December 2, 2023

How to brainstorm the keywords for your best artwork

3 min read
How to brainstorm the keywords for your best artwork

artist tips

How to brainstorm the keywords for your best artwork

You know that keywords are very important to get found on Saatchi Art and on search engines like Google and Bing. If you missed our previous post, “Getting Found: Tips on Using Keywords and Descriptions at Saatchi Art” Check it out now for a full summary of the power of keywords. (In short: keywords, use them. They are your friends!)

Once you’ve reviewed this refresher, it’s time to get to work and decide what your best keywords are to help collectors find your artwork on Saatchi Art and beyond. The best way to do this is to start by asking yourself a few simple questions:

1. What kind of artwork is it?

Eg collage, painting, sculpture, photography, drawing

2. What is the style of the artwork? Or which art direction inspired it the most?

Eg Abstract, Modern, Street Art, Surreal, Impressionism, Pop Art

3. Was your work inspired by the work of another famous artist?

Eg Warhol, Van Gogh, Richter, Mapplethorpe, O’Keeffe, Hepworth

A notice: The goal is to attract the right collector to your piece. Therefore, only enter names of artists that are of high relevance. Our curators often rely on these keywords when approached by Art Advisory clients looking for a specific work, such as ‘similar to a Rothko’ or ‘Basquiat-style’.

4. What is the medium of the artwork?

Eg Oil Paint, Acrylic, Pencil, C Type, Digital, Bronze, Wood

Notice: Add the primary medium to your tags if you think it’s something a collector or curator might look for when looking for an artwork similar to yours. Add minor materials (which you list below) to your artwork descriptions.

5. What other materials are used?

Eg canvas, paper, fabric, newsprint, charcoal, gold leaf

6. What is the main theme of the artwork?

Eg portrait, landscape, animal, geometric, architecture

7. What is it about specifically? Which picture or which type?

Eg red-haired girl, Paris street, running horse, seascape

Notice: When doing this exercise with abstract artwork, it is best to decide on keywords that describe the work visually – versus symbolically or in terms of your motivation for the piece.

8. What is the main color?

Collectors and curators are unlikely to look for secondary colors in your piece, so stick with the main color(s) or key color combinations.

For example black and white, red, pink, neutral, light blue

9. Can you think of synonyms?

Don’t use the same artwork descriptions and keywords for all similar artworks in your portfolio. This only targets one type of buyer and limits your visibility on other searches. Break down your thesaurus and generate some strong synonyms to diversify your approach. Be realistic – you’re trying to generate words that a collector or curator might actually be looking for – not a SAT vocabulary list.

Eg figurative for portrait, nature for landscape, body for nude, food for still life, travel for vacation

10. What is your name or pseudonym?

You don’t have to add your name or artist pseudonym as a keyword on every artwork. Selecting a few pieces from your portfolio is enough, as only one artwork needs to be viewed for a collector or curator to click on it to access your entire portfolio.

Once you’ve taken the time to answer each of these questions, you should have a really meaningful list of relevant, meaningful keywords to tag your artwork with. If you need help with the next steps, read our post: “Being Found: Tips on Using Keywords and Descriptions for Saatchi Art.”

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