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Now everyone has to be a writer. Even artists. 

Artists don’t often think about copywriting and headlines.
It’s not surprising – it’s not really part of the job description.
Except that now it is.
Social media and the mass reach of the internet means everyone’s got to be a copywriter. (Or at least try – c’mon, we give half points for effort.)
You want the people to click on your links and open your emails, right?

Well, send them stuff like “New work up at X event” and you’ll just get a lot of… nothing. (Actually, if you’ve done enough pre-launch teasing and hints and excitement around your new work – this underwhelming headline might be enough… But that’s only if you’ve already got an audience that gives a crap that you have new work.)
So, what do you do if you’re trying to build exposure?
Write headlines that make people think… “Hrrmmmm – what’s that about…” – “CLICK”.

The ol’ WHAT~WHY~HOW 3 punch.

The headline has to convey that you’re offering RELEVANT VALUE.
ie. “I have stuff that you want.”

And speaking of stuff – I need to make a take a minute and talk about that “stuff” that you have that people want.

“Value Study” – not that kind of value. LOL – oh no, DAD puns!

I want you to start thinking about all the value you have to offer your audience beyond your beautiful artwork.
(This about where things go off the rails – sorry.)
Your art will ALWAYS be the priority – of course. But you can grow your exposure and grow your audience by connecting to them and offering them value that is related to your art, but not strictly about your art.
Consider what you do – the medium, the subject matter.
Consider what other passions and loves and fascinations that you have that inspire and inform your art.

Those are just as much of a value as your actual craft.
Especially when you’re growing an audience – any way that you connect your art to the world at large expands your ability to connect to potential lovers of what you do.

Beauty on Etsy

Say you’re a Jewellery Designer – your passions could be for metals and minerals and your favourite types of clasps, or fashion and style or colour…

You may love beadwork and have a magical story of finding just the right beads to complete an anklet in a dusty little Indian store on Jarvis St in Toronto.

Maybe you’re fascinated by the ancient Japanese art of lacquerware, which has inspired you to explore embedding objects and metallic flakes in your enamel work.

Story, story, story – we’re telling stories.

These are your stories. These are the fiery flaming embers of your core.
This is valuable stuff that you need to learn how to talk about and share with the world. 

What are your stories?

As a painter who is inspired by nature, you could be passionate about the environment and have wonderful stories about stumbling into sacred moments of connection with creatures in the wild.

Or maybe your inspiration comes from the wide open skies or the textures in the earth and sand. Maybe you have fascination stories about how different qualities, colours and textures in the earth are created by the fossilized remains of some pre-historic creatures.

C’mon. That’s stuff’s cool.


…and your stories matter.

Your stories are important to your audience. It’s important for your exposure to be sharing your personal stories of excitement and inspiration and resonance with your audience.

These types of stories will create the foundation of interesting and personally touching content that pops up on your site.

©Becky Joy

It gives your art a context and a personality and a human connection and resonance.  

Trust me – we care about what fascinates and inspires you. We love your art and want to be part of what gets you creating the images and pieces that we want to have in our lives.

This stuff is important.

And it takes courage to share your joys and passions and vulnerabilities with your audience.

I know.

Maybe it takes awhile for you to get comfortable sharing that part of your life with the internet.

The rewards will be a multitude. Sharing from the squishy shiny heart of your passionate excitement will call to others who share your joy.

They’ll be the most likely to get you and connect to your art.

Huh. Almost 700 words and I haven’t said a thing about headlines yet.
(See? Off the rails.)


Okay, just to wrap up – here’s a (not even remotely exhaustive) list of possible things that you get excited enough to share with your audience and write about on your blog &/or website:

  • Subject matter
  • Display options
  • Art shows & fairs
  • Home decor
  • Pop culture
  • Children’s trends in publishing/home décor/fashion
  • Workshops & classes
  • Teaching
  • Tools of your craft
  • Art tips
  • Experimentation
  • Your supplies
  • Manufacturer’s & process
  • Self publishing
  • Indie vs. mainstream comics
  • Online tools
  • Photoshop
  • Prints
  • Comic conventions
  • Story arc
  • Layout
  • Tablets
  • Sable brushes
  • Clear gesso
  • Daniel Smith watercolours
  • How much you loved Degas and Dali in high school (oh wait, that’s me)
  • Scott McLeod
  • Framing

Most of my clients respond with, “Really? I can talk about that?”

Yep. It’s not only OKAY – it’s ENCOURAGED. 

Do YOU like it?

Then likely others will too.

Share yourself and your passions and include your audience in your joys. 

What on that list gets you excited when you think you can talk about it on your website with your audience?

See how unbelievably random that list is? (That’s because there’s no list – it’s whatever YOU want to share.)
That’s because the opportunities to connect to inspiration and authentic passion are as plentiful and varied as there are creative expressions.
And you’re allowed to take time and go slow and get used to this idea of sharing your stories as a way of promoting yourself and your art.

You can get used to it like I can get used to keeping a damn article on track.
Next one is about headlines. Promise.

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I’ve been combing through my archives and thought I’d like to share this gem of a customer service experience. Whenever, where ever you can in your business – make it easy for your customer. This, was just… not. I love to shop online. I really do. I think it’s one of the greatest technological advances […]

Becky Joy is an absolutely amazing oil painter of gorgeous light-filled landscapes.