Artists, Create Your Own Smartphone App!

By Carolyn Edlund

Are you eager to make your website more shareable and accessible than ever? Want to establish a direct, personal contact with fans and followers, easily viewable right on their phone?


smartphone apps


You can create a free smartphone app for your website with AppGuppy, and share it with friends and via social media. It’s free because it goes around the app stores method of creating one (which can get expensive.) Note that this free app cannot be available via App Stores.

Use your app to promote upcoming events, make coupons available, sell your work or let your fans comment. Your fans can share your app with other people, too, so it can go viral.

It takes literally five minutes to set up. Create an account with AppGuppy and enter your website information. Choose additional content to share by sourcing your blog feed, your Facebook and Twitter posts, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo and more. This makes your app really dynamic and fun to share.

You get a variety of templates to choose from to give just the right presentation, which you can change at any time. Customize your app icon and splash screen too. You can even add a tab to your Facebook page so that fans can download your app right then and there.

I’ve created a mobile app for Artsy Shark, which you can check out here to see just how it works. Or, scan this QR Code with your smartphone:

Share the news about your app everywhere – post on all your social media sites, email or text your link to your contacts. How about pinning your QR code to a Pinterest board? Including the link in an email newsletter? Printing out your QR code and posting on the wall at your next show? Or, think of more ways to promote and share your thoughts!

I’d like to give a shoutout to Rayela who posted recently about her own app, and inspired me to make my own. Thanks for the great idea!



  1. That is so cool! Thanks for sharing the info.
    I am going to give it a try. I will figure out some kind of promotion for open studio in October.

  2. I know I should know this. I’m pretty tech-savvy. But how do you get an app on the phone if it’s not in the store? Download it and add to iTunes?

    Unless the app totally rocked my world or made my life easier, I would be highly unlikely to do this.

    Sorry to be the skeptic. Just trying to understand.

    • Alyson, once you create your app, you share it through a link or a QR code. These can go anywhere – in a blog post, FB, Twitter, G+ post, on Pinterest, in your email newsletter, on a tab on your FB page – you get the picture. It can’t come through the App Store because that’s where it gets expensive, and this is free.

      The results? Imagine a little Art Biz Blog icon on my phone. I touch it, and after your fun splash page comes up, I can access your last five blog posts, your Pinterest page, your Twitter or FB feed, your Flickr gallery, etc. all perfectly created for mobile, and I can comment, interact, and share it all, too.

      Will this rock your world? I don’t know. It’s fun, it’s convenient and it adds one more little tool to the arsenal you will use while pursuing world domination.

      • Okay, I just scanned your QR code and got your app. Pretty neat! So, this isn’t fed through your site? You have to update your app in order for the content to change?

        Still, pretty neat!

        • Alyson, the app picks up whatever is on the site whenever it is sourced. So yes, it changes automatically, you don’t have to update. I got the app yesterday, and my blog post from today appears, plus all my social media posts.

          Now that you have it, I hope you check the Artsy Shark app every day! ;^)

          By the way, if you create your own, stop back here and post your link. I’ll get your app too and help you spread the word!

  3. Thank you so much, such a great idea. Im building my app right now.

    • How fun Patrick! When you get your app, stop back here again and share the link to it, so others can view it. One more way to publicize!

  4. I was just talking with friends last week about creating an app and stumbled upon this yesterday! I quickly hit the link and within just 45 mins. I created an app for my business! What a great website! Thank you for sharing it with us. Is there a way to help my customers and contacts download a free calendar I create each month for their smart phone. I added a tab for it but they seem confused on how to get Septembers onto their phone. I’ll add instructions but wondered if they could download it or save it easier than taking a screen shot and then cropping it in their photo edit?

  5. Kymberlee, that’s a great question – but I would have to refer you to the App Guppy tech people. It seems they are still developing their site (hence the unavailability so far of analytics), but they may be able to help you get those free calendars to your customers.

    Glad to see that you have been able to make good use of this cool free app – I’ve been getting all kinds of emails from artists who are very excited about theirs too!

  6. How’d you do that? I could not figure out how to get the link! You are very tech savvy 🙂 I’ll download it now!! Thanks again for your post! I think this is mine if all you do is add the http to the link the app provides (we’ll see)

    Happy Apping!

    • Kymberlee your app is great! can I ask how you added your etsy store so seamlessly?


      • Thanks Patrick! I wanted it to be shopper friendly.

        Within the app creator I just linked the items to the shopping cart. On the app you can change contents of each link to:: Add my own content and from there you can add the products and link them to your shop.

        The only down side for customers is once you are out of the app and off site you can not use your back button to get back to the app.

        That might be something I can add later.

  7. Awesome it worked!!

  8. What a great idea! Gonna have to give this one a try. I’ve only just started on pinterest and glad to have found this to pin on my Resources board!

    • I did it! My app is at
      I did encounter a few bumps though… here are a few tips to help prevent someone else pulling their hair out like I did!

      1) Wherever the app pulls your website from for the ‘About’ screen (mine was pulled from my FB page), seems the address has to be in http:// format.
      Carolyn, I couldn’t open your website on my iphone, maybe because it’s in www format and not http.

      2) When testing your app, do it on your phone and not on your computer! I was twisting myself into knots trying to figure out why web pages weren’t displaying properly when I tested the app on my computer… in Explorer, anyway. When I tested on my phone instead, the pages were fine.

      3) It took a long time to pull my blog feed. Again I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out if there was something wrong with my feed address… but it was just the app taking its time.

      Whatever the few hiccups, this is way cool… thanks for sharing it, Carolyn!

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