Over the course of your career, it is likely that you will have to explain your art to many people from all kinds of walks of life. Whether you are explaining your artwork to an industry professional or world-renowned art collector like Charles Saatchi or selling it to an average person with no technical knowledge just appreciation, it is important to be able to tailor your explanation to the person in front of you.
To assist you in doing so, here are five ways that you can develop your description of your artwork, better explaining your art to anyone who wants to know.
Use emotive language
After all, art is an expression, so don’t be afraid to express your emotions! Create a mood with your description, mirroring the feelings you want to express through the artwork itself. A good technique is to imagine that the viewer cannot see the piece for themselves – what you want them to feel when they see the picture is how you should try and make them feel through your description.
Put yourself in the shoes of the viewer
Furthering your emotive language – for the average person to become a buyer of your artwork they must feel an emotional connection to it. Therefore, it is essential to put yourself in the shoes of the viewer to imagine how they might see your work. In doing so, you can assess how your art connects to the average person, and how it might make them feel.
What was your inspiration, goal, or intention?
Explain how your artwork came to be. What inspired you? What was your goal or intention? For example, perhaps you were inspired to paint something very realistically such as a portrait or still life. On the other hand, maybe you wanted to experiment with textures and materials. Describing this creative process can help the viewer to understand your direction.
What story does the piece tell?
Nearly every piece of art has a story to tell, so incorporate this narrative into your explanation. Whether it is a still from an action scene or representative of a personal memory of yours, tell the story of your artwork. It is this storytelling that can grip the viewer and convert them into a buyer.
Talk about the artistic elements
And finally, talk about the artistic decisions you made and what design elements you decided to include. Cover topics such as shape, color, line, texture, contrast, form, scale, and balance, explaining why you made those decisions and what the artistic elements add to the artwork.
However, you don’t need to expend too much about how your piece is made unless the materials used are relevant to the subject. Whereas a professional might love to hear about the techniques and specific paints used, the average viewer might prefer to simply know why you chose those specific colors.
Overall, it can take a lot of practice, experience, and adaptation in order to fine-tune your explanations. Though you might make some mistakes and learn from them along the way, once you’ve got it, you’ll be able to entice viewers with a vivid experience whenever they ask about your artwork.
Photo by Vojtech Bruzek