Changing the world through art: Michelle Rial

Every day, creative people are changing the world. Today, we’ll look at the very clever and artistic charts that Michelle Rial creates. They are lovely, and they capture the funny, ridiculous nature of everyday life in a way that is very relatable and reminds me of Seinfeld. Here are a couple of my favorite examples. (I find myself muttering “So true” over and over again as I look at her portfolio.)

Who is Michelle Rial?

Rial is a tough woman to classify. She’s worked as a news designer/staff writer at BuzzFeed, a photographer, and a graphic designer/artist that uses charts to share her thoughts about life. I first came in contact with her work when I saw a black and white version of this Beatles chart in my Facebook feed. (It was not credited, so it’s brilliant that she incorporates her name into her work.) Although I thoroughly enjoy the simple black and white charts, I think her Real Life Charts (the ones that use real-life objects as part of the chart) are even more appealing.

Rial is doing her part to change the world in several ways. First, she is providing inspiration and humor for anyone that sees her charts and cracks a smile. Second, as we learn in this Framebridge article, she’s serving as a role model for others who suffer from chronic pain or need to find a way to keep creating in spite of obstacles. And third, she recently used some of the proceeds from her work to help CA wildfire victims. What an inspiration!

How is she sharing and promoting her work?

Rial has her own website and also shares a lot of her work on Instagram. She sells her work online through a couple of online marketplaces, Society 6 and buyolympia. Her work has been featured in numerous places, and she has written or created content for a lot of articles as well, and these links are what she primarily shares on her site.

I think her website does a great job of sharing examples of her work and the recognition she’s received in the various places she’s been published. It’s very conversational, fun, and easy to follow. However, as is often the case with About pages, we don’t learn much about her as a person/artist/designer, her process, or what motivates her. I had to dig around and read some of the articles written about her to find out how she got started making these charts and even to see a photo of her.

How could I help?

Perhaps this designer likes being a little mysterious, but as I’ve written before, I think it’s wise to include some more personal information on your About page. For someone like me who just came across her work accidentally, it would be nice to have a quick and easy way to find all of her info in one place. That place should be your website, and more specifically, your About page.

If I had three suggestions to make for this About page (called It Me on her site), they would be as follows. First, include a headshot photo. I know some people are shy or think art should be faceless, but the purpose of an About page is to connect with your potential customers or clients. It’s much easier for people to feel connected to you if they have a face to go with your name. (Also a good reason to use your full name.)

Secondly, I would suggest sharing some more background information, like how Rial got started making these charts and why. Another way to connect with your clients and customers is to share your personal story, but in a way that connects back to your audience and what you can do for them. I’d love to know a little more about her process, her inspiration, and the struggles she’s overcome to get where she is.

My third suggestion would be to give us the details on how to find/follow this artist. I had to google Rial to find out that she had a Twitter account, and I noticed her Instagram account mentioned in another article. Ideally, it would be nice to have links to all of these from her website to make it as easy as possible to find her work and follow her. Her website links to one of her online stores, but she actually has work for sale in two places. (Maybe even more, but I found two.) Putting all of this information in one place would make it easier for clients and customers to follow her, hire her, or purchase her work, which is the ultimate purpose of a website, right?

I want to help you too!

If this artist inspires you, leave a comment or share this post with a friend! If you want to share your work with a larger audience, I can help! Download my free guide: How to write a great About page (10 tips for non-native English speakers). It can help you to be sure your About page is easy to read, engaging, and effective. If you’re interested in working with a coach, you can also schedule a free trial lesson so we can talk about what you need and how I can help! 

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I help artists and designers with their English so they can focus on being creative and changing the world.

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