How to Brainstorm the Best Keywords for Your Artwork
You know that keywords are very important for you to be found on Saatchi Art and on search engines like Google and Bing. If you missed our previous post, “Getting Found: Tips for Using Keywords and Descriptions in Saatchi Art“ check it out now for a full rundown on the power of keywords. (In short: keywords, use them. They are your friends!)
Once you’ve gone through that review, it’s time to get down to business 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?
For example, collage, painting, sculpture, photography, drawing.
2. What is the style of the artwork? Or what art movement inspired you the most?
For example, abstract, modern, street art, surreal, impressionist, pop art
3. Was your work inspired by the works of another famous artist?
For example, Warhol, Van Gogh, Richter, Mapplethorpe, O’Keeffe, Hepworth
Clue: The goal here is to attract the right collector for your piece, so only include artist names that are highly relevant. Our curators often rely on these keywords when approached by Art Advisory clients looking for a particular work—”Rothko-like” or “Basquiat-esque,” for example.
4. What is the medium of the artwork?
For example, oil paint, acrylic, pencil, type C, digital, bronze, wood
Clue: Add the primary medium to your tags if it’s something you think a collector or curator might look for when looking for an artwork similar to yours. Add minor materials (what you list below) to your artwork descriptions.
5. What other materials are used?
For example, canvas, paper, cloth, newspaper, charcoal, gold leaf
6. What is the main theme of the artwork?
For example, portrait, landscape, animal, geometric, architecture.
7. What is the theme specifically? What image or type?
For example, red-haired girl, Paris street, running horse, seascape
Clue: When doing this exercise with abstract works of art, it is best to opt for 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 not likely to look for secondary colors in your piece, so stick to the main colors or important color combinations.
For example, black and white, red, hot pink, neutral, light blue
9. Can you think of synonyms?
Do not use the same artwork description and the same set of keywords for all similar artworks in your portfolio. This targets only one type of buyer and limits their visibility in other searches. Break down your thesaurus and come up with some strong synonyms to diversify your approach. Be realistic: you’re trying to generate words that a collector or curator might look up, not an SAT vocabulary list.
For example, figurative for portraiture, nature for landscape, body for nude, food for still life, travel for vacation.
10. What is your name or pseudonym?
There is no need to add your artist name or pseudonym as a keyword on each piece of art. Selecting a few pieces from your portfolio will suffice, as only one piece of art needs to be listed for a collector or curator to click through to your entire portfolio.
Once you’ve taken the time to answer each of these questions, you should have a really solid list of relevant and powerful keywords to tag your artwork with. For help on what to do next, read our post, “Get Found: Tips for Using Keywords and Descriptions in Saatchi Art.”
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