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Creating An Artist Bio
When you visit a retail art gallery the salesperson spends as much time selling you on the artist as they do selling the artwork. They know that a person who buys a piece of art wants to be feel a connection to the artist. The same can be said in our industry. While you need to promote and sell your product (the art), you also need to promote and sell yourself (the artist).
An important part of selling yourself as an artist is creating an artist bio. An artist bio is a short paragraph about the artist and their work. Why do you need one? First, it helps you think about who you are as an artist. Where you are now and where you want to go. Second, it is a valuable selling tool.
The first step is to start thinking of yourself as an artist. Yes, you run a business and everything that entails, but to the consumer you are the artist. Everything else is secondary. The web has many examples of artist bios. One thing to keep in mind when researching the topic is that an artist bio is different than an artist statement. An artist bio is about the artist and their work in general. An artist statement is about a particular piece of art.
Like art, there are no hard and fast rules about how to write an artist bio; but here are some suggestions:
Keep it short. Under 120 words short.
The first sentence is the most important. It might start with your name followed by a statement of the nature of your designs. “Ann Smith’s designs are modern adaptations of traditional sampler patterns.” The reality is that many people won’t read past the first sentence.
Write in the third person (as though someone else is writing it. “Ann Smith’s designs are...”, not “My designs are...”). This is important. You want retail stores and distributors to use your bio to sell your work, so make it easy for them to cut and paste into newsletters, etc..
Facts over opinion. Specifics over generalities. “...small designs with a boating theme...” says more than “...delightful designs that everyone will love...” Use specific words are searchable on the web.
Include personal information that relates to your designs. Tell enough about yourself so that customers can relate to you and your designs. “...growing up in rural Iowa...”
Avoid superlatives. “...the most popular...stunningly beautiful...”
Don’t tell the consumer how they should feel or react to your work. “...you will love our heartwarming...”
Avoid jargon. Ask someone who does not do needlework to read it.
This isn’t your life story. If it doesn’t directly relate to your art and your vision, leave it out.
Don’t use special characters or formatting (bullets, indents, special fonts, graphics, etc.). Your bio should be cut and paste ready.
Don’t include every phone number, website, blog, facebook, youtube, and twitter account you have. You may not want to include any business information. As you are writing your bio, think how it will be used. The artist bio is about you as an artist. The retail store or distributor that is using your bio will add your business information as they see fit.
Using The Artist Bio
Create an “About The Artist” page on your website.
Ask stores or distributors to include your bio on their website. Make sure your bio is in the third person and ‘cut and paste’ ready. A retail store does not have the time to edit your bio.
Create a second, even shorter bio. One or two sentences. Use this when you submit articles to newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc. It is common for a publisher to include a short bio at the end of the article.
Don’t be afraid to ignore the rules and color outside the lines. That is what art is all about. Here is a bio I found: “Composer Seth Bedford likes wandering the West Village in search of coffee and is passionately committed to daydreaming. He is entirely too enthusiastic about Mid-Century Modern design and architecture, 1930’s Weimar Kabarett, 1960’s French Pop, attempting to paint, and pretending to learn new languages. When he is not doing those things, he composes silly music and teaches elementary aged children to do the same.”
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For wholesale information please call 1-800-247-3952. All prices shown are suggested retail.
Ordering. All the items shown here are available to retail stores from Yarn Tree. We encourage you to contact your local needlework store. However, if there is not a needlework store in your area, or if you have any questions or comments, you may contact us directly at 800-247-3952. Stores may open a wholesale account by calling 800-247-3952. Stores outside the USA may contact us by e-mail or fax.