I came to pottery very late compared to the professional ceramic artists who when to schools for their craft. While I'd like to think I was always a potter on the inside, the reality is, I have a longer history in the corporate world and by extension, marketing, communication, Internet recruiting and social media branding.
Naturally as I considered showcasing my work online, I did some preliminary research* on how professional ceramic artists present their work on the Internet. I found ceramist Internet activity fell into three categories:
Esteemed artists with portfolios and websites that feature their work for exhibition rather than commerce.
You get the distinct impression that these artists don't have heavy involvement with their content as much as they handed over all of their best work, highlights, accolades and professional affiliations to someone and said "make me a site." The content may or may not be regularly updated and the sites very often are static and not intimate. (No judgement here, just an observation)
Established artists with websites designed to be part portfolio and part sales.
These artists seem to have some interest in their own digital footprint. They have facebook pages, they link their facebook accounts to their websites. The websites are usually updated with either blog posts or portfolio updates and any local studio events where they might be selling their wares. Though the sites sometimes lean toward the basic side, I admire these artists that recognize the potential value of building and maintaining an Internet presence that includes some intimacy.
Intermediate artists looking to forge relationships with other potters in a community-hub setting.
These folks may or may not have their own dedicated website, but they are all over consumer craft sites like Etsy and they network regularly on Facebook. They may manage a blog on one of the popular platforms. They are also less like the traditional "old school potter" and more inclined to be "learning-as-they-go" potters like myself.
When I'm in the studio, I am reminded how much "artists" remain disconnected from their digital footprint even now - when so many of us spend more than half our day preoccupied with our virtual selves. If I had a million dollars, I think I would make that my new venture. Finding all the amazing potters out there in the world, and making sure their incredible works are featured online. While I realize that some artists don't have an interest in such things...it would be great to lend assistance to those that are curious, but haven't jumped in.
*Disclaimer: I'm far from an expert on any of these matters. More a curious student. When I built my website, I knew I wanted to accomplish three things: a) create a digital ceramic portfolio, b) create a space where I could continue to blog and ponder things clay and life related, c) establish a "brand" for my creative self.
More on this later, once I've had more time to think about this topic.