How to Talk About Your Art – Part 2

In this continuing series of blog articles by our webmistress Leona M Seufert, who is an artist and a writer, she discusses the importance of communications (letters to galleries, artist statements) and presents some tips on how to talk about yourself and your artwork,

In part one, I discussed the importance of words to present your artwork to the non-artist public and your potential buyers. The holiday season is over but communicating intelligently and clearly about your artwork never stops. This is not just important for seeking sales but also to obtain exhibits and media coverage.

As an artist those words for communications might not come easy. You specialize in creating something visual and words are the domain of writers.

Here are 8 tips on how to make the writing process easier.

  1. Think of it as a conversation. You are not writing a book. You are talking to the reader, so think of it as if you talking to a person you meet in a gallery where your work is on display.
  2. Write clearly and simply. Keep in mind that people who read what you write may not be artists or are very literal minded. They won’t understand art world references or jargon.
  3. Write with enthusiasm about your work. You created a work from a certain emotional base, let that shine through. Even if it’s a dark space for you, the act of creation is always fueled by enthusiasm for what you have to say as an artist.
  4. Write your text in a word processing program. This applies to especially to social media because by typing everything in online you risk having spelling and grammar errors. Be sure to use the spell checker and grammar checker and reread it over a few times in order to catch the tricky things these programs can’t (like “their” vs there”), and when it’s error free, cut and past it into your social media.
  5. Learn about how to write journalist friendly press releases. It’s really not that difficult and the web is full of great sources to show you how. (I will discuss this in detail in a future blog entry)
  6. Craft your artist statement to be interesting, inviting and revealing about you, the artist (I will discuss this in detail in a future blog entry)
  7. Communications with galleries should always be short and to the point by detailing your background and containing a good statement as to why the gallery should represent you. Your resume and artwork will do the rest.
  8. Hire a writer to show you how. Really not able to write? Maybe English is your second language, or you just can’t get the hang of it. Then invest in yourself and your art by hiring a professional who knows how to craft great copy. Have that person not only write your posts but also become your private tutor so that eventually writing will become easy for you.

Leona has produced content for the Les Malamut Art Gallery website for the last 6 years. She is a digital artist, visit her Studio ‘L’ website  and has a business writing practice in Roselle Park, NJ. She loves to help artists talk about their art and has provided writing consulting services to artists for the last 5 years.

How to talk about your art

We are delighted to premier a new series of blog articles by our webmistress Leona M Seufert, who is an artist and a writer! She will be sharing with us her advice on topics that deal with communicating about ones artwork and ones background.

As an artist I am lucky that I also know how to express myself verbally and in printed matter. Writing an artist statement or sending a letter detailing my background, or creating a press release about an exhibit has always been easy for me. However, the majority of artists I’ve met are good at one thing: Their art. When you are an established artist the creation of communication materials can be left in the hands of a PR agency or an agent. However, when you are starting out, even if you can afford to hire one, you need to learn how to talk about yourself and your art.

Your artwork can’t speak for itself! Oh, yes, it can convey many things about you as a creative person, it can be enjoyed on its own for its own sake, but…the big but…unless the work has something that the art world is looking for, it cannot sell itself on technique and image alone. Words have to do that. Words are what help get you into an exhibit (artist statement) into a gallery (your biography that shows you have a substantial background and are worth the gallery space), and help in attracting the media to follow you in your career. Whether you care to write a blog, tweet, post on instagram or Facebook, or write your own press releases, you need to know how to craft your words so that you present yourself in a good light. We all have read too many artist statements that ramble on and on or talk off topic giving a clueless impression about the artist and his/her work.

The holiday season is an important time to make sales as everyone is looking for that unique gift. Your artwork might be seen in an exhibit where you have the opportunity to talk with visitors at a reception. Or you send out a holiday e-mail blast to your mailing list offering special discounts on sales. However you approach your potential collector, you need to say something that will take them from the interest in the artwork to the point of wanting to part with their money to make a purchase. In part two of the article, I will discuss tips on talking about yourself and your artwork, and writing good copy for e-mails.

Leona has produced content for the Les Malamut Art Gallery website for the last 6 years. She is a digital artist, visit her Studio ‘L’ website  and has a business writing practice in Roselle Park, NJ. She loves to help artists talk about their art and has provided writing consulting services to artists for the last 5 years.