This is one of those multi-pronged questions about your website’s design.
I’m assuming that, since you’re reading this on my site, you’re an artist of some kind. – Whether your art is music, or pictorial, sculptural, whatever; you want your website’s design to reflect not only your type of art, but also your personal style of artistry.
You’re probably seeking to make money from your art as you do need to do so to make a living.
Because you’re an artist of whatever kind, you’re probably seeking to make money from your art as you do need to make a living. – Therefore not only do you want your site, including your website’s design, to be artistically attractive in your own individual style; but you also want it to be commercially effective too. –
That could result in a dilemma for you; because you might construct a site that is great from a commercial perspective – a site that sells your art with a meaning, and that has every professional in your field raise their head… But that site has no visual angle, only a commercial angle; and so you get people wanting to buy your art… If only they could see an example of it, or even anything like an example of it. – In other words a customer might say “If it looks as awesome in reality as it appears on paper (On your site.) I’ll buy it: can I see it?”
Or they may ask you why you’re not displaying it properly, and start to suspect that there may be something you’re not telling them.
On the other hand you might construct a site that is very swish and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and that shows off your artwork with a standard of unequaled excellence; but that is lacking from a commercial perspective. – With the result that people, the right kind of people, flock to it, and they leave lovely comments about how perfectly you’ve captured the ultimate essence of your artwork. – How pleasant and uplifting their experience is when they visit… But they never buy anything for whatever reason; maybe because you’ve inadvertently made it difficult to purchase.
As an artist… the more you can display the better.
You see as an artist, and I think this goes for any type of artist, the more of your artwork you display, the better: Words, pictures, movies, music, murals, design characteristics matching your personal creativity; it’s all important stuff. You can talk the talk, and talk your artwork up all day using awesome descriptiveness and even sales-worthy patter; but unless you have designs and features on show to add substance to that, and to back it up with visual reality, you’re not going to make a proper impression, and you’ll end up losing custom as a result of not creating and presenting the full package.
The design of your website, the content and the aesthetics, are painting a picture of you to the prospective customer + the entire entertainments industry – probably more than any commercial gimmickry will ever do. – But the commercial side cannot be neglected either.
Don’t get me wrong here: I’m not saying you should be concentrating on the artistic aspect any more or any less than the commercial aspect. – The commercial aspect should be working in unison and in tandem with the aesthetic aspect to complete the overall impression; so if your design sucks or your commercial prowess is lacking then you’re going to suffer as a result. – You must have a perfect balance of art and commerce – And that’s tough love for you – for anyone – as an artist; because in many ways other entrepreneurial types can get away with not having the world’s most attractive site yet still generate a sizable income from it.
For instance; If I were to useForex Trading as an example: As long as everything on the Forex trader’s site is set out in an orderly and easy-to-read fashion, and there are maybe a couple of illustrations of some kind to break the monotony of the bland pages in places; then that’s fine for the Forex trader. No artistic additions are needed in order for that trader to be able to use their site to make money… But imagine a singer/songwriter/entertainer’s site constructed similarly. – It would be a disaster!
Yes it would clearly convey a message. – In fact it would clearly convey totally the wrong message. It would tell the viewer that the artist really doesn’t give a shit if the truth be known.
…And of course, as a result, the prospective customer is going to leave and look elsewhere.
You could like under-do it, and you you can also over-do it too. – Be aware of that. – Too much can be worse than not enough in some circumstances.
Imagine a website with the most fetching eye-candy imaginable: That alone would astound any potential customer. Add to that some textual information. – Just a little at first. – Perfect! The prospect is gripped. – But too much text or too many features in too small a space in such a situation may likely have an adverse effect. If you were to also add widgets, applets and ads, and condense a little. – Now the prospect arrives, takes one look but doesn’t have a clear eye-path, becomes confused rather quickly, and leaves in a hurry.
As artists we have the added aspect of aesthetic effect pertaining to our sites. – And it can make us or break us.
As artists we have not only the added aspect of aesthetic effect pertaining to our sites, we also have to strike a finely-tuned balance between the visible and the sellable; the eye-candy and the money-magnets. Too much of the latter will get us portrayed as ‘greedy’ and ‘only in it for the money’. Too much of the former could get us labelled as ‘a pushover’ or someone ‘without a commercial clue who’ll never sell a single piece’. (‘Lovely person though. –‘Shame they don’t have the mammon-juice, eh?). – Or maybe most people just don’t like the individual’s website’s design, and don’t bother to visit. – That can happen too.
There are people who are more on the commercial side and who say that tweaking your site’s aesthetic design is just spinning your wheels and going nowhere while you could be using that time to make more money. – Concentrating on something more productive rather than the ‘low-hanging fruit’. There are also those who concentrate solely on the visual aspect. – Both types are so out of balance artistically and will encounter problems if art is their business. – But where does one strike an ideal compromise?
At the end of the day it’s down to individual knowledge, skill, and common-sense. – But unfortunately nobody can teach you that. – You have to learn from experience and discern from the wisdom which you accumulate over time.
In short then, and in conclusion, as an artist your site’s design matters as much as its content; and you want the two to work in tandem to convey your unique style and personality to visitors. In the case of the artist’s website I’d go so far as to say that the website’s design says as much as, or maybe in some cases even more than, the written content.
If you’re an artist stay true to your art on your website. – If it takes you extra time to get it just as you’d like it to be then take that extra time to get it just right; even when the Forex traders and the online-marketers, the money-merchants, tell you that you’re wasting your time. – They are solely artists of commerce only; whereas you’re a complete artist – the real deal.