10 Other general recommendations
When you’ve read all of the parts of my series about writing for better artist marketing, you’ll have a good idea of what is important. In today’s last part of the series, I’ll give you some very general tips that you can apply to all types of text mentioned so far. So now take another look at all the texts that you may have already written and check them against the following checklist. Anyway, it is always good advice to let a written text rest for a while and revise it later.
- In short: In any case – regardless of the actual length of the text – less is usually more! Avoid lengthy explanations, avoid unnecessarily many filler words, get to the point quickly. Above all, avoid repetitions, even if they were phrased differently, but in the end only mean the same thing. Instead, spice up your text with meaningful adjectives.
- No superlatives: Avoid phrases like “the best”, “unique”, “never seen before”. That sounds implausible. Write real content and describe real benefits.
- Optics: make your text clear! The longer it is, the more important thematically ordered paragraphs and structuring words (= especially bullet points and conjunctions) such as: first / second / third, also, finally, both / and, however, although, so that etc.
- Grammatical style: Write variedly in terms of choice of words and sentence structure. Above all, make sure that not too many sentences start alike. Use the passive voice only rarely or not at all. Active language is much more appealing.
- Content style: Write understandably! Choose a language that is easy to understand. Avoid too many foreign words or insider terms, avoid nested sentences.
- Other style: If you want to choose a gender-appropriate language, read my detailed blog article from Oct. 11, 2017: “A small introduction to inclusive language for writing about art.”
- Linguistic correctness: Even if you can of course correct your spelling and grammar at any point as soon as you notice a mistake, the most important thing at the end is to read your text well again and again and again. You often don’t see the forest for the trees. Maybe you can give your text to someone else to look over it.
- Layout: When your text is ready, make it visually appealing. Warning: This does not mean that you should also act out your creativity here! Text that is too colorful and with too much formatting or an unusual font often appears confusing and less appealing.
- Document form: And finally, think carefully about HOW you will send your finished texts if you plan to do so. A PDF document can be very inconvenient for recipients because you cannot simply copy it. If your text is needed for an exhibition catalog, for example, then the best thing to do is simply write it into the email. You should also avoid unnecessary formatting (e.g. bold print, special fonts or built-in paragraphs), as they usually have to be removed at the end anyway. Show your creativity in your art, but not in the appearance of your texts!
Last but not least, a professional external image is very important: Anyone who has the time and digital competence should have their own website on which each selection committee can easily and always up-to-date information about the artist. Here you can present your artistic biography and your artistic statement as well as your vita to a wide audience. Anyone who has never created their own website should seek advice on content and design in order to avoid typical beginner mistakes. But that’s a completely different topic again ..