In Art, Words Matter

Social Media NecklacesImages are a visual artist’s stock in trade. Adding even simple messages to your work can have stunning impact.



Artists communicate visually. Add words, numbers and symbols to your work, and you have a new dimension and method of giving viewers and collectors an insight into your purpose and your vision – and perhaps even a reason why they should collect your work.

Ever walk through an abstract art exhibit, looking at the titles of each painting or sculpture to tell you more about what the artist intended? You may be looking for clarification and more information. What you read can confirm, enlighten or even surprise you.

Right-brained people are more visually oriented. They usually thrive on eye candy and appreciate art as it is.  Left-brained people who think more logically often relate better to a concrete idea, or a written message which could be embedded in the art. You can double your audience and increase your sales by including words, thoughts, poetry, and even puns or jokes in your art.


Recycled Farm Machinery Sculpture


Words about your art can be especially powerful too. Take a look at the message displayed by artists Ben and Kate Gatski of Gatski Metal when presenting their collection. The five words “Made with Old Farm Machinery” instantly compels curious visitors to come closer and see for themselves. This short statement addresses the viewer with information almost before they see the art.

Gatski Metal’s whimsical trophies and assemblage are conversation pieces. With their words the artists have already started the conversation. Their “Unique Selling Proposition” is stated clearly, upfront. The artists have used words briefly but effectively to reach those collectors, galleries and retailers who would be a good match for their work.


Sculpture from old farm machinery


There are limitless places where words or symbols can be used in the creative process. Art can be made of words , or about words. It may include words that are comfortinghumorousinspirational or political.

How do you use messages in your art, or about your art? How are they perceived? Do they help sell your work?


Social media necklaces by artist Kirsten Denbow.

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  1. Myth of the Mermaid <- i enjoy combining images & words, feelings & thought, beauty & transience…

  2. Great post! I love to write, so I write stories about some of my paintings and share them on my blog or in my email newsletters. They definitely get people more involved in looking at the painting in a way I hope that involves them and takes them more into the painting. When I have an exhibition I love asking people which paintings they enjoy and why. If I can, and they are interested, I tell them a story about making the painting.

    • Thank you, Kelly. Your writing and your stories about your paintings are a perfect way to connect, promote and sell. They become an intrinsic part of your art, and why collectors are buying from you.

  3. Thanks much for including us in your post. We really appreciate it. Your posts are always “spot on!” Thank You!

  4. Great article. I use my business name to convey the type of art work I like do and the art I like to represent in my studio.

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