Writing for Artists: How to Write an Artist Statement, Bio and Blog

How to Write an Artist Statement, Bio and Blog

The Art of Writing an Artist Statement, Bio and BlogNo matter what your 2014 creative goals entail, you almost certainly will need a well-written artist statement, bio, blog, brochure or perhaps all of the above. Are your writing skills up to snuff? Whether you need to start from the very beginning or you need just a quick tune-up, Lori McNee’s 2013 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market article “The Art of Writing” can help you get the right kind of attention for your writing and your art. I’m sharing an excerpt from the writing article below. You can find the complete article on ArtistsMarketOnline.com.

Keep creating (and writing) and good luck!

Mary

Artist's Market Online Facebook

 

The Art of Writing: Bios, Blogs and Statements by Lori McNee

For many artists, facing a blank page is more intimidating than starting a new canvas! Nevertheless,besides your creative skills, writing is the primary basis upon which your work and intellect will be judged in the professional world and on the Internet. The importance of writing skills isn’t limited to bios, blogs and artist’s statements. It’s also important for emails, brochures, sales materials, grants, presentations and even social media. Writing is an art form that artists can work to master, and it is necessary for a successful career.

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In this fast-paced world many people suffer from information overload, and understanding how to write something that gets read is more important now than ever. Read on for useful tips for writing a bio, blog and artist’s statement.

HOW TO WRITE AN ATTENTION-GRABBING BIO

Gone are the days when we relied solely on our boring résumés to highlight our accomplishments. Today, you need an attention grabbing bio to tell readers about you and your work.

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Three types of bios to consider

No matter its length, your bio is a branding opportunity, especially if you are in business for yourself. I suggest writing all three types of bios:

The mini: Do you use Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking tool? You will need a mini bio for your profile. It is only a few short important sentences—this is your “elevator pitch.”

Lori McNee artist bio mini
Here is the mini bio that I use for Pinterest. I kept it very simple and clean, much like the site. I added my blogs for extra marketing potential.

The short: A short bio will have all the components of a long one, but only highlights the very best. This bio will be used for your blog, newsletter, interviews, brochures, magazines and query letters. Keep the short bio at no more than one hundred words. If it is too long, people won’t read it.

I use this short bio in the sidebar of my blog along with a smiling picture of me. This helps to personalize and humanize my content.

The long: A longer bio is generally used when you feel like you have more to say. For example, use a longer bio on your “about me” page of your blog or website. Keep the longer bio to a page in length, and add your picture for a nice touch.

Key components of a bio

Use the following components to build your bio:

Name: Your name should be in the first sentence. This is the all-important introduction of you to the reader.

Tell about yourself: Assert your business with confidence. Concisely highlight your achievements and awards, and hook the reader. A little of this goes a long way—don’t turn your reader off with ego-driven self-promotion.

Add a dash of personality: Personal branding is just that—your personal, virtual personality. The reason for your bio is to sell yourself by building transparency. Share a bit about your interests and what you care about.

Contact information: Include your pertinent contact information, e-mail and websites, and hyperlink the content to your social media networks.

Add a picture: For some purposes, you will want to add your picture or avatar to your bio. A friendly picture helps to humanize you to your readers. To help with branding recognition, consider using the same image across all of your social media channels.

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TIPS FOR BETTER BLOGGING

Blogs help artists, freelancers and small businesses reach beyond the canvas or computer screen to make contact with potential collectors, customers, business prospects and likeminded individuals.
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Important reasons to consider a blog

A blog strengthens your personal brand: Branding is who you are or what the world thinks you are. Every time a prospect or a potential customer makes contact with you they are forming an opinion of you as a brand.

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Blog posts have a long shelf life: Once you submit your blog post it will be searchable via Google until you decide to take it down.

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Blog posts are searchable: Your content is easily found via keywords or the search window that is in the top right-hand corner of most blogs.

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Blogs create richer content: Whereas social networks are mainly for people who like tocomment, blogs allow for richer content.

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HOW TO WRITE AN ARTIST’S STATEMENT

Writing about yourself is never an easy task. Creative people often have a difficult time formulating the right words to express their art. Most artists prefer to leave the emotional response between the viewer and the art, without the necessity for words.

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A well-written statement is a vital marketing tool to promote you and your art. It is a bridge between the work and the viewer. The artist’s statement must be informative and written as though you were speaking in person about your work. Think of it as an introduction to yourself and your art.

The process

Statements are as individual as the artists they represent, and many aspects of an artist’s statement come down to personal choice. However, there are some industry suggestions that can help you get started.

As with any writing project, begin with a rough draft. Start with the pertinent and fill in the details. Remember, you are writing for people who are interested in you and your art.

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Write the statement in first person and infuse it with your unique perspective. Is your work fanciful, aggressive or solemn? Choose prose that complements and reflects your art.

Keep the language simple and clear. An artist’s statement should be no more than three paragraphs. A word count of one hundred to three hundred words is optimal.

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In today’s world, artists are expected to do more than just create. We must stay current within the art market, and most of us don’t have the luxury of a personal assistant or secretary. If writing really stumps you, hire someone to write for you. Try using a secretarial service, a college student or a freelance writer or journalist. Remember, good writing skills can often mean the difference between getting accepted or rejected for a show or gallery.

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Lori McNee is an exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America and ranks as one of the most influential artists and powerful women on Twitter. She was named a Twitter Powerhouse by The Huffington Post. Lori shares valuable fine art tips, art business tips and social media advice on her blog, FineArtTips.com. She has been a talk show host for Plum TV, and has been featured in and written for magazine and book publications and serves on the Plein Air Magazine board of advisors.

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