Rise up artists! Online v. real life exposure

Have you noticed the revolution of art services rapturously bursting onto the contemporary art circuit?


We’re in the age of convenience, and there’s a website to cater for just about anything. But when it comes to art, I’m divided. On the one hand it’s a the optimum platform to promote and sell your work and make some money, but on the other hand, I find the whole process impersonal and generic.

I mean, a filtering system is great and makes it quick and easy to find artworks, but don’t you think there’s something rather sad about viewing art in this way? I’m under no illusions of the commercial appeal of art and the popularity of buying it online but I like the traditional methods of actually physically seeing the work. You also lose that aspect of networking and connecting with the artist, discovering more about the work in their own words.

But these sites like Rise Art, Saatchi Online and Artfinder are able to promise one thing that all artists crave: exposure!

Rise Art’s tagline is ‘The insider shortcut to choosing and collecting contemporary art’. And that’s exactly what they do. They’ve made it as smooth and as easy a process to search, buy or rent artworks. As an art lover, what more could you ask for? And more importantly as an artist, this way of searching, categorizing, even colour coding art, means you’re work is more likely to be seen. No gripe there then.


My concerns, shall we say, comes from having that connection with a work, and the experience that you get from seeing it in the flesh. Viewing an art piece through the glimmering, omnipotent screen makes the process feel impersonal and diluted. We are detached from experiencing art as it should be. This millennial culture is inevitable and streamlines (with incredible ease) the process of buying art, but I think something has been lost in the process.

This is by no means a rant. If you’re selling online, you’ve already made a success. And these sites do offer, in some way, a community for artists, a way of networking and garnering contacts, which is vital in the art world, as I explain in my ‘learn to love networking’ blog. It’s just important to have a balance. Think of promoting yourself and your art like getting your 5 a day. There needs to be a healthy mix of online and offline to feel the benefits.

My parting thoughts

Browse to buy art sites are here to stay, and they’re a great way to get your work quickly and conveniently seen online, but this shouldn’t be your only method of promoting your art. Think about how long you can take on a piece of work. From experience, one of my pieces can take up to a month, if not more to produce. Perhaps this is longer for a sculptor or painter. The point is, you want to showcase and highlight your work when and where you can. Whether that’s online or in a gallery (or both) is up to you…I would suggest both!


Banner image – Lee Yuan Ching – Meditation 05

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