Free Online Artist Portfolios: Part Two
Also known as WorldWideArts Resources, AbsoluteArts.com advertise that they are “the largest site for contemporary art, art news, art history, contemporary artist and gallery portfolios” with over 170,000 works of contemporary art. I signed up with AbsoluteArts.com in 2003. They send out a newsletter not quite once a month, reminding me occasionally that I have a portfolio there. Over the years, I think I may have gotten a response or two to the few pieces of art I’ve had online there, though nothing has ever developed from that.
At any rate, they offer three levels of portfolios, the first of which is free and contains:
- the artist’s information
- maximum of 8 images (which in most views is spread across 2 pages)
- spaces/pages for an artist’s biography, statement, exhibitions, gallery affiliations, reviews, collections, and commissions
- a spam-protected email form
- a guestbook
- your links
- the ability for someone to be added as a friend to the artist
- dashboard to update your portfolio (um, I say this because they tout it as a perk, but isn’t this a given?)
- support and questions with a human being
- optional credit card processing for $35.00
- optional direct URL to your AbsoluteArts portfolio for $20.00 (in this form: “www.absolutearts.com/yourlogin” — which I suppose is better than “http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/yourinitial/yourname/”)
Other options require an upgrade (add videos, blogs, events, slideshows, an email manager, and more), and the upgrades are not inexpensive ($44.00 – $100.00/yr). The other sections on their site are: search by keyword on a variety of particulars
- search or browse for art/artists using a number of sorting parameters
- news on current art trends
- sections for reading about/researching artists/art history
- artists blogs, an artists cafe, and a discussion forum
- some calls for artists
- some options for linking your existing website to theirs
In December, they updated their Portfolio Manager to make it easier to update your online portfolio.
But I have to express some frustration with updating one’s portfolio on AbsoluteArts.com. I just updated mine, and it won’t let me rearrange my artwork in the order I want it (it’s a numerical ordering system, and some of the number options are missing from some of the pieces).
In the Bio section, it asks for answers to specific questions, not all of which I feel are pertinent to my art or for which I have a ready answer, so they show up as “Not Provided” on my Artist Bio page. Finally, the following Q & A appear on my bio page, but there is no place where I can answer the question: “Why Did You Become An Artist?” — “not provided.” Now that’s a question I would be happy to answer (for the record – I was born believing I would be an artist — the rest is merely fulfilling my destiny).
Otherwise, the process of updating older pieces and uploading newer pieces was fairly simple and went smoothly.
Updating my bio, statement, resume, and links was quite easy as well. (TIP: keep a plain text version of all your artist info in something like Notepad that you can copy and paste from, since many sites are fussy about preformatted text).
But what they do offer at AbsoluteArts.com is a lot of information about artists. For the buyer, that’s great; for an artist, it may be merely a bonus — if you’re like me, most of the time, you’d rather be creating your art than reading about other people’s art. But for those times when I poke my head up and want to look around and see what others are up to, this would be an interesting place to investigate.
However, as a FREE online artist portfolio site, the limitation of only having 8 pieces online at any one time is harsh! With so many other free online artist portfolios offering so much more, you’ll have to decide whether having a free portfolio at AbsoluteArts.com is worth your time and attention. A paid portfolio may be worth it — they claim to have much higher traffic than many other free online portfolio sites — but in my humble opinion, that’s a lot of moolah to dish out if some kind of desired results cannot be guaranteed. I’d rather spend that kind of money on my own website with my own URL and complete control over the look and contents — or art supplies or food. As always, your mileage may vary.