I first came across ArtStack in September 2015 and started writing a post about it but got distracted so it has laid dormant as a draft. Things have moved on a little with it since then, so I am finally finishing this post and updating you at the same time.
What is ArtStack?
You will get a better idea if you take a look around it and have a play. The website is https://theartstack.com and if you want to follow me I am on there at https://theartstack.com/karen-cropper/stacks.
It is a site to discover and share art, and now it also is a way to sell art. As an artist, it is a way to let people see your work and influences, and also a great way to study artists and get inspiration.
Each person creates a ‘stack’ of art they like by either uploading images on to the site (including via URL) or stacking images that other people have added (like repinning or retweeting or sharing). In this respect it is very similar to Pinterest and Tumblr, it seems to me. The difference is that the images are categorised with various fields that you can add (eg date of the work, dimensions, medium), and most importantly are attributed to the artist.
Anyone can add an image by an artist and then the artist has a page on the site that can have biographic information and exhibition information added. Undoubtedly, like with Pinterest and other sharing platforms online, there are infringements of copyright on there. So a first step worth doing is creating a free account and then searching for your own work, just in case.
Within your own stack you can group items together in collections. It is an interesting place for research and inspiration.
There is a social media aspect where you follow other people and they follow you. You have ‘My Feed’ where images stacked by people you follow appear. You can then stack those images in your own stack.
There are sections to buy art and to see information about exhibitions. To give you an idea of who is using this site, the exhibitions currently listed (March 2017) are only in London, Paris, New York and Berlin.
Claim your Artist’s Page
If your art is already on ArtStack, you should claim your artist’s page to make sure that the information there is what you want, and to use it as another place to promote yourself. Here is an example artist’s page: https://theartstack.com/artists/bernard-barnes
If your art is not already on there, adding some yourself and making an artist’s page may put you in front of people who appreciate art and may be the kind of people who buy. It will of course depend on how much time and effort you want to put in. I don’t think it is a place that is going to make a big impact, but a presence there is better than not and will help your search rankings if you are linking back to your own website.
There is a free account and paid for Pro options. The free account lets you look around the site, stack images and control the content of an artist’s page (once your claim on it has been accepted), and, I’m guessing, buy art.
With the Pro options you can sell your work without commission for a fee, starting at $9.99/month. There are 3 levels – Pro, Pro Plus and Pro Plus Unlimited. I have no experience of selling through the site so cannot give any feedback on that. If you are going to use a website to sell, my advice is to look first at how user friendly the buying side is and what other kind of art is on there and whether yours fits in with that. Also look at how much that site is doing promotion for you, and compare it to other places that you can sell your art online.
What is the point of using ArtStack?
I think it is possible that this site may never make a big impact, but I feel it is useful to be a part of it, just in case it does become something significant in the art world. It may put your work in front of collectors with funds to buy. And it is a visually interesting site for learning about art history and finding inspiration. At the very least, I think you need to check if your art is already on there, and, if so, claim control of the artist’s page associated with that.