 48 seconds, to help people understand just what we do.

Now that you are here - have a bit of a look round.  We have great advice, specially written guides and lots of links to extra resources which, we hope, might help make your art, and your practice, just that little bit more effortless.

 

Welcome to a new respect for artists. 

Video produced by Brian Milone in the USA, specially for us.  You can view it on our YourTube Channel too, where we will add extra videos about issues relevant to contemporary art and artists.

 

Cewe Photoworld

CEWE Photoworld is part of Europe’s largest photo company, CEWE Ltd, which has been in operation for over 50 years.  Their main business is personalised photo products which includes photo books.

Customers like them and they have received 5 stars on the review site TrustPilot, based on over 8,000 reviews, so are probably worth considering if you need to produce a collection of images for a one-off catalogue or portfolio book.  

They offer a 100% money back guarantee and have a set of apps so you can make books (and other products) on the go.  Quite why you would want to do that we are not sure, but it does give you the flexibility to work on a tablet and other mobile device when the mood takes you.  Probably great for dashing off a quick birthday photo mug but you probably want to take more time producing your collection of work images in a book.

photoworld.com

  • Published in Print

Should Artists ‘Brand’ Themselves?

The term ‘branding’ is one which divides opinion in the creative arts.  For fine artists, it smacks of corporate business (which does not sit well with many in the field), for craft makers it might seem completely appropriate.  Whatever your view, and whichever medium or process you work with, if you sell work, you are (hopefully) generating an income and could probably be described as a business.  If you are a business, then ‘branding’ happens and it reflects back on you as the artist.

If we simply remove the emotive nature of the word ‘branding’ and consider what it does, there are aspects of the process, which can be relevant to artists across many disciplines.

As artists we like to consider ourselves to be creative, free spirits, developing our work and ideas, rather than marketing an exclusively commercial product, but - even if we do not actively market our output - we often do it subliminally or subconsciously.  If you have a website, for example, it is a marketing tool and, as such, gives an impression of you as an artist.  

You have probably visited art, craft and design sites and made an immediate decision about the competence of the artist being shown.  An unprofessional website suggests an unprofessional artist.  Life is too short, we have lots to do and that does not include wading through messy sites with badly presented work and awful navigation.  It is a small issue, but has an immediate impact.

This is not reserved to online presentation.  Print suffers from the same issue, meaning that if you photocopy your information badly (and your work is not about the ‘instant’ or issues of duplication) then you appear slightly ‘cheap’, disorganised or unprofessional.  Sometimes this impression is so slight it is almost not something that we might not even be aware of it, but cumulatively it can make an impact.

Even very simple actions can help you with your own promotion and present a coherent view of who you are and what you do.  We know several graduating art students who have taken some time just to coordinate their ‘visibility’.  They use the same typeface across all their information, they use the same colours in headings and layout for their public profiles, so their website, twitter and facebook pages have a similar (professional) look.

Now - we are not suggesting that all artists conform to a corporate mantra and present themselves in a coherently bland fashion!  That professional ‘look’ might be chaotic, spectacularly strange or cleverly ‘messy’, but what it needs to be is in your control.  We do not all have to be as commercially and financially driven as contestants on 'The Apprentice', but artists are smart and clever at taking things, which are out there, in other industries and disciplines, and then adapting them to their own needs.

The simple fact is that YOU are your ‘Brand’ - it hurts to say it, but it is true, and often people are engaging with your work because it is independent, innovative and made by a person, not a corporation.  There is flexibility in how you present that to the outside world.

If you would like to dip your toe into the slightly unnerving field of branding, Enterprise Nation has a clear and free e-book explaining some of the aspects you might like to consider - they do this through a number of small business examples.  Some will not be immediately relevant to artists, but the issues they deal with can be simply translated into our own field.

5 Steps to Building a Business Brand

More details here:  www.enterprisenation.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Published in Advice
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