Write The Perfect Artist Bio
Whether it’s a cover letter, a grant application or even a dating profile, nobody likes writing about themselves – Bluethumb artists’ profiles are no exception. For many people, it’s tempting to simply skip over the bio section or, at most, jot down a few basic details and call it a day.
Like it or not however, that little strip of writing is extremely important to help your art sales along. Buying an artwork is an act of love, and people appreciate the chance to hear from the artist who created that piece they simply have to have. It’s an important detail, so here’s a few tips that might make things easier.
Copy and Paste
That’s right – you heard it here first. As an artist, you never know what opportunities are going to come knocking, so it’s a good idea to have a bio on standby and ready to go. Rather than going through your achievements, ideas and career trajectory over and over again, set aside a few hours and write something you’ll be happy to use ten times, if you need to. Of course, you’ll need to update this document as you go, in the same way that you would update your resume. However, after laying some solid foundations, the rest of the work should be easy.
Sometimes it can be easier to respond to questions instead of pulling phrases from the air… We’ve listed a few ideas to get you started below. Prompting yourself with questions can also be a useful technique when writing artwork descriptions – for example, ‘Why did I decide to paint this subject?’, ‘What do I hope that the viewer will take away from it?’, or ‘What was the creative process of making that piece?’. You get the idea!
Find your Voice
It might be easier said than done, but try to aim for professionalism and personality in your writing so that you can grab readers’ attention and keep it – your bio is part of the way you present yourself online, and just like in a job interview, first impressions matter.
You might opt for a cool, collected second person (“Matilda Jenkins is a Melbourne-based artist who has been creating resin art for the last five years…”). Or you could engage with the reader on a more personal level by using the first-person voice (“Hi there, thanks for taking a look at my profile. I’ve been making resin art full-time ever since moving to Melbourne five years ago…”. There are many different ways to write – find what works for you!
Break it Down
Concisely summarising your whole career and approach to making art within a few short paragraphs is no mean feat, but it becomes a lot easier if you follow a logical structure. Think of your artist bio like a triangle – start broadly, with the general facts about yourself at the bottom, and then move into the finer details, such as your creative process or what inspires you, towards the top. Three paragraphs of about 40-60 words is a good guideline, but a little longer is fine too.
A Fresh Pair of Eyes
No matter how good of a writer you are, it’s always a good idea to have someone else look at your work. Another person might spot some clumsy wording or a grammar mistake, or they might even remember something great about your work that you’ve forgotten to include. Along the same lines, it’s also a good idea to leave your bio for a couple of days and then come back to it, as you’ll probably read what you wrote quite differently, and more objectively, once you’ve gained some distance.
See what other people are writing
If you’re still unsure, then have a look around Bluethumb and see what everyone else is writing – making sure, of course, that you use it as inspiration rather than writing a carbon copy. A few examples of great artist bios are George Hall, Kim Leutwyler, Katerina Apale and Selva Veeriah.