How To Improve How You Write About Your Art
by Thea Fiore Bloom, PhD
Your art buzzes with creativity; what about your art writing?
Great art writing is painless to read.
It’s the kind of writing you want to create for your website, blog or social media feed.
And it is the kind of writing you’re capable of.
Hoity-toity art writing includes long sentences filled with stacks of syllables and art jargon (possibly a result of over-exposure to MFA programs.)
But great art writing lets go of all that.
Great art writing shares a branch or leaf of the writer’s authentic self with the reader.
We’re all capable of sharing a little leaf right? So tip one…
Tip 1. Allow Your Heart To Shine Out
“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” – Hafiz (Sufi poet and mystic)
Allow one ray of the real you to shine out in each piece of writing you post.
Readers sense when you share something meaningful.
Writing as the real you is key to helping you better attract your ideal clients, supportive readers and to just feel proud of your work.
But just how does one go about opening up and giving readers something enjoyable and helpful to read?
There is no fail-safe plan but tips 2 through 5 are a few ways I’ve stumbled upon.
Tip 2. Be a Better Writer: Allow Yourself To Be Funny Already
Most artists and writers I meet or interview have vivid imaginations and super senses of humor.
Yet when we write about our art we often kick our passion and playfulness right under the desk and turn out material as serious as a heart attack.
If you’ve got a funny bone, wave it around a bit.
(If you think you don’t have one, that’s okay. Engage your reader with shorter sentences. Read how to do that here.)
Now, not everyone will think you’re a riot. But you are not aiming for EVERYONE.
You’re not Colgate-Palmolive. Your goal isn’t to have your toothpaste in every bathroom in America.
You’re a creative who needs a few of the right kind of folks to get you and your creations at the level of essence.
Tip 3. Great Art Writers Share Their Work Secrets
Want to gain someone’s trust? Share a small work secret.
You can engage and support readers without being the world’s biggest authority on a topic.
Australian painter Sara Paxton’s art blog is one of the most visited in the world.
Why? Because Sara is a gifted artist who writes about normal, real-deal stuff her audience cares about and her wunderkind son does her social media marketing.
What was to the topic of her most popular post thus far?
“Oddly enough, my most popular post was an article I wrote on how to get oil paint to dry quicker,” Paxton said.
“It was in response to a reader question. Eventually, you figure out to just ask people to email you and tell you what they want to learn.”
(Allow Yourself To Use Examples)
Examples give your writing a strong spine.
After you make the main point in your writing try to include a mini-story that illustrates what you’re talking about.
I included Paxton’s experience of the paint drying post because it helps readers better understand my point about sharing work secrets.
Need more help beefing up your blog? Read The Charmed Studio’s Blog Tool Kit article.
Tip 4. Improve Your Art Writing: Use More Visuals
Do you include enough beautiful or interesting images in your promotional writing?
How about enough images of your own work?
What about enough photos of yourself at work in your writing?
Don’t neglect to use images of what’s going on at your desk or in your own studio.
If it’s right for you, let your audience have a peek into your creative world.
Folks who are not artists or writers see what you perceive as disorder, as magic in action.
To the left is a lush work-in- progress-table snap from artist Gale Nienhuis.)
It gets me revved up to run down to my studio.
Tip 5. Great Art Writing Allows Other Shining Hearts to Share Your Stage
“Letting others shine their light gives you enough illumination to light your own.” ―
Could you enliven your writing and promote the work of other artists you admire at the same time?
Have you considered interviewing someone you look up to for your next post?
I get permission and share the wonderful art, writing or words of at least one colleague in every post I create. I do this for two reasons:
1. My artist/subscribers are amazingly talented. Including their work ups the quality of my blog.
2. I just feel a rush of electric happiness inside when I help others shine.
(Please send me links to your art website or social media if you want me to put something of yours in a future post 😉
What about using a few stock photos to draw in some eyeballs to your writing?
Paid stock photo sites are popping up all over the web. Here are links to the two free sites I love lately:
But Why Not Take Your Own Darn “Stock” Photos?
Some of the images on these sites are sublime.
But be warned; once you look at enough not-so-great photos of hand-drawn hearts in the sand, hand-drawn hearts in snow and hand-drawn hearts on chalkboards; it may dawn on you to whip out your phone and try taking photos for your blog yourself.
Parting Thought: Allow Your Writing Practice To Be As Creative as Your Art Practice.
Use your creativity to support both the visual and written side of your art practice.
Play with allowing. Strengthen your vulnerability muscles.
(Go here if you want to read my post on how vulnerability makes your writing shine.)
I know it’s terrifying to reveal the real you to others in print.
I’m scared all the time. I just do it anyway.
But if you can muster up the moxie to be daring I believe there’s a world out there waiting to reward you for your bravery.
Give them a chance.
“The world is not limited by I.Q. We are all limited by bravery and creativity.” — Astro Teller (scientist)
Got other tips to add? Let me know what you are working on allowing to happen in your creative life in the COMMENTS below.
Here’s a fun piece by Henneke of Enchanting Marketing.com on how to captivate readers by using your own simple drawings in your marketing (no advanced art skills required.)