Example of Framing Possibilities for my latest piece,
Together as One
11" x 14" painted paper collage on matboard
In the ten years that I have been making art and have been showing it casually both on the Internet and in person, things have really changed. Significantly! It's nearly impossible to keep up with the pace and I don't pretend that I do a good job with this at all. As I have gotten older, staying on top of things, the changes in technology, has been especially difficult. As I write this post, I am using a computer (desktop) that does not have a camera. Oh My God! That means I can't Zoom with everyone and also can't do a ton of other things that I don't even know about. (I can Facetime with you though, I do have a Smartphone and the money to pay for that data!) I can navigate the Internet really well and I try to see what other artists are doing-what programs and services they use, what their websites look like and what they do with their marketing. (PS-I hate those pop up notices that interrupt me, begging me to sign up for a newsletter or mailing list. Stop that right now!) I try to follow along with hashtags, basic current language and terms, and I know that I need better photos. Way better photos! Still, I manage to show my work to friends and family and I normally have a pretty good idea of what people are talking about. Mostly.
With all of that said, it's not total Fred Flintstone time around here. I have relied on some resources that still appear to be relevant, even by today's standards. I thought I might share those resources and if you are reading and know of any other artists or creative types who may need an idea of where to start (or at least a reliable source) then I have three companies to recommend.
Weebly: I use Weebly for my website building. They host my site and help me to re-register my domain name every three years. I brought my domain name to them independently and they help me to maintain it. I will be the first to say that I have only scratched the surface here. I know my website could use some 21st century-2020 updating, i.e. it could be slicker and more sophisticated. Weebly's platform could help me with that should I decide to go further. My website choice is free but there are several paid options that offer more. You could completely run your online store with this company. The ease of use is the main attraction as far as I am concerned. Weebly uses a drag and drop system which allows you to select features, drop them onto pages, and then populate those features with whatever you want-photos, text, etc. It's very easy and the whole system is reasonably intuitive. As I said, my own site looks pretty simple but yours doesn't have to. The site can be made as sophisticated as you like. I have had 50/50 luck interacting with the company. Still, I am satisfied so far and intend to develop a "shop" page shortly. (It is connected to PayPal and it will be super easy to use.)
Moo: I use Moo for my business cards. I get the basic cardstock, 25 cards in a package. These are not inexpensive I don't suspect but they are awfully nice. I am not sure if business cards are out of date or not but I like to include them with correspondence and if I am out and about, I like to give them to people when they ask me what the Hell I do all day long. Moo offers a variety of products and I wouldn't hesitate to order any of them. Their customer service appears to be good too. (I had a misprint one time and they sent me new cards at no cost, no problem.) The communication about orders is also good and the company appears to respond to emails pretty quickly.
Matboard Plus: I have been using Matboard plus for many years now and have been very happy. Shipping is pretty quick, maybe a week or so, and nothing has ever arrived damaged (knock on wood). Their communication with orders is also good. (Am I the only one who hangs onto emails until their order arrives?) Their products are priced closely with those at Dick Blick-mats, matboard, plastic sleeves, backer boards, and show kits. I know that when people buy artwork they want to frame things themselves. That's cool. When I used to sell in person though I felt that having a prematted product helped the customer to envision the final artwork better (the matting made a better presentation for works on paper). With all of that said, I have been satisfied with the service and products thus far.
Perhaps my recommendations, comments, and choices are dating me. So what! They do work. I would add that these aren't the least expensive options and there are most certainly other companies out there who do the same thing, maybe even better and cheaper. If there are or if you have a resource that you love to use, I would be happy to know about it. I like to share:)
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