Writing about your artwork

Art doesn't sell itself! You need to talk about what you do and why you do it.

Why Do I need to Write About My Work?

You don't need to write about your artwork at all, but if you want to make it easier for others to appreciate, it will help a great deal.

If you're interested in selling your artwork, you should make it easy for potential buyers to appreciate what you are doing, Here's a snippet from an excellent article over at www.artbusiness.com:

People like to believe that they're doing the right thing when they buy art,
but since most of them don't know much about art, you have to help them. 
They need conviction, courage, and understanding because owning art is not easy. 
Take Joe, for example. Let's say Joe buys a piece of art. He takes it home and hangs 
it in his dining room. Several weeks later, he invites Mary, Susie and Bill over 
for a dinner party. So the four of them are seated at the dining room table, 
rapt with culinary delight, sipping fine wine, chortling it up, and swapping 
gossip, when Mary points to Joe's art and asks, 

"Is that new?"

"Yep," answers Joe.

"Where'd you get it?" asks Mary.

Joe's answer has to satisfy Mary, Susie, and Bill.

"Really," says Bill. "Who's the artist?"

Joe's answer has to satisfy Bill, Mary, and Susie.

"That's interesting," says Susie. "I've never seen anything like it. What's it about?"

Joe's answer has to satisfy Susie, Bill, and Mary.

Poor Joe's on the spot, isn't he? He sure doesn't want to look silly in front
of his friends, going out and buying art he can't explain. Not only does he 
have to explain it, but if he's like most people who buy art, he also wants 
to impress his friends and acquaintances with his discerning taste and sophistication. 
Furthermore, tonight is only the first of many times that Joe will be required to 
defend his art. For as long as he owns it, all kinds of people, many of whom know 
even less about art than Joe does, will ask all kinds of questions, and Joe will 
want to sound intelligent when it's his turn to talk. 

If you are not an already well known artist, then to instill confidence in potential buyers it is essential to effectively write about yourself and your work.

How To Write About Your Work

Don't Be Complicated

Firstly and perhaps most importantly, you cannot assume people viewing your work and potential buyers have any experience or artistic training and so it is vital you communicate in simple and easy to understand terms.

A simple statement such as "I paint about people's emotions" or "This is a portrait of my Mother and Father" can do a great deal to help people unravel even the most abstract of work. People will have differing levels of how far they will explore the ideas behind/meaning of your work. A simple statement like this is a good starting point and often enough for people to then draw their own conclusions.

Be Informative

Basic information and facts about your work can also be a great aid to people trying to understand it, e.g. "I lived in Ireland as a child and I think this is a big influence over my work now".

Moreoever, avoid vague terms and descriptions and answer questions with useful responses.

Use A Professional

If you have trouble with words, then use someone who doesn't, to write them for you. You don't need the writing to be a work of art in itself, but there is a skill in writing succinctly and clearly and you should use someone with this skill.

What To Write

Overall, if you just give people the basics - plant the seeds and they will draw their own conclusions. It's better to say too little than too much, as you are in danger of confusion if you say too much.


About yourself:

About your work

Other Ideas

If you don't know or have trouble with some of the above, consider:

What Other People Say

Another great way of writing about yourself is not doing it at all! Use testimonials from people who have bought your work already, people who have 'critiqued' you already etc.