I know you are very busy and unable to answer all questions. If possible however I would like to know your feelings re: Putting a 2 or 3 sentence description of each image on a web site.
Thanks for the question, John. Including a few lines about a piece of artwork on your website or in your other collateral material is a great idea. I’ve found that as collectors are contemplating a piece of artwork, they want to learn everything they can about that artwork and about your inspiration as you created it. This additional knowledge adds to their experience and appreciation for the work.
I maintain that for most buyers, the decision to purchase a work of art is an emotional decision, and if their good feelings toward a work of artwork can be reinforced with a great story (or even a mediocre one, for that matter!) that emotional connection to the art is going to be enhanced.
A couple of things to keep in mind: There is a counterargument to my perspective, and that is that you should leave the interpretation of the artwork to the viewer. The logic goes that a viewer will put their own experience into the piece and assign their own meaning. I like the underlying idea here, and so I would suggest that in your description of your artwork you speak in fairly broad terms of the exact nature of the piece (no exact location for a landscape, for example, or the exact person in a figurative work) and instead talk in broad terms about your inspiration for the piece.
The second thing to keep in mind is that you should generally avoid becoming too political or spiritual in talking about your work – unless the statement you are making is the art. Politics and religion/spirituality are touchy issues – why offend a potential client who may not be on the same wavelength? If someone is of your same mindset, they will probably get the deeper meaning without the need to spell it out in your description.
Don’t worry if you haven’t been including descriptions up to now – you needn’t spend the next three weeks updating your website. Rather, I suggest you experiment with descriptions on new works you upload to your site or send to your galleries and find what works best, then commit to spend a little time with each work of art coming out of your studio creating a description.
Do You Agree?
Have you found it more effective to share your thoughts about your art or to leave clients to interpret it for themselves? Share your thoughts in the comments.