Blog / 2016 / When an Art Writer Wants to Write About Your Art

March 3, 2016

Whether you’re contacted out of the blue for an interview or you seek it out, here are the four things you should do when an art writer wants to write about your art:

  1. Always answer and answer promptly.
  2. Art writers are often writing on ridiculous deadlines. When you get back to them quickly, they don’t see you being desperate enough to drop everything for them: they see you as a decent human being who cares about others. Along those same lines, if you intend to decline the interview, make sure you tell the writer instead of simply deleting their interview from your inbox.

  3. Always send captions in a clear format or in the specific format requested by the writer.
  4. Chances are that the writer will ask you to send photos to include in the article. Whether or not they ask you for information about the images—title, date, medium, size, copyright information, photo credit—you should provide it, and you should strive to do so in an organized manner, formatting all your captions the same way. This is important because the writer is not getting paid to make sure that your art is properly presented, and forcing them to sort through a jumbled mess of information is inconsiderate.

  5. Always send photos of yourself in the studio.
  6. You may prefer to let your art speak for itself, but you should know that most people are curious about what the creator of a work looks like. What’s more, you may not be the only artist being featured in a particular article. Do you want to fail to make an appearance when the other artist might have a photo of themselves in the article?

  7. Always point the writer to more information about you.
  8. A writer may not even know what extra information they will need as they put together their article. If you point them to a comprehensive bio or a particularly interesting blog post, you could really be helping them out and even making them want to write more about you. Also, don’t forget to specify the website you’d like mentioned in article, especially if you maintain more than one site.

These four tips come from my thirteen years of experience as a professional artist and my one year of writing about other artists for Professional Artist (which I don’t write for anymore). Taking on the role of art writer has been insightful on many levels, but, more than anything else, it’s taught me that some of my fellow artists are, regrettably, rather self-centered individuals. It’s so easy to be organized and courteous in your interactions with an art writer, and that little effort will take you very far, because, compared to some of your colleagues, you will seem like someone who actually cares about others.

Professional Artist magazine, Amylee

And after the article about you appears in magazine, I recommend following the example of the French artist Amylee, whose art and wisdom helped me write my most recent piece for Professional Artist. She not only thanked me privately, but she also promoted the article extensively, which is the best kind of thank-you you can give a writer.

Professional Artist magazine, Amylee

She put together these two image layouts from screenshots of the online version of the magazine. These collages are much more visually interesting than a plain capture, and they take her promotion that extra mile, making me even more glad that I asked her for an interview.


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