How to Write About Your Own Art?

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Artists can have writer’s block too when describing their art!

As an artist, I have found that writing about my own art can be a little difficult. I tend to have “writer’s block” when talking (or in this case “writing”) about my own art creations. Maybe you have problems with this also.

Yet, as an artist wanting to promote and sell our artistic creations, it is important to be able to write a good description of the specific art you want to sell. Sometimes you may only need a few sentences, but being able to describe your art in such a compelling way that a viewer will become interested in purchasing it is something all artists should grow to be comfortable doing.

Maye you were formally trained in art, art theory, techniques, and history, but the average person cannot relate to talking about a artworks Form, Composition, techniques, etc.  This means you really need to describe it using more of a marketing method. Describe it as having features your potential buyer can relate to. Size, colors, impact, and what emotions the art evokes is something everyone can relate to and connect with. Help the customer use their imagination as they view your artwork by describing a mood or visual effect the work has.

Learn to use adjectives and descriptive words in writing about your art. Here’s a link to a nice article with lists of many descriptive words.

The colors in an artwork can be very expressive as to its mood and meaning. Check out this cool article about the meaning of colors and all the adjectives that can be expressed about color used in an artwork.

Consider why someone decides to purchase a piece of art

People purchase art for many reasons, some of which are:

  1. The buyer wants to decorate their home with art that resonates with their likes, styles and colors
  2. The buyer can identify in some way with the artwork
  3. The buyer feels an emotional connection with the artwork.
  4. The buyer is purchasing art for social status reasons
  5. Buyers have found artists whose work they love and they want to follow and collect their works.
  6. The buyer considers the art a good investment (meaning its value will increase with time).
  7. The buyer is purchasing the art as a gift.

Some things to think about when writing about your artwork.

Writing about your art should also include helping your potential buyers get to know a little more about you, the creator of the art.

  • Take an opportunity to tell your potential customers just a little about why and how this particular artwork was created.
  • You can share the thoughts you had when choosing to create this artwork, maybe why you made it, where you were, and how it came to be that you created the piece.
  • People tend to be really interested in the inspirations for an art piece. Tell them things that answer the 4 WHYS behind the creation of the piece.
    • What (what materials did you use to create the art)
    • When? (when did you create the work – recently or maybe some time has passed since it was created)
    • Where? (Where did you create the piece, in your studio, at a workshop, on vacation, plein air, etc.)
    • Why? (why did you create the work- what inspired you to create the art)

When describing your work, using humor tends to make you more “human” to the potential customer. Talk to them in your writing as if you were in the same room having a personal conversation.

Remember, our target audience (or customer) is many times, much like ourselves. If we enjoy the outdoors and tend to create landscapes, speak about how your art reflects that. Perhaps our love of animals is reflected in our paintings or photography.

Other considerations for selling your art

    • When creating your “STORE”, separate the art into sections or categories. You will want to divide your pastel art into portraits, pets, landscapes, still life.  The same for other mediums, like acrylics, oils, and watercolor.
    • You can also separate your artwork by size or framing.
    • You will want to think of separating your SALE page into
      • Original art for sale
      • Prints
        • Framed Art Prints
        • Products with prints of your art
        • Cards
        • Bags or totes
        • Clothing
        • Home items (mugs, plates, glasses, etc.)

Think like a Collector

Your potential customers want to be able to get into your mind just a little and see what makes you “tick” as an artist. When a person can look at an art piece and know something more about the 4 “WHY’S”, they tend to relate more to the work and to you as an artist. That specific artwork and you become more interesting and valuable to them.

As an art collector myself, as well as an artist, I love to display images and paintings that have special memories associated with them. As you write about your own art and give your potential customers a story for that art piece, they too will be drawn to purchase and enjoy that art in their home collection.

 

Story #1

For example, I have two gallery-wrapped photographic prints hanging in my home that I truly enjoy looking at and showing to my friends and visitors. These works little created by Tim Ernst, a well-known photographer, who has captured many, many gorgeous photos of Arkansas’s natural beauty. He has written several books about hiking in Arkansas also and each year publishes a new Book showcasing specific images he has photographed in our state.

An image of the cliffs about the buffalo river in the Steel Mill Campground area.
My photograph of the cliffs in the Steel Mill Campground area of the Buffalo River in November, during low water season.

I relate to Mr. Ernst in several ways. I am a photographer also, I love the scenic and natural beauty of my home state, and I own several of Tim’s hiking books and special photography books. The two gallery-wrapped canvas prints little purchased when my husband and I little visiting in the Boxley valley area near the Buffalo National River in North Central Arkansas. Actually, I had hoped to get my own photographs of the elk herd on that visit. Unfortunately, I was unable to get any kind of acceptable images of the herd while I was there. They little too far away, the places we could park little very limited and my lens is not a very long one. I’m handicapped and in a wheelchair and nothing was working out for me to capture my own images this trip. Even capturing the buffalo river was difficult as the water was running very low even though I did get a few decent images of the beautiful cliffs from my side of the river.

But, as good luck would have it, Mel and I ate breakfast in downtown Jasper and while we little there, Mel noticed a few of Tim Ernst books little on a display rack. He was looking over the rack of books when a man, also a patron of the diner, started a conversation about Tim’s books. We found out the man was Tim Ernst’s father-in-law and he shared with us that Tim was having an Open-studio sale that week at his gallery near there. What luck!

Mel and I decided to attend the Open-studio while we were in the area. We drove deep into the countryside and found Tim’s Gallery and toured it. All the canvases he displayed were on sale too!

An image of a photograph on canvas by Tim Ernst in the wall of my home.I saw a gorgeous gallery-wrapped print of elk in the Buffalo River and purchased it. Even though it isn’t my own photo hanging in our home, whenever I look at that beautiful image, I remember our nice vacation and our meeting with Tim and his wife.

We also purchased another gallery-wrapped canvas print of the Buffalo River and the wonderful cliffs along steel mill campground area. My image above was in November and with the very low water level. Tim’s image is a beautiful fall image with kayaking level water.

 

Story Two

I have another story about two beautiful ceramic prints I have displayed in my home. Mel and I traveled to Neosho, MO which is not too far from Bella Vista, where we live. We drove there to see the work of Anthony Douglas Hall, who paints beautiful eastern woodland Indian paintings. We visited with Doug and viewed the work he has displayed in his log cabin studio.

His website states about Doug:

Actually living the frontier constancy, along with his drive to paint, made him part of nature: riding his horse, hunting, and trapping, and shooting his black powder flintlock rifle. This is the foundational reason his paintings of Eastern Woodland Indians and 18th-century frontiersmen are exact in their representation.

We enjoyed learning about Doug’s history with art and leading trail rides into the mountains and back-country. While we were there, we purchased a couple of his prints on ceramic for our home.

One day, I’m going to return to photograph the regular “black powder shoot” he hosts outside in the back of his log cabin studio each Sunday afternoon.

Collecting Memories

I have many framed photographs, gallery-wrapped images and paintings hung throughout my home. Some are my own images and paintings, some are by artists I admire.

Each image has its own story behind it and that is one reason I have it hanging in my home. As I collect and hang art I love, I can also relive some of my visits and memories with these special artists.

The Bella Vista Online Mall “Art Shop”

One of the Shops in our online mall is the “Art Shop“, where art materials and supplies can be purchased and you can learn about some of the local artists in the Bella Vista area by visiting their websites and blogs and seeing images of some of their art.  If you are an artist yourself, you can purchase a One-Page promotional AD on the Mall to reach the community and site visitors with information about your own artistic creations.  Click HERE for more information on ADs on our site.

Comments

We welcome your comments and questions.  You may use the form below. – shirley

NOTE:  Some pages and posts on this site may contain affiliate links, which if clicked on and a product purchased, we may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

2 Comments

  • Hi Shirley,
    Your description of Writer’s Block for artist offers a lot of insights for anyone with the problem of selling. I found your advice to be most helpful and informative.
    I really enjoyed your “Story” about the artists and the spotlighted works you have mentioned. The photo you took would make a great companion piece to go with the Tim Ernst Buffalo River. Have you had it gallery-wrapped?
    Thanks for introducing me to three artists to be looking for!
    Sanders

    • Sanders, thank you for checking out my article and your kind comments. Starting your own collection of art can be fun for sure. And everyone’s collection will be different – our tastes reflect a lot of our personalities. My image of the Steel Mill cliff area has not been printed yet. You have a great day. – shirley

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