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Writing Resources for Artists

Do you absolutely hate, detest and despise writing artist statements, submission letters or proposals?  I get anxious and break out into a cold sweat (well not really but I still don’t like it).  Do you find yourself saying “I have a visual language” or want very much to go with “a picture is worth a 1000 words”. Unfortunately that is not going to advance your art career or get the work accepted by galleries or the public.  In order to reach people artists are put into the position where they have to explain their art and if feels like you have to explain yourself.

To help in this daunting task I have compiled some writing resources for artists to people and sites that actually have some useful tips.

The Creative Edge – Cover Letters

Copyright Peggy Hadden

“When I first began presenting work to the art world, I sent slides out one set at a time, tentatively, without a cover letter.

Looking back now, it seems like I was trying to edge into a gallery unnoticed-when, in fact, just the opposite was true. I wanted very much to be noticed.

Sad to report, the slides would usually come back in the same condition, with no acknowledgment letter-an event particularly disappointing for an artist. I failed to grasp that if I wanted to receive a letter, it would help if I sent one.

In fact, the responses and what I learned from them improved dramatically when I began writing a few words to the person to whom the packet was addressed. Thus evolved a series of ideas for writing art-related cover letters more effectively.”

Writing an Artist’s Statement

If you’re an artist, chances are someone has said, “What is your painting about?” or, “Explain this photograph to me,” or, “What the hell is that brown thing?”

It’s human nature to try to make sense of what we see. Writing an artist’s statement is a great way to help your viewers understand what they’re seeing. Even if you never share your written statement with anyone, just taking the time to sit down and write it out will help you talk about your work more easily.

To read the rest of this article from ArtEmerging.com

Writing a bio from “Bio Camp Open Thread” by Edward Winkleman

“In discussing Open Submission exhibitions the other day, I noted that many gallerists consider them negatives on an artist bio, which led to a discussion about what makes for a good bio, which led me to think about it quite a bit over the past few days, which led to no very solid conclusions I’m afraid, because, well, the best bio is always one tailored to its viewer. Each potential viewer will be looking for different things.

To read the rest of this article from Bio Camp Open Thread

Writing an artist resume

“Being an artist means not only making your art but of course promoting your art. But some would argue that you’re really promoting yourself. Regardless, you need to have a good resume. Edward Winkleman’s blog recently had a great post about resumes/bios with some really valuable information (be sure to read the comments, too). I’ll just add to it by telling you how I deal with my resume.”

To read the rest of this article from artemerging.com

“How not to write an arts grant application”

“I’ve been around the grant writing block, hitting up arts councils, government programs and foundations for my individual art practice, as well as for various creative non-profits and charities, in a little over 15 years. Having sat on several arts council juries, what I’ve seen on the receiving end makes it glaringly apparent as to what makes a very strong application. Let me share with you what doesn’t.”

To read the rest of this article from The Artist’s Business Digest

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