Internet-Show-ArtThe internet is ideal for artists. In many ways a visual medium, it offers golden opportunities for anybody who is looking to get their work to a wider audience and/or to sell it. This has not escaped arts and culture professionals, as The Guardian has recently discussed but let us not forget that the web is open to professionals and amateurs alike.

Where to begin?

So, you have a body of artwork and you want to let people see it, where do you begin? The obvious starting point is a website of your own. Registering your own domain and maintaining a website is very easy and affordable these days, with many suppliers offering 'websites in a box' that you can populate and customise using their templates. Also, almost all website suppliers will offer support with merchandising services if you want to use your website to sell pieces.

Promote yourself

Unfortunately, unless you are very famous, merely building the website is not enough. You have to put the effort into promoting it. If you are looking to make a meaningful income from the site, you may wish to engage the services of a marketing professional at this point. However, if you simply want to let the world see your work there are a number of things you can do for yourself. Send the local paper a press release, let your friends on social media know, send flyers to local art clubs, galleries and colleges.

Social media

If you are serious about promoting your own work, it is a good idea to establish a presence on social media. You can then use this to drive traffic to your website and vice versa. Social media is inherently visual and designed to allow users to share content, so it is a great place to get seen. You can also become part of an artistic community this way, particularly if you share other people's work. Obvious sites to use include Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, but trends are constantly changing, so keep looking out for new opportunities.

Bear in mind

Do bear in mind that once you 'go public' with your work, certain caveats and dangers exist. Firstly, you do need to ensure that your work is of very good quality (or risk public ridicule – the internet can be a cruel place) so stock up on professional level supplies from reputable suppliers such as Jackson 's Art Supplies. 

Also beware of issues around copyright, whether that be the matter of somebody else infringing your copyright or you inadvertently breaching theirs. In UK law, you do not have to do anything to assert your copyright ownership over work that you have created, it exists automatically. However, that may not stop others from 'stealing' copies of your work and trying to pass it off as their own, using it on websites, to create greetings cards, etc. A good solution is to put a visible copyright/watermark on your work, which is very simple to do.

As long as a few precautions are taken, the internet provides a great opportunity for artists of all sorts to promote and sell their work without agents or retailers. Why not give it a go yourself?