When I first had to compose descriptions of my sculptures to attract unknown customers I didn’t know where to begin. Later I learned I had to repeatedly recompose biographies (artist’s resumes) and artist’s statements telling about me and my process. My task and yours is to start a conversation with a stranger about our journey as an artist, the vision, the awards, shows, publications. When I first started writing like this, I didn’t know my vision and since my journey was just beginning, I had no awards, shows or publications.
Now, with the Internet and electronic media “keywords” enter the picture. (Keywords are the words and or phrases that people who search on the Internet use to find what they are looking for. They’re what search engines find on web sites to help direct people to those sites.) Here are some guidelines I’ve developed over the last twenty years that may help you make your writing easier. How do you write in small “sound bites” about your heartfelt urges that cause you to create your art?
First about writing your biography.
Generally, you want your biography to give customers an impression of the important markers along your path as an artist, your highlights. This is about your journey. The doors that opened and what happened as a result.
- Use either or both short lists and conversational paragraphs. Use the formatting tools available and organize the information into brief “sound bite” text.
- Include descriptive nouns for the search engines. University of California at San Diego, master’s degree from. . . etc. instead of college and degree.
- List the special awards (no more than three), your most important moments so far (maybe two is enough), or a particular recognition you felt or time when you turned an important corner (one).
Writing your artist statement:
- Describe in brief the particular process you use to create your art. Use keywords and key phrases.
- Explain any special service you offer like commissions..
- Finally talk about your current project(s), new methods or materials, new concepts, themes etc.
- Read what others have written for ideas.
- Look up keywords and key phrases. Go on Google and type in some keywords and see what you get. For example type painting Bodie, CA and see what you get. Or just type in “keywords” or “key phrases” and see the myriad of information available on these topics.
- You can go on the Internet http://www.sdmaag.org and read what other Guild members have written to get ideas.