I'm pretty proud of the profile I wrote for myself on my ArtBizCoach.com About page. I used to have a very dry one, but I seek a more intimate relationship with my community and chose to go this direction. A good profile or bio doesn’t come easily, but must be crafted over time and with patience.
As I mentioned in today's Art Marketing Action newsletter, it's time to spice up your bio. The problem is finding a format that works for you. I can't recall that I've seen a lot of artist bios that are spicy enough for me to recommend them as good examples. And, yet, I know they're out there!
If you know of a good bio or profile of an artist–I mean a REALLY good, juicy one–please share it in the comments below.
P.s. There are four examples of how to spice up your bio that will be available this Wednesday in an audio file just for Inner Circle members.
18 thoughts on “Looking for the best artist bios and profiles”
Here’s my newest Bio. It doesn’t give a lot of detail about my accomplishments but I think it peaks an interest. “K. Henderson has been painting western art for over 20 years, over 100 best of Show and first place awards, a world wide following. What you may not know is that she has recently added several markmanship and costuming awards. A little over a year ago she joined the Single Action Shooting Society.. The influence on her art work can be seen in her new work. While she still paints the Native Americans and equestrian theme for which she is known she has expanded her subject matter to include Western and Victorian characters. Cowboy Action Shooting is an international sport designed to preserve the history of the Old West, competitors (men, women and juniors) are required to dress in authentic attire from the late 1800’s and must use authentic or replica single action revolvers, lever action rifles and old-time shotguns of the period. SASS has over 75,000 members world wide. Cowboy Action Shooting is the fastest growing outdoor shooting sport in the country and mounted shooting is one of the nation’s fastest growing equestrian sports. K. carreer choice started out to be a costumer but soon she found the desire to paint took over. In the developement of her Native American painting, K. has enjoyed the research required to depict the dress and accutrements accuratley. She continues this eye for detail in her Western and Victorian characters”
http://www.michaelorwick.com/bio.cfm Here is my personal bio My artistic bio and artist statement are at http://www.michaelorwick.com/index.cfm I like the idea of have them split so that if people want they can delve just a bit deeper into who I am. Thank you, http://www.michaelorwick.com
I’m not sure if I have a spicy or mild bio. Here’s a link to it : here!
I don’t have a great one to share, but I’ll definitely check out the links people have shared. My husband and I are working on his bio today. So, thanks for the inspiration!
I am not sure if this is what you are looking for or not. This is the text that appears on the “About the Artist” page of my website…along with a picure of one of my drawings. The first sentence is the lead in sentence that appears beside the picture of may work. My issue with writing is that I get “too” descriptive…there for, too lengthy. Would appreciate anyones opinion. (She and Her Pencil are again “Best Friends”) Marsha was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth but I do believe there was a “Pencil” in her hand. As a young child she could always be found drawing. Marsha was drawing portraits of her Aunts and Uncles when she was in grade school. Her interests, however, changed somewhat when she became a teenager…according to Marsha, she discovered boys, and she and her pencil parted ways for a few years. She married young and raised her family. Now, many years later, she and her pencil are again “best friends.” Marsha says she draws today because she can’t think of anything else she would rather do…and she will also tell you that her artistic talent is a gift from God! Marsha is a “self taught artist.” Having no formal education in the field of art, she has nurtured her talent by studying with well known pencil artists, Margaret Baumgaertner for charcoal portraits, and J. D. Hillberry for drawing techniques in portraiture and still life using carbon, charcoal, and graphite….her class with J. D. Hillberry in 2004 was a turning point in her career as an artist. Marsha began exhibiting her Drawings in the spring of 2005 and continues to exhibit at juried art fairs during the spring and summer months…while devoting the winter months to her commissioned works and private showings. Marsha’s drawing style is “expressive realism.” She does both still life and portraiture, the latter being her true passion. She specializes in black and white art. Where some would consider the pencil only for the preliminary sketch, Marsha takes her drawings to the next level by creating complete and detailed dramatic works of art. To quote Marsha directly, ” I believe art is about interpretation, and creating art is about taking the viewer to another place or time. Art tells us a story, with each viewer entitled to their own vision. I believe my drawings allow the viewer to see the color of their own imaginations.” You can find Marsha’s commissioned portraits and still life drawings in homes and business throughout the Midwest. Recent Awards:(A listing of my more recent awards appears here.) Thanks for taking a look, Marsha
I’ve always found that the traditional artist resume, which just lists shows and collections, is dry, drab and frankly, unartistic. They tell you nothing real about the artist. I think your bio should tell a bit of a story: about you, your history or your art. It should be part of your marketing, part of your conversation. I’ve tried to do that with mine (click here).
My artist’s statement / bio is in web video form, so it doubles as a work sample. (3.5 minutes long, covering the current range of my projects: writing, drawing, and web.)
Ok Alyson, I tend to story-tell… I’ve just put my latest attempt at a juicy Bio on my blog!… I hope you enjoy reading! http://jeanneguerin-daley.blogspot.com/ One note: I started creating the bio in the third person, but it sounded so formal and strange. For me, writing it in the first person feels right, more like I’m having a conversation with the reader. It’s okay to have it that way, right?
My Bio ‘probably’ needs a bit of work, (definitely in the dry category) but I can suggest exerpts from an excellent bio on Douglas Coupland’s website. I read it about a year ago- and still remember it. Exerpts From Site—–> (yes, they are long- it is a long bio- but good) Comments Sometimes I’ll be introduced onstage at book events by a speaker saying, “Mr Coupland is German and once did an advertisement for Smirnoff vodka. He collects meteorites and lives in Scotland in a house with no furniture.” Sometimes the bios are so weird that I’m frozen and have to take a second before I can walk. Actually, this sort of intro actually used to be much more common than it is now, so I think Google and the rest are getting far more accurate. Nonetheless, all sorts of mis-data still exists out there. Please consider the info presented here as fully accurate. The meteorite thing Since 1992 there have been bizarre and persistent rumors that I collect meteorites, live in Scotland, don’t own furniture or art, and live in a house designed by someone named ‘Ron Thon.’ Huh? The weird thing is, after a decade of being falsely told I collect meteorites, I thought about it and realized, ‘that’s not actually a bad idea.’ So now I really do collect meteorites. But I don’t live in Scotland – never did. I own a fair amount of furniture and art (I make the stuff) and the house I live in was designed by Canadian modernist master Ron ThoM. I live in Vancouver, and recommend that others do the same. http://www.coupland.com/coupland_bio.html
Does it matter where I studied, my training or discipline? Reviews and critics are just words hollow letters on a lonely page. Art is an intimate exchange. You the viewer, I the painter an offering to my muse Share your reaction with me, for it’s written on your face Without the grace of spoken words. Krystin Goodsell Vancouver Canada firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.walkingwithkrystin.blogspot.com
I don’t know about juicy, but my bio might fit quirky: Pam RuBert was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but her life and art has been largely influenced by her Japanese heritage. After graduating with a degree in English Communications and minor in art, she met her future husband Russ RuBert while taking a sculpture class. They were married on a cliff overlooking a lake in the Ozarks, and after exchanging wedding vows, plunged together into the lake and into a life of art. Together they renovated an old 22,0000 square foot peanut butter factory to create an art studio where nowadays they spend most of their time. In the center of this “art factory” is Pam’s studio – a long room where she creates art quilts using fabric, sewing machines, buttons and other found objects, dyes and paints. When not making art at their studio, Pam and Russ are often traveling to look at art and visit other artists. You can read about their art adventures on Pam’s art blog: http://www.pamdora.com
recently I used the quote ” writing about art is like dancing about architecture “…it was an art critic in New York & if anyone remembers his name I would be most grateful…
Wow! thank you everyone for sharing! I read everyone’s bios, including Alysons. I have strong opinions – which I am thrilled about because that heads me in a certain direction. I am definitely going to rewrite my bio! I had thought one had to be low-key and hide. Now I know you don’t – and reading all your bios in a bunch shows me where I want to go. Thank you! I think I still like my Artist Statement – but my bio needs work! ~ Diane Clancy
Hi Alyson, I just came across your fabulous art blog site and wanted to enter a comment to your conversation about artists’ profiles and biographies. (But I’ve never used a blog and don’t know how to participate. Hence, the email.) I’ve just spent a year designing and writing my website http://www.mariefox.com which launched this week. While creating this website to sell my folk art prints I realized that what I’m “selling” is the artist as well as the artwork. By writing about my artistic inspirations, painting technique and journey as an artist, I give my prints a context, a home. At the Print Gallery part of the website, I tell the story behind each print: what triggered my imagination and inspired me to paint the scene. In the biographical section called Meet The Artist, my long history in art is listed but also woven into a story of meeting my husband. To me, the most important element of an artist’s profile is the story. You wrote a story about your own history and inspirations that made me want to write you. An artist’s profile should be the story behind the art. It’s the story other artists and art-lovers want to hear. Thanks, Marie
To Sari: As far as I know, this is the quote you are talking about: “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” Thelonious Monk
This definitely helps. I look at a lot of bios and they all seem the same. I’m remaking mine to make it a little more remarkable as well. I think I like the idea of using a few paintings within the bio to bring a little life to it. Maybe a timeline of the evolution of my work? I like that. Carry on 🙂
To be honest, I am not really sure why a sweet bio needs to be written in third person. I mean, the person reading it is going to know it is written by the artist, right? Wouldn’t it be a better to hear it straight from the artist? Look at it this way, instead of reading it, imagine the artist speaking to you and telling you her bio. She would not tell you in third person. Will you please explain why it should be written in third person? Thanks!
Travis: A bio is, by definition, in 3rd person. Otherwise, it would be an autobiography. Sorry for being so literal.
Neither is better than the other.
I do like 1st person on the About page.
If you write in 3rd person, it makes it easier for people to copy and paste when they are promoting you.
Bottom line, there is room for both. But there is a difference.