Most people are familiar with the term “avatar” since it was popularized in the movie, Avatar.  However, let me explain the two types of  avatars:

  1. A computer user’s representation of himself/herself or alter ego in the form of a three-dimensional model used in computer games.  
  2. The two-dimensional avatar (picture, icon) to be used on Internet forums and other Social Media communities. It can also refer to the personality connected with the screen name, or handle, of an Internet user = you. This is the “avatar” being referred to in this article.

But, why does an artist need an avatar?
guest author/artist: Nancy Martini explains…
Avatars say who you are and what you do in just a mini snapshot of yourself. Personal photos say a lot about a person. I have been using photos of my clients to place in their brochures, bios, websites etc. for years and the rules for avatars are the same, just a different platform.
Here are few tips to make a better avatar to increase your business:

  1. Use a current photo. Believe it or not people are more interesting once they have been around more, done more. Who seeks advise or is racing to do business from someone right out of college?
  2. Be comfortable. Your feelings show in a photo, so if you are uncomfortable with getting your picture taken make your photographer take lots of photos.
  3. Dress the part. If you are an artist,wear something interesting and unique or at least look happy doing what you do.
  4. Don’t look too provocative for business. Mom is still right. You will waste so much time meeting people who want to “get to know you better” under the pretense of work.
  5. Make your avatar standout. Break out of the square! Do something to make your avatar different than the sea of photos out there. Add some type, a symbol, different shape – anything that says something specifically about you.
  6. Know your brand. Stay consistent with who you are and what you are selling.
  7. Be kind to yourself. What you hate about your features nobody else sees until you point it out. So stop already! You are the only one that can be you. So be true to yourself and you will look great!

When I look at avatars I can’t help thinking about the old four frame black and white photo strips we all use to love to take in a photo booth behind a pulled curtain. That use to be so much fun! So relax and enjoy yourself.
Nancy Martini is a mixed media eco-artist currently working on a collection using reclaimed materials.


 Thanks to Nancy for sharing her tips for making a great avatar for all your Social Media needs!  Gravatar is who I use. It is easy to upload an image which is then associated with your email address, appearing on Gravatar enabled websites and blogs without additional effort.
You may also like to read:
How to Sell Your Art on Facebook – One Artist’s Way
One Simple and Effective Way to Show the World You’re a Pro
Join Lori for more art tips on Facebook!
How to Brand Yourself as an Artist on Twitter
For more information Mashable’s 27 of the Best Avatar Makers