Friday, 6 March 2015

Self-Promotion (Digital): Research: Artists on the Web: Part 1 Helen Dardik

I'm utilising the marvelous Illustration Mundo to have a gander at some practicing illustrators/designers and see; what kinds of websites and social media they use, how they use the aesthetic of their work in self-promotion and what the visual and practical elements of their pages are like in order to determine:

What do I want my portfolio to look like?

But first. screenshots galore! (With colour coded annotations [ooo fancy])

Helen Dardik

Helen's Website (

 This site has a great visual emphasis to it. Thick bold shapes and contrasting colours mimic the style of Dardik's art. There's a great straight-to-the-point-ness about the portfolio gallery being the main feature of the home page. There's a very simple but quaint aesthetic to the gallery space, all the images sit as squares on this post-card-like background.

Purple: There's a consistency in the type that's being used. It finds versatility through different sizes and has a clear hierarchy.

Orange: The site is simple to navigate. You've got 'about' 'contact' and 'home' Straight up on the home page you have the four categories of work, each with a few sets of images. Everything pops up on the same page. I would say the only downside to this is that there's no contextualisation of the images - what were they for and what are they about?

Blue: Her aesthetic is consistent through to tactile artifacts/products also, as seen in this plush toy she has made.

Again, you've got great simplicity, but some dynamism too. I don't think this page is utilised as well as it could have been. As the purple arrow shows, the only external link to other web-based content that she owns is to her blog. She does however use etsy and instagram alongside this. It might well be a conscious decision to avoid providing links to these sites. However I think she would benefit from at least having a link to somewhere her customer/fan-base can purchase products.

Blogger (

This is where Dardik starts to bring a bit of context to her work and herself as a person. Yellow: Giving examples of how she works or what she's working in, as well as personal updates.
Purple: Aesthetic remains consistent from website
Orange: Product placement provides information about the size of the work, makes the images more appealing than just bog standard scans; insights into what the studio looks like.
Blue: Link to etsy and website, but no mention of instagram alongside other links. Though it is mentioned in some blog posts. It makes sense to have clear connectivity around the web.

Etsy (helen dardik - orange studio)
A gallery for giclee and limited prints, original paintings and a couple of printed products (ribbon.) 
Items are very briefly described, though dimensions are provided and product/placement photos are high quality. Purple: Again, consistent aesthetic. Orange: Only links back to the blogger site. Rather than an official website - could be missing out here. 

Instagram (helen_dardik)
Colloquial and chirpy, with lots of on-the-spot photos providing context for materials (orange.) The nature of the site is that info is brief but relevant (purple) Decent insight into sketchbooks, informal doodles etc. (blue)

What can I learn from Helen?
Consistency is professional and appealing. Maybe I need to hone in and polish up my stylistic niche so there's a clear aesthetic when it comes to managing my self-promo stuff. 

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