Guest blog post from Vicki Krohn Amorose
Author of Art-Write: The Writing Guide for Visual Artists
The Power of Words
Online and offline, artists need to set aside some time to write about their work and really focus on that task. The web has increased the necessity to build bridges to your audience and express yourself in words. Words are powerful.
I’m very familiar with how artists resist and resent the task of writing. Many are recovering from their educations, and writing a statement or promotional materials feels like homework.
I also understand, as an artist myself, how ideas are expressed in the “languages” of art because words aren’t enough. But here we are in a culture of self-promotion. Selling and marketing revolve around the written and spoken word. Words bring the opportunities and connections that artists need to sustain a career.
Remember, you are writing to connect. Visual artists need to reach gallery owners, show jurors, news writers, bloggers, funders, and fill out forms for grants and residency awards. (Fill in the blanks for your own art form and goals.)
If you can clearly express yourself, in words, you can call attention to yourself. No one can predict how the Internet, the economy, and other factors will impact the art world in the future, but one thing is fairly certain: if you are not willing or able to communicate in written language, you will greatly reduce the chances of getting your artwork noticed, taken seriously, and sold.
You don’t have to be a marketing expert to understand this: Avoiding your written communication until it becomes a despised last-minute chore makes no business sense, and you are in the business of art.
There is no need to write lengthy manifestos full of artspeak. A small amount of simple and authentic text will serve you well. And once it’s written, you’ll have the confidence to put yourself out there. Education happens all your life. You can learn to sort out your thoughts so you’ll be able to write and speak about your art with clarity!