Learn how to write about your art

June 14, 2006  in  Art as a profession       Related posts:  

I have found that one of the most difficult parts of being an artist is being able to talking and writing about my photography. To explain my artwork in a way that is intelligent, lucid, and compelling. Art is a very personal activity, and is therefore very difficult to put into words. Why do I do what I do? Good question. I do it because… well, I am trying to… ah, let me get back to you. It can be a frustrating experience! Creating art is such an immediate and *obvious* activity, to the artist, that it can be aggravating when you can put that experience into words.
But being able to explain your work — what you photograph and why, why you use the techniques you do, etc. — can be vital to making a living from your photography. Some may scoff and say that “art should speak for themselves.” And this is true, to a point. The work should be compelling on its own. But when someone buys your work, they aren’t just buying an image you made. They are buying your story: how you became an artist, why you make art, how you think, how you act, and so on. By buying one of your photos, they are trying to see through your eyes, and for a moment, vicariously live the life of an artist. So the better you are at explaining your work, the more compelling your story will be. The more compelling your story is, the more likely it will get told.