Last week, as I was putting the finishing touches on the August issue of The Poetic Pinup Revue (which, by the way, is now available for pre-order here), I noticed the continuation of what I consider a rather disturbing trend. One of the things we list in our index of contributors is the URL of each artist’s website so that our readers, when overwhelmed as they so often are by the magnificence of the talent contained in our humble publication, can find more of each contributor’s work and be even more overwhelmed by their magnificence.
And for the third issue in a row, roughly half of the contributors had either left blank or written “N/A” in the section of the release form where they were to provide a URL.
There’s a saying in the data backup business; “If it isn’t in three places, it doesn’t exist.” To all artists, the aspiring, the well-established and the everywhere in between, the same applies. You need to be in three places. There is you, live and in person, at whatever events you choose to appear. There is your work, on paper or canvas or in clay or an 8-foot tower of cleverly sculpted dryer lint. And there is your presence on the Internet.
In this day and age, you can’t NOT have one. It’s as simple as that. And your personal social networking profile doesn’t count. You don’t want people who really liked your last poem stopping by and leaving bizarre comments on photos from your mom’s birthday party. You need a professional presence solely for your creative endeavors.
So, to everyone who left blank or “N/A”’d the Artist Website field on their release form, I really truly deeply urgently wish you would go establish a professional Internet presence. A Facebook page is free, and relatively easy to set up. Same with a Google blog, or a basic Wordpress site. Even if the content consists of nothing but a stock photo banner and a bunch of links to other places on the Internet where your work can be found, you need at least that.
And to the artists who did complete the website field, but with “www.facebook.com/MyAwesomePage874398572048750824705827458738057”, you really need to go rename your pages. For online publications where that URL can be embedded, not a problem, but print is not so dead a medium that you can start ignoring it completely, and NO ONE flipping through a magazine is going to type all of that out just for the sake of learning more about you.
People who like your work will want to like more of your work. You need to make that as easy for them as possible.