How to write an artwork description

Collectors want to know the story behind an artwork. Why did the artist produce this work? What were his or her motivations? Did something, in particular, inspire the artist? The artwork description is your opportunity to tell the story of your artwork.

Here are some ideas and requirements to consider when crafting your description:

  • Use the 3rd person. So instead of saying "I created this work to...", say "The artist created this work to..."
  • Keep it concise.
  • Tell the story. What is the inspiration or the story behind this artwork?
  • Give insights into the work. Why did you use the materials you did, or produce the work in a certain way?
  • Is this work part of a series? What are other works that relate to this and how does this work influence your portfolio?
  • Are there any technical details or special elements to the work that the customer should know about?
  • Don’t list prices or other time-sensitive information that may quickly become out of date.
  • Don’t link to your personal website.
  • If there are different sizes or editions available, add 'Please contact Rise Art for further details'. And we will then be in contact with you.

A good description is extremely important. It gives the viewer the best understanding of your work.

If you are finding it difficult to explain the narratives and concepts behind your work, don't stress. If you are unable to describe your artwork, simply write a concise description of its medium, ground and dimensions (such as: Oil on canvas, 100cm x 100cm).

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