Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

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Fawn
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Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#1 Post by Fawn » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:43 pm

So, I'm an artist and sometimes a writer, and I have no money. I'm not really a professional, but I'd really like to have a place that people can go view what I'm capable of if they're interested in my work.

Would it be tacky to use a free blogging service (like blogger, tumblr, ect.) to display my work by creating separate pages for my portfolio, games, ect.? If you're a commissioner of commercial artist, would you find this off-putting? Thanks for any feedback.

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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#2 Post by papillon » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:06 pm

An awful lot of artists have things like deviantart as their main display (or OTHER sites if their art tends to be too porny for DA)

As a small-scale commissioner I do not care if the artist is relying on DA to post their stuff. It generally makes me think not that the artist is broke but that the artist is not techy enough to run eir own site. Which is fine, I'm not hiring them to be techy!

Someone promising full studio services, however, I expect to have a decent website.

Really the more options you have on offer the more questionable it looks that you don't have a proper site. Websites are very cheap.

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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#3 Post by Watercolorheart » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:32 pm

No, they're not cheap. Not really. Not when you're young and you find out that the website cost close to 80% after domain purchase, yearly fees, webhosting, and other small necessary things.

I CAN say one thing: If it doesn't have Cpanel in the hosting, you don't want it.

Artists also aren't really cut out to be webmasters, you know? Most of these types are not drawn to things like logic systems. Software, not hardware.

I know that I was surprised at what makes a website tick myself and handling it out-of-pocket, but I also know for a young nervous artist, the array of options would just be overwhelming.

Hell, right now, my domain (ButtercupSaiyan.com) was grabbed by some lousy squatter/farm business and I can't do a single thing about it. =(
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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#4 Post by Fawn » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:06 pm

Thing is I'm actually a computer science major ^__^; I'm just too lazy to learn HTML on my own (who needs to spend that much time when there's so many pre-made options?) I just do art for fun, and lately I've had some professional commissions,I'm the official artist for this con now: http://www.animekaigi.com/ I made their logo and designed mascots for them (yaaay!). I probably should get a real website up, but blogs seem easier. :<

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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#5 Post by Watercolorheart » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:33 pm

Is that a blog at that website? See, it doesn't look like one!
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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#6 Post by Fawn » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:36 pm

Well the problem is the domain. Free blog sites either have advertisements and/or toolbars at the top, which is pretty unprofessional (unless you choose them yourself)

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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#7 Post by manga_otaku » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:40 pm

Fawn wrote:Well the problem is the domain. Free blog sites either have advertisements and/or toolbars at the top, which is pretty unprofessional (unless you choose them yourself)
I'm using Wordpress for my site and no advertisements are shown. There is the Wordpress toolbar though, but you can only see it if you're logged onto your account. It doesn't show to guests, etc.
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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#8 Post by Camille » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:41 pm

It IS pretty cheap if you know where to look. A domain costs, what, $10 a year? At most? Then finding hosting? At most, it'll cost you around $100 a year unless you're wanting a whole lot of space. There's also a number of places that will host domains for free... Like Bubble.nu hosting is the first I can think of (that a lot of my friends use) though I think their site is closed for renovations atm. I've had a domain since I was about 12... It really isn't expensive if I was able to pay for all of it with a middle school kid allowance and services are even cheaper now than they were back then.

Personally I think it's fine to start out on a free site, but once you're getting more "pro", I think a decent personal website/domain is pretty much necessary. Your website represents you. If you don't want to look like an amateur, you can't have a free site with ads all over it and whatnot. It's really not hard to whip up a nice-looking Wordpress site using pre-made layouts if HTML isn't really your thing.

I was actually thinking of offering free server space/subdomains for people on LSF who needed it, but wasn't sure if anyone would be interested/where I would even post a topic like that...
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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#9 Post by Watercolorheart » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:44 pm

Camille, I think people can always use webspace. :lol: I have 10 GB for BlissStage.com which is Wordpress.org blog without ads but I am hanging out to every bit of it because I don't know when I'll need to massively back up project files.
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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#10 Post by Camille » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:53 pm

Haha well I basically split a Dreamhost plan with a group of friends and Dreamhost gives us basically unlimited bandwidth/webspace, so. (for our actual VN projects, though, we keep the game files backed up on Dropbox/Amazon SWS.)

As long as you can at least pay for your own domain name, I'd be glad to host anyone from LSF as long as they have an active project they're actually working on or are artists or writers or something. (ie: people who'd actually have something to put on a website) If you're wanting a subdomain, I personally own piratejewel.net and trafuri.net aside from the Khobi domain. So you can have a SUBDOMAIN.piratejewel.net or whatever if you'd like. I can also set up Wordpress for you and everything...

But if you're needing to actually access the CPanel/mess with MySQL databases and stuff, you'd have to be someone I know at least a little. We all share the Dreamhost control panel, so I don't want to give that authorization info to someone I don't know at all. D: But I'll give FTP access/set up WordPress for anyone and you'll get unlimited space and bandwidth. (just don't upload anything illegal)

/stops being OT now
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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#11 Post by dstarsboy » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:46 pm

There are some pretty impressive free blogging templates out there that can showcase your work and make it look very professional. I actually thing, job-wise, that would give you more cred than a simple Deviant Art link. Also, I'm not sure you want biz folks checking out your deviant art, seeing the groups you belong to and maybe your more creative/imaginative/risque work. Deviant art should be a place you can flex your creative muscles and be free to do whatever you want without worrying about offending a future boss.

If you pay a few dollars per month a site building tool like SquareSpace could go a long way.
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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#12 Post by DaFool » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:55 am

Many of the indie freelancers I've contacted use Carbonmade:

http://carbonmade.com/signup

Personally, a wordpress or blogger should suffice, provided you have a supplementary cloud solution such as dropbox or yousendit.

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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#13 Post by mugenjohncel » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:57 am

[Tossing modesty aside for the moment]
While money is "not" one of my concerns... Wordpress seems to fit your requirements.

Here's why...
- You can always create a "free" Wordpress account anytime anywhere without disclosing your identity by providing a disposable and "free" email account. No worries about being traced by a stalker or a fan or your in-laws...

- Maintenance of the site is provided by Wordpress tech guys for "free"

- You can host (with certain restrictions) files in your wordpress blog for "free" without worries... in case something does happen, there would be people liable to compensate you... for "free"

- You don't need to learn HTML and CSS crap (apologies, I have every reason to hate CSS)... Wordpress is noob friendly... just pull a theme which is provided for "free" and change a few letters here and there and "BAM!" you now have a somewhat decent looking piece of page in the interwebs... for "free"
Now in case you are already a seasoned Wordpress veteran with a couple of hundred unique visitors a day... you'll notice that your pages will contain random (but still related) ads... this is one of the many small ways they recoup all that "free" stuff they've been giving to you... it's not that bad... a couple pixel wide ad in return for all the wonderful service they provide is a steal!...

Of course if you're the Sadomasochistic type of coder who wanted to insert your own CSS crap into your "free" Wordpress blog... you could pay a "minimal" fee for the freedom to enhance or break your Wordpress account anyway you wish... and yes... a couple of people in the Wordpress pool of tech people will be liable to some extent in case something messed up and it's not your fault...

And best of all... it is optimized to be crawled upon by search engines making it easier for people to find your site...

"POOF" (Disappears)

[Now where the hell did I tossed that modesty of mine...]

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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#14 Post by luminarious » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:37 am

I'm using tumblr at the moment - http://luminarious.tumblr.com - and I intend to finish the theme before the end of the month. At some point, investing in a domain would be a smart idea. I spent a lot of time looking at different portfolio sites but in the end decided they weren't worth it. Also, with tumblr, I get to post my scraps as well, which is important for me.

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Re: Using a free blog site as a portfolio?

#15 Post by Watercolorheart » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:53 pm

luminarious wrote: I get to post my scraps as well, which is important for me.
I hear that. I use my devblog not exactly as an art site, but more like a visual reminder of what the hell I was working on anyway.

Carbonmade looks pretty sweet. =D

Also, did you know DeviantArt offers a Portfolio service? You can make the URL whatever you want, as long as it's not taken.
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