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It’s easy to get lost in the mix when you’re a creative professional working online. Competition is fierce, and the space will only become more crowded as people are laid off and forced to seek out new sources of work. That’s probably part of the reason many new creative portfolio and networking sites like Artician have launched lately, including the similar MyFolio, which I took for a test drive a little while ago.
Artician seems like a more polished implementation of the same concept behind MyFolio. Artician will appeal to creative professionals because it seems crafted, top to bottom, by designers who really care about their work. Despite still bearing the “beta” tag that’s part and parcel of practically any new web service release these days, Artician is a fully functional network that will seem like a breath of fresh air to bitter deviantArt vets (myself included).
Once you’ve signed up for Artician, you can upload work, customize your profile and site, customize a blog, and update your geographic locale. The interface for doing so is straightforward. I especially like how the work of network members is showcased throughout the web site via the “Browse” subsection, which is the central focus of your launch page.
Clicking on the “Submit” link reveals a pleasant surprise: You can actually import your deviantArt portfolio directly, which could represent a significant time-saver if you already have a lot of work over there. In practice this seemed to work very quickly and with good results, although my deviantArt portfolio is quite small, so I’m not sure how well it would handle larger libraries.
I like the categories and genres Artician offers, which include a broad range. My biggest pet peeve when it comes to these kinds of online portfolios is that the built-in categories they provide often seem limited, haphazardly chosen and not an accurate reflection of the work that creative professionals working on the web do.
Another thing Artician has going for it is the built-in blog feature. Alone, a web-based portfolio is nice, but there’s only so much you can convey about yourself professionally via gallery descriptions and comments. It’s much better to be able to maintain a full-scale blog alongside your work. You can also use the import tool to move existing content from any RSS feed. Sadly, there’s no way to import comments as of yet.
Because it’s designed for creative people, Artician also gives you ample opportunity to flex that creative muscle. You can customize your profile in a number of ways, but the best feature is probably custom CSS editing and creation, which is available without any additional cost.
Judging by the content I saw while looking through Artician’s “Browse” section, there are already a lot of talented people using the network. Still, the “Browse” feature doesn’t seem either targeted or detailed enough to bring in much work on its own. It’s probably better to use your Artician page as a component of your online portfolio.
As a ready-made portfolio and resume in one that allows you to exert as much or as little of your own creative control as you’d like, Artician has quickly become my service of choice for showing my work online. Farewell, deviantArt. I’ll miss you like I miss making rock show posters pro bono for friends’ bands via the company copier, but me and Artician have bigger fish to fry.
Have you tried Artician or a similar servivce for showcasing your work? Share your thoughts in the comments.