At EmptyEasel we LOVE getting reader-submitted articles. In fact, some of our best posts were written by people just like you—regular readers who simply wanted to share their favorite tip or technique.
Unfortunately, many times when we receive an article, we just can’t use it. I’d say 95% of the articles we get aren’t ever published (which is a shame, because some of them have lots of potential!)
So today I’m going to share exactly what we’re looking for and hopefully make the process a little easier. If you’re at all interested in writing an article for EmptyEasel about something you’ve learned over the years as an artist—a particular method perhaps, or a product that you love, or anything else—take a few minutes to glance over the following suggestions.
I guarantee that if you submit an article for publishing on EE, using these guidelines, we will DEFINITELY use it. . . and probably ask you for more. :)
1. Start with a topic you’re very familiar with
The best articles are ones that show a deep knowledge of the subject matter.
If you’re a long-time oil painter, you probably know MANY things about brands of oil paint, brushes, cleaning products, canvases (or alternative surfaces for oils), brush (and knife) techniques, composition, etc. And I guarantee some of those things are exactly what new oil painters need to hear.
If you’re a watercolor painter, your area of expertise will be a little different—but just as helpful to all of EmptyEasel’s watercolor painters.
We’re equal opportunity when it comes to style and medium, so don’t let that stop you! :) No matter how rare your art form is, or how different your style, if you’re an expert, we’d love to publish whatever you’d like to share.
2. Include images along with your article
If you really want to show how something’s done, an image is the best way to do it.
Not counting THIS article, most of the art tutorials I’ve written started with a group of images. Then I just filled in the cracks, so to speak, with whatever words come into my mind as I look at the images—at that point, the article practically writes itself.
This works especially well if you’re demonstrating a technique, or showing your process. . . just remember to take photos AS you work, so you don’t forget any steps. :) And, even if you’re submitting a different type of article to EE, an image will always make us much more likely to publish your article.
3. Write at least 300 words on your topic
Most of our articles on EmptyEasel are 500 words or longer, so it’s good to aim for that number, but the minimum we can use is 300. If you’re struggling to get enough information, try this tip:
Write your title first—it should clearly describe WHAT your article is about. Then, instead of starting at the beginning and writing all the way through it (which can be tricky) break your thoughts down into core “pillars” of your article.
For example, in this article I wrote the title, then came up with 5 main points. Once those were written, it was much easier to fill each of them out with a few paragraphs. Add an intro at the beginning, a finishing statement at the end (you’ll see mine here in a few minutes) and your article is good to go!
4. Use casual speech, like you’re talking to a friend
We’re pretty informal here at EE, so anything too technical, confusing, or high-falutin’ just ain’t gonna work. It’s even in our mission statement: “At EmptyEasel our goal is to publish helpful information for both new and professional artists—without any of the vague or confusing ‘artspeak’ common to the art world.”
Sure, art can be technical. . . but we’re specifically looking for people who can describe it in ways that make sense to everybody. (It’s also a lot more fun to read about art, and how to do it, when it doesn’t feel like you’re reading an essay.)
It always helps me to think about my articles like an email. How would I write to a friend, if I just wanted to share some information? That’s the type of writing we’re looking for.
And lastly. . .
5. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling
Seriously, this is the least of our worries. We always take the time to edit our articles, even the ones from our regular writers, so we’re OK with spelling mistakes and run-on sentences. We’ll fix those.
And, as mentioned above, we’re not in the market for college-level essays. :)
So. . . what are you waiting for?? What’s your biggest skill as an artist? What do you know how to do better than anybody else? Tell us about it!
Maybe it’s something even simpler than that. We’ve got articles showing how to clean paint brushes, for cryin’ out loud. There may be something so basic, so easy, that you don’t even think about it. . . but at some point, somebody taught it to you. If you’d like to share that with our other readers, we’d love to help you do that.