#Hashtags For Artwork

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The Hashtag turned ten this year, making

its debut in 2007 to a confused populace that had always referred to "#" as the "pound" sign.  Even after being included in the Oxford dictionary (2010) and the Scrabble dictionary (2014), the hashtag is an elusive concept, even for active users.

But hashtags have the wonderful ability of connecting public thought and taking the middleman out of Google.  We want something that speaks to us.  We want something specific.  We want something to be passionate about.  Hashtags help sort the information and connect the content to the audience.

Artwork is particularly important to hashtag to its best ability because it begs an audience.  Here are some tips to better hashtag your work (or your rants!) to best connect you to connoisseurs, collectors, or even just consumers.


You've seen it in comedy writing (but these are usually joke hashtags for effect).  There seems to be a million hashtags which winds up detracting from the original message of the post in a desperate search to be found.

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We've read a bunch of rules, but the best seems to be the "4 x 4 x 4 category rule": 

4 broad, 4 niche, 4 popular

Let's say this is your artwork:

4 broad:  #red, #grays, #norway, #bridges

4 niche: #expressionism, #norwegianartscene, #depersonalizationdisorder, #alienanxiety 

4 popular: #depression, #breakthestigma, #skyporn, #abstractart


Use descriptive hashtags (especially Instagram) for color, size, type, medium, subjects/themes/location, emotions/moods, movement (e.g. impressionism), and genre (e.g. still life)

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Specificity draws in more passionate communities.  Sure, we all want as many views, but if you want to translate those views into "likes" (or gasp, shares!)., you have to pull people into your work with your message

What do you stand for?  What does your artwork symbolize?  What is the message?  You don't have to give it all away, but give a clue for people to explore.  Was you work inspired by depression?  Or a heart ache?  Or taking a wonderful nap with your dog?  Hashtag that and see how well people connect to your message.

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