Your Artist’s Biography provides an overview of your unique artistic attributes and career accomplishments. Written in paragraph format, it highlights the same items you list on your CV or résumé, such as exhibitions, honors, awards and grants, bibliography, education, special commissions and art projects, teaching experience and other art-related activities.
The artist’s biography has many uses and along with your CV, it’s requested more often than any other document by gallerists, grant givers, members of the press and others. However, if you’re either beginning your art career, returning to it after a hiatus, or are going through a slow period, it might suffer from looking sparse, outdated or lethargic.
Don’t despair. You’re not alone.
Many artists experience similar challenges throughout their careers and ask me what they can do to make an inactive career become and appear more productive. I am eager to share some of those ideas with you.
There are many solutions. Don’t allow a temporary situation hold you back. View this period as an opportunity to seek venues in which you can exercise and contribute your many different art skills and interests.
Better yet, develop new skills and interests.
You don’t have to restrict yourself to the typical categories found on an art résumé. Instead of relying on galleries and collectors to boost your art career, do it yourself. There are many ways to build a better artist’s biography, add career credentials and enjoy yourself in the process.
Here are a few actions you can take at any time during your art career to strengthen your artist’s biography:
- Present a “meet-the-artist” talk in your community.
- Create art videos and start your own YouTube channel.
- Self-publish an art book.
- Launch a crowd-funding project.
- Start an art-related column for your alma mater newsletter, local newspaper or blog.
- Organize art tours of fellow artists’ studios, galleries and museums.
- Help an art-therapy program at a hospital or senior residence.
- Propose a community art mural project.
- Create a local chapter of an international arts organization.
- Organize a group art exhibition or art event.
- Improve your art techniques by studying with a well-known artist.
- Participate in a pop-up exhibition.
- Donate your time or art to an important art auction or fundraising event.
- Form an artist support group with other proactive artists.
- Become a volunteer for an arts advocacy group.
- Offer an art class or series of workshops.
- Serve on a committee of an arts organization.
- Check Professional Artist Magazine’s “Calls for Artists” for many different opportunities including juried exhibitions.
- Hire an artist’s career coach to provide personalized career-building strategies.
These activities offer favorable circumstances for brainstorming, networking and new artful adventures. Not only will they add more interest to your artist’s biography, the experiences and the people you will encounter in the process will enrich your life.
This article includes excerpts from Keys to Writing Your Artist’s Biography.
Renée Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach, helps artists attain their highest potential in private consultations, coaching sessions, articles and e-Books found on www.Renee-Phillips.com. She is also founder/director of Manhattan Arts International and The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS. Follow her on Twitter @reneephillipsny and join her on Facebook ReneePhillipsArtCoach.