How to Write your Artist Biography by AnnieStrack

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									                                 Writing Your Artist Biography
                                   By Annie Strack ©2006

The artist biography is the most used of all the documents in the artist’s promotional arsenal. It
should accompany your press releases and be distributed to your clients. It can be attached to the
back of all your artwork, and can be displayed on the walls of your galleries and festival booth.
It can be incorporated into all your promotional and marketing materials including your
brochures, web site, press releases, etc.

A condensed combination of your artist statement and your resume, the artist biography gives the
reader just enough information to catch their interest and have them asking for more. It is a
friendly and easy to read short story about you and your art. Ideally, you have already written
your artist statement and resume, and you can reference those documents to find all of the
information you need to create your biography.

Using the easy formula for a standard paragraph format that I’ve outlined below, you can create
your own biography. Remember that biographies are always written it in the third person
vernacular, so be sure to write it as if someone other than you were telling your story.

Open with a paragraph telling a little about yourself: The first paragraph tells the reader who
you are. You want to inform the reader about your background, and include some of your
personal history. Write about some of the things that have influenced you or your career. You
may want to include where you’re from, your educational background, and interesting places
you’ve encountered in your travels. Tell the reader why you became an artist, and what
motivated you. You could mention how someone special has made a significant impact on your
life or career. You could reveal how a significant event shaped your career or changed your life,
or write about how an element of your personal environment inspires you.

Write a paragraph describing your work: This paragraph informs your audience of your
artistic vision. It enables the reader to understand more about your subject matter, media,
techniques and style. To accomplish this, explain to the reader why you like to do what you do,
and describe your creative process. Talk about the rewards and challenges you find in creating
your work. If you use an unusual technique, describe how you developed it and how it impacts
your work. Explain why you prefer to use certain mediums, how you developed your style, and
the story behind how you choose your subject matter. If your creativity is influenced by a
person, emotion, or other muse, describe it for the reader and explain how it affects your work.

Write a paragraph about your most significant achievements: This paragraph informs the
reader of your credentials. If you’ve won awards or grants, been honored with solo shows, been
published, etc., write a paragraph summarizing these honors. If your achievements are lengthy
you may have to condense some of it into a few simple sentences. For instance, instead of listing
each award and show, you could write something like; “…her art has been juried into hundreds
of national exhibits and she has won three dozen awards of excellence.” You could also cite
some of the important collections that have acquired your work, and you could mention some of
the major venues that have exhibited your work. You could include your experience as an art
juror or judge, or mention your art teaching experience.

Close with a paragraph telling specifically where your work can be found. You don’t want
to leave the reader hanging! Now that you have their attention, you want to let them know where
they can go to see or purchase more of your work. Include the names and locations of galleries
and other venues where your work can be found, and your primary websites. You could mention
that you welcome visits to your studio, or that you will be at a specific festival, event, or art
market. You might point out that you are available to create custom commissioned paintings, or
that you are currently accepting students for your next workshop or class.

Like all of your promotional materials, your bio should be printed on your business letterhead.
This letterhead should have your name, the title of your business, and all of your current contact
information on it. By consistently using the same letterhead on all your promotional materials,
you effectively create a brand for your business that becomes recognizable as your professional

You can change the content of your biography to suit different marketing needs, or even have
different versions of your bio for use in different situations. For instance, you might have a
version of your bio that is targeted towards your clients and galleries. It can be more personal
and include a few lines of quotes from your artist statement, and may describe your techniques
and style in greater detail. Another version can be prepared for use in targeting art organizations
or potential students. It may be written to place more emphasis on your achievements and
awards, education, and teaching experience.

Your artist biography should read like an interesting one page short story about you, written in
the third person. The information it provides to the reader is a short summery of what is in your
resume and your artist statement, telling the story of your life. People really want to know about
you and your art and they want to know about your background and experiences. Your audience
often wants to bond with you and feel a personal connection with your art, and your artist
biography is one of the primary tools that will enable them to create that bond.


A professional artist specializing in seascapes and maritime paintings, Annie Strack is a
Signature Member of five international and national artist societies and is an Official Authorized
Artist for the USCG. She draws from her experiences in her previous career in corporate
management to build her successful art career and shares her knowledge of business and marketing
through her articles for Art Calendar magazine. Visit her at or her website


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