Void Spotlight: Great Artist Websites
Get inspired by some of the best artist websites we've discovered recently!
By Siena Oristaglio on September 13th, 2017
Welcome to a new series on The Void Academy Journal, in which we feature great artist websites! We're always on the lookout for artists whose artwork we believe in and who are doing creative things to connect with their communities. Here, we'll be listing standout aspect of each websites we feature, informed by what we teach as key elements of effective arts websites. We hope this article will inspire you to make your own artist site. Moreover, as you read, we suggest that you sign up for one or more (or all!) of the mailers on these websites to experience connecting with artists in this capacity. Read on for this month's features.
Ericka Hart, ihartericka.com
Why we like it: Clear mailing list call to action upon arrival, stunning images, fun interactive elements, a variety of media documentation of her work, clear ways to get in touch and/or book her, beautifully integrated with her social media sites.
About the creator: A kinky, poly, cancer-warrior, activist, sexuality educator and performer with a Master’s of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University, Ericka Hart has taught sexuality education for elementary aged youth to adults across New York City for the past six years. Her work in sexuality education was catalyzed by her service as a Peace Corps HIV/AIDs volunteer in Ethiopia from 2008-2010. Diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer in May 2014 at the age of 28, she realized that neither her identity as a queer black woman, nor her sex life as a survivor, was featured prominently in her treatment.
Kaveh Akbar, kavehakbar.com
Why we like it: Clean and simple design, clear singular action that he wants visitors to take on the home page (buy his new book!), clear mailer call to action at the bottom of each page, well-organized navigation, and beautiful images.
About the creator: Kaveh Akbar’s poems appear recently or soon in The New Yorker, Poetry, Tin House, Ploughshares, FIELD, Georgia Review, PBS NewsHour, Harvard Review, American Poetry Review, Narrative, The Poetry Review, AGNI, New England Review, A Public Space, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry International, Best New Poets 2016, Guernica, Boston Review, and elsewhere. His debut full-length collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, is forthcoming with Alice James Books in Fall 2017, and his chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic, is out with Sibling Rivalry Press. The recipient of a 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Kaveh was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives and teaches in Florida.
Justin Vivian Bond, justinvivianbond.com
Why we like it: Gorgeous background images, slim top-bar promoting the most current upcoming event, great newsletter call to action as primary feature, seamless integration of video content.
About the creator: Mx Justin Vivian Bond is a trans-genre artist living in New York City. As a performer both on and Off-Broadway, Mx Bond has received numerous accolades winning an Obie (2001), a Bessie (2004), a Tony nomination (2007), the Ethyl Eichelberger Award (2007), The Peter Reed Foundaton Grant, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant for Artists. V authored the Lambda Literary Award winning memoir TANGO: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels (The Feminist Press, 2011). Films include John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus (2006), Sunset Stories (2012), Imaginary Heroes (2004) and Fanci's Persuasion (1995). Solo exhibitions of JVB's watercolors, sculptural installations and live art have been presented by Participant, Inc. (NYC, 2011, 2016), Art Market Provincetown (2014), and Vitrine (London, 2015). Albums include Kiki and Herb: Do You Hear What We Hear?, Kiki and Herb Will Die For You at Carnegie Hall, Dendrophile, and Silver Wells.
Jamila Woods, jamila-woods.com
Why we like it: Stunning, full-sized background images, clear call to action at the top of the page, beautiful color scheme, includes many ways to connect with and support the artist.
About the creator: Poet and vocalist Jamila Woods was raised in Chicago, IL and graduated from Brown University, where she earned a BA in Africana Studies and Theatre & Performance Studies. Influenced by Lucille Clifton and Gwendolyn Brooks, much of her writing explores blackness, womanhood & the city of Chicago. Her first chapbook, The Truth About Dolls (2012), was inspired by a Toni Morisson quote & features a Pushcart-nominated poem about Frida Kahlo. Her poetry is included in the anthologies The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015), Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls (2014), and The UnCommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning & Living (2013). Jamila is also a vocalist & songwriter, focusing primarily on soul/hip-hop centered music. Her musical lineage includes Erykah Badu, Imogen Heap, Kirk Franklin, and Kendrick Lamar. Raised in her church choir, Jamila’s musical aesthetic involves choral layering in addition to the hip-hop tradition of sampling & allusions. Her work with her band, M&O (fka Milo & Otis) has been featured by Okayplayer, Spin, JET and Ebony Magazine.
Why we like it: Elaborate illustrations and stunning design, strong calls to action to both purchase his works and sign up for mailer, integrated game adds an additional exciting element.
About the creator: Producer Kaytranada arrived during the early 2010s with ear-perking remixes and an array of sounds that veered from J Dilla-inspired hip-hop beats to woozy house grooves. Born Louis Kevin Celestin in Haiti, the Montreal-raised artist, a voracious listener, got hooked on DJ'ing and production during his early teen years. Early on, as Kaytradamus, he issued a series of digital EPs, albums, and remix compilations. Around 2013, he began to operate as Kaytranada with the EP Todo and three-track 10" At All. In 2014, he remixed Disclosure's "January," produced "My Block" for personal heroes Mobb Deep, and made his XL label debut that August with "Leave Me Alone," a collaboration with vocalist and fellow Montreal native Shay Lia. During the next two years, Kaytranada's profile steadily rose with additional XL material ("Drive Me Crazy," featuring Vic Mensa) and outside productions highlighted by "Girl" (from the Internet's Grammy-nominated Ego Death), "Lite Weight" (Anderson Paak), "Love" (Rome Fortune), and "Honey" (Katy B). 99.9%, his proper debut album, was released in 2016 with guest appearances from Phonte, Little Dragon, and a few of his prior collaborators. It won that year's Polaris Music Prize. (Andy Kellman, Rovi)
Why we like it: Beautiful hand-made illustration on front-page, clear call to action to sign up for mailer, great use of consistent color palette, provides multiple ways to connect and purchase work.
About the creator: In Hebrew SHIRA means song and poem. Born in Israel, living in Brooklyn, Shira Erlichman is a songwriter, producer, writer and visual artist. Deli Magazine recently named her one of NYC's Best Emerging Artists of 2016. Flooring critics with her enigmatic, unique sound, she's garnered praise for the ability to "blend genres like soul, folk and electronic pop with a painter's touch" (Deli). She's shared stages with CocoRosie, Mirah and TuNe-YaRdS. A three time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has been published in PBS NewsHour's Poetry Series, The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed Reader, BUST Magazine, Bitch Magazine, The Baffler and The Massachusetts Review, among others, as well as alongside Patricia Smith in 'Bull-Gouging the Matador' and the Lambda award winning LGBTQ anthology 'Glitter & Grit.' She received a Millay Colony Fellowship, a James Merrill Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center and the Visions of Wellbeing Focus Fellowship at AIR Serenbe.
Jherek Bischoff, jherekbischoff.com
Why we like it: Consistent imagery and color palette, bold background artwork, clear and compelling purchase link, simple mailer call to action on every page, crisp, high-quality documentation of the work and process.
About the creator: Jherek Bischoff is a Los Angeles-based composer, arranger, producer and multi-instrumental performer. In his 30-odd years, he has collaborated with the likes of Kronos Quartet, Bang on a Can, David Byrne, Robert Wilson and Neil Gaiman and has performed in venues and festivals around the globe, including Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Adelaide Festival and Tasmania’s MONA FOMA. His work as a composer has garnered commissions from Kronos Quartet, Lincoln Center, and St Ann's Warehouse and has been performed by Seattle Symphony, Adelaide Art Orchestra, Wordless Music, Stargaze and yMusic.
Tish Hyman, listen2tish.com
Why we like it: Clear sections that can be accessed via scrolling or through the top bar, great integration of audio and visual content, draws visitors through an interactive journey, bold mailer call to action, beautiful images.
About the creator: In the last 2 years Bronx native Tish Hyman released her debut project, Dedicated To; joined forced with Jill Scott, BJ Chicago Kid, and Lil Wayne on their respective tours; played festivals that included Essence Fest & The Roots Picnic; made her acting debut in Spike Lee’s latest flick, Chi-Raq; and penned records for Alicia Keys, Ty Dolla, Diddy, and Fabolous. “Tish Hyman not only shares a striking vocal resemblance to the legendary Lauryn Hill, but [Tish’s] music is based in the same reality which won Ms. Hill the adoration of millions,” proclaims VH1 in a recent article. A compliment that Tish has received more than once, but shies away from. She is now readying to releasing her second project, The Way I Am, and has teamed up with her friends Ty Dolla $ & Dej Loaf for support on the first single, What It Feels Like, which premiered on Billboard April 7th, 2017.
Cooper Lee Bombardier, cooperleebombardier.com
Why we like it: Consistent imagery, beautiful logo design in sidebar, clear mailer sign-up on front page, well-organized and attractive documentation of visual and written work.
About the creator: Cooper Lee Bombardier is a visual artist and writer from the South Shore of Boston. He has been a construction worker, a cook, a carpenter, a union stagehand, a welder, a shop steward, a dishwasher, a truckdriver, a bouncer, and a housepainter, among other things, for a paycheck. In 2014 the Huffington Post named him one of “10 Transgender Artists Who Are Changing The Landscape Of Contemporary Art.” His visual art hung most recently in shows at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM; the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco, and at Helltown Workshop in Provincetown, MA, and has been published in the journals Faggot Dinosaur and CutBank. His writing appears in various print and online publications, including The Kenyon Review and MATRIX (both forthcoming), NAILED Magazine, CutBank, Original Plumbing, Unshod Quills, Cavalcade, Provocateur, and The Rumpus; and several anthologies, including From the Inside Out: Radical Gender Transformation FTM and Beyond, Trans/Love, Sister Spit: Writing, Rants and Reminiscence from the Road, from City Lights Books, and the forthcoming anthology,The Remedy: Queer and Trans Writing on Health and Healthcare, from Arsenal Pulp Press. A veteran of the first Sister Spit tours, he performs, lectures, and exhibits art across North America. He's been a featured visual artist at the National Queer Arts festival and a Lambda Literary fellow. Cooper teaches writing at Portland State University, the University of Portland, online at LitReactor, and to high school students as a Writer in Residence through Literary Arts' Writers In The Schools program. He is currently lives and creates in beautiful Portland, Oregon.
Guim Tió, guimtio.com
Why we like it: Simple, colorful design, fantastic visual documentation of work, clear header image on front page guides visitors to a singular exhibit or event, mailer sign-up at the bottom of each page.
About the creator: Guim Tió Zarrluki was born in Barcelona in 1987 and completed an Arts and Craft degree at the Faculty of Fine Arts also in Barcelona. With 87,000 followers on Instagram and 65,000 on Facebook, Guim Tio doesn’t have the time to do anything else but to paint. Guim’s signature style started with painting over the pages of magazines. Since recently moving into his new studio, he has taken his art one step further and now he paints people and animals he knows directly onto canvas and wood. Guim Tio creates colorful characters, both funny and intriguing like no other artist we know.
Inspired to create your own artist site?
If, after perusing these stellar artist sites, you find yourself inspired to create your own, the fourth lesson of our free Fundamentals of Crowdfunding for Artists course walks you through how to create a simple but beautiful artist site in approximately 10 minutes!
Read more about this course and take it today here.
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