Throughout history, artists have always created their own interpretations of current events and challenged the trends of their times through academic forums--from the early newsletters, the modern zines, and now in the form of art blogs. Usually used as a blog for art commentary, the modern art blogs now incorporate the new-age social networking features in an attempt to showcase art and simultaneously promote it through hosted events and value-adding information through authority and community contributions.
Art blogs can cover a wide variety of topics and art media - this is dependent on the management team behind it, that can entice other artists, but also collectors, connoisseurs, critics, and museum curators. This differs from an artist blog, since artist blogs typically cater to one artist or one art style.
There are many characteristics of an awesome blog but the best art blogs specifically, have historically diversified their content like a living magazine that seasonally features different sets of artists, or curated through themes. Much like a business, an art blog may also want to sell art or find clients and sponsors for future exhibitions. Successful art blogs achieve this through the following steps:
- Make clear objectives. Like any good project, you’ll need to start off with a strong and solid set of objectives that will set the tone and direction of your decisions moving forward. Objectives that are typically the most effective are S.M.A.R.T. - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Learn about market research and plan the phases your artblog needs to go through before completion that include content creation, organization, and promotional campaigns. Set key performance indicators or KPIs, and milestones to guide you through the process that will help you achieve your primary objectives.
- Streamline your target audiences. This is in-line with one of your earlier phases of creating art blogs. If your intent is to showcase a specific art style or medium, connect with relevant artists who want to work with you and help you bring their audiences into your art blog. If you’re looking to promote an existing pool of artists, collaborate with collectors and curators who may want to purchase their pieces. Whatever your primary objective, tailor your process and result to your target audiences.
- Design a website. When you have your assets ready, and your target audience in mind, you'll need to create a website with a memorable user-experience that will engage your clients, and entice newcomers to subscribe to your content. If you’re housing different collections or themes at a time, consider sectioning off your art blog into pages that feature specific collections or a specific artist. If your art blog goes through cycles of different featured work, consider creating a newsletter that informs your audiences of the changing trends in your art blogs. Which brings us to:
- Optimizing your content. The best art websites aren’t always a melting pot of different art mediums - there are art blogs that are for specific niches. These niches can fall into art mediums (painting, photography, digital) or art movements (street, modernist, geo-specific), or even just be spaces for art criticism. When you know your audience, know what your visual goals are for your top art blog, you’ll need to balance your visuals and prose accordingly.
- Share value. Give a little more than what your audience might expect from your art blog by sharing additional content that can give them both insight and interest in something else you may have on your art blogs. If your website caters to different artists, connect them through navigable and relevant links like to their specific artist portfolios. If a user is looking at a collection of paintings for example, you can introduce them to mixed media artists that combine painting and photography in their work. Think of this as a digital equivalent of a museum curator who can tell a story through the experience of walking - or in this case, surfing through your art space.
- Give inspiration. When done right, this more of a consequence of the previous steps than a conscious and deliberate effort. Art blogs should be able to tell both community and individual stories of creators who have found meaning and passion in their work - and can often create an online community through forums. Through sharing these inside looks into their process, you can inspire other artists to keep creating, get curators to retell a story through their collections, and give critics something new to look forward to in the ever-changing world of art.
The best art blogs primarily work to inspire - as a creative, staying inspired and up-to-date is critical to staying relevant in the art scene, as well as to ensure a healthy and consistent interest in your work. Read up on artist interviews, featured collections, and so much more that can jump-start you out of a burnout with the following best art websites to check out today.
In alphabetical order, see:
Artsper is a leading online market for galleries that are looking to extend their audience internationally through an online space. For galleries looking to collaborate, they have a dedicated page for resources, while also sectioning off their blog posts specific to their art market. Their blog goes in-depth into what it takes to make a digital gallery work, but also shares insight into art and its impact in today’s world.
Artsy is a global organization that features artists all around the world. If you want to know who the artists of today are, you can check out their various think pieces, galleries, and in-depth artist interviews that set the tone for the contemporary art movement. They share new content daily and go through cycles of various auctions for their featured artists while also housing a database of all the art and artists they have ever featured in their years of cataloging.
An example of art blogs that focus on niches, Brown Paper Bag celebrates illustrations in all its forms - including but not limited to: embroidery, products, and tattoos. Curated by Sara Barnes, her art blog houses reading resources on embroidery patterns, product design plans, and includes a store that features seasonal pieces.
Cass Art started as a UK-based art store in 1984 that has a rich history of “filling every town with artists” as its long-standing mission. After opening several branches throughout the years, Cass Art has partnered with leading art brands and many artists over many generations, into today’s webspace for art materials and art references. One of many art blogs that feature guest posting and recognized artists on their blog, they share value through insight, advice, and guides for artists in all skill levels.
Ever a champion for learning, Google Arts & Culture was an initiative to launch a webspace that is optimized for art education and appreciation. Boasting interactive experiences and intuitive collections, this is a top arts blog for people who want to foray into the arts for the first time; or for artists who want to seek inspiration through broader filters such as searching by color, movement, historical event, or museums. Google Arts & Culture is the pinnacle of creating an immersive and accessible experience into art and history, that which many art blogs seek to recreate for their local artists well.
The Huffington Post - now shortened to ‘HuffPost’ is a media company while having a primary focus on journalism and current events, also has a section dedicated to promoting the arts through a sectioned blog. The HuffPost Arts & Culture is constantly influenced by events happening in real-time and is often the first to share insights and editorials on how these historic culture shifts can influence art and culture moving forward. Theirs is a holistic approach, balancing reflections of the past and theories for the future through features of diverse artists and highlighting cultural milestones as we experience them today.
Spoon & Tamago is an example of a geo-specific niche art blog that focuses on Japanese art, design, and culture as their main interest. Based out of New York and Tokyo, their team utilizes their diverse experiences and international perspectives in order to comprehensively cover all aspects of Japanese fine art and design - continuing to bring it to a global audience. Spoon & Tamago is also a case study on how an art blog can evolve, with the site originally functioning as an artist portfolio, a wedding blog, a baby blog, and onto its current form as an art and design blog.
At the end of the day, your art blog can take in the shape and form of whatever you need it to be - whether it be specific to you as an artist, to a collection of creatives with a common goal, or a greater organization that’s seeking to elevate the artists in their community. Create your own art blog today and see where this new creative journey can take you.