In the modern age, having an online presence is a crucial tool for an artist, for getting their work noticed, and building a following from which your work will hopefully be shared, resulting in finding potential clients which will lead to building a viable career from your work.
A website is one of the best ways to display your work, as it is a personal space that you can customise from top to bottom to entirely fit your brand, and represent your work in the way you feel best suits you. Every artist can choose to present their work in different ways within their own website space. A website also allows you to present the full scope of your work, which sometimes can't be achieved in a social media platform, as people often strive for a neat and uniformed presentation on platforms such as Instagram.
Instagram is a fantastic tool for artists as you are able to build a community of like minded artists who produce and enjoy work similar to your own. Through using catered hashtags you can gain a larger following, and thus receive greater exposure for your work.
A downside to using platforms such as Instagram is that it can feel as though you have to present an idealised version of your work online, choosing to post images that you feel will gain more likes rather than the work you are enjoying to make.
It is important to keep up to date online, posting your current work as regularly as possible to continue to build interest around your work, and to work with the Instagram algorithms to help spread the reach your posts are getting. 
A 'bad' online presence has the opportunity to be detrimental to your image, as if you were to be producing a similar style of work to a competitive artist, if you have a badly presented website or a lack of interaction on social platforms, you could potentially lose clients to another artist who has a more interesting and proactive self presentation on their online platforms.

I took a quick look at the websites of two postgraduate landscape photographers, which provide a clear example of the importance of a strong website, with the second site being much less appealing than the first due to the lack of visual representation of their work, which is very important for selling your work as a visual artist.
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