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Describe your artwork. Five top tips.

describe your artwork colour in your life

Artwork descriptions are an essential factor as to why people buy your artwork.

They can be most often seen on your exhibition art labels, in your image descriptions on your website or social media.    Although they are not essential for your website, they are great for increasing your SEO and keywords. In addition,  inspirational artwork descriptions makes your artwork more enticing to share on social media.

Descriptions are important as collectors will be far more likely to buy if they can connect with the artwork. This can happen once they read the description. Descriptions add the extra opportunity to connect with the reader. They add the extra embellishment to the whole experience – the cream and cherry on top.

Five top tips for writing art labels or descriptions:

  1. Consider your audience
  2. Incorporate your story
  3. Create connections
  4. Describe visual characteristics and art techniques
  5. Include the bare facts

Consider your audience

One of the first things you need to consider when writing about the artwork is the audience. Are you writing the description for art critics or the general public? For your collectors, art lovers, or those who have never seen your work?  Interior designers, Linked in business to business buyers, or the village hall art exhibition? Each audience may use a different language.  

Avoid art jargon,  unless it is audience appropriate, as it can make the audience feel dumb and disconnected. Use clear correct English and keep it short and simple. The audience does not want to be standing reading all day.  

 Incorporate your story

We keep emphasizing the importance of your story or your “Artist’s Why” as one of the main reasons why collectors buy your work.

Chronology is not necessary. Providing context is necessary.

When you describe your artwork to your potential buyers or collectors you may like to consider it as a narrative. Telling a story.  

Consider this picture

The collector enters the exhibition space. They read a one page description about you and your story, or they watch the CIYL show featuring you. They then proceed to walk through the exhibition which takes them on a journey. Each artwork description, or art label, links back to the story they have read. Each description is another step in the journey. They experience a feeling of continuity in the journey.

When they have finished the exhibition or journey. They feel like they have been privy to a certain part of your life. Ideally, they feel a certain intimacy or connection.  

Create connections

Creating connections with your audience via your descriptions is a major goal.  It helps the reader get to know you better.

Building relationships sells artwork.  

You can connect by sharing some of your obstacles or challenges or, by explaining your inspiration. People like to buy things from people they like, know, and trust. If you build a connection or a relationship with the audience, they will feel they know you and will be more likely to buy.  

Describe visual characteristics and art techniques

You may like to share some of the technical sides of the art pieces in your descriptions.

Explain the use of lines, colours, values, shapes, space, movement, and/or textures -if they are relevant, special, unusual, or add to the story of the work. 

It can also give the buyer an extra boasting phrase to use when they describe the artwork over a dinner party in the future.   :)

Bare facts

Finally, your descriptions need to have the essential bare facts:

  • name
  • title
  • medium
  • size

If you are creating the labels for an art exhibition then you may consider having the “bare facts” label above and on a separate sheet of paper/card to the artwork descriptions.

One of our partners -Dave Geado CMO of Bold Brush shared some great tips in his conversation with Graeme you can watch below.

 Let us know if we can help you further or what you think.  

Contact us for art business coaching

Apply to be on the show.

Contribute in our forum.

Thanks for reading!

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