How to Write an Artist’s CV When You Don’t Have Much (Or Any!) Professional Experience

notepadThe post How to Write an Artist CV in 10 Steps is the most popular in the history of The Practical Art World. Some of the most frequently asked questions people have after reading it are “What if I don’t have an exhibition history?” or “What if I didn’t go to school?”

For new and emerging artists, creating an artist’s CV can be a bit of a Catch 22. You don’t have much or any experience to put on your CV, but to apply for “experience” in the form of exhibitions, grants, and schooling, you are asked to provide a CV.

Fortunately, there are ways to tailor what relevant experience you have into an artist’s CV format. Continue reading

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The Best of The Practical Art World

I’m very happy to share that this November, The Practical Art World surpassed 200,000 visits! Over the past year and a half, we have enjoyed your generous feedback, emails, comments, and questions. We love hearing that the articles posted here on the site have helped you as professional artists, so THANK YOU!

In honour of the first 200,000 visitors to The Practical Art World, we’ve compiled a list: Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 6

Week 6: Get your paperwork in order.

If you have ever submitted your artwork to an exhibition, gallery or contest, you probably already know that beyond your artwork, you are also responsible for providing specific paperwork relating to your artistic practice. The most common paperwork requests are for an artist statement, an artist CV, and a short written biography.

If you have these three items prepared in advance, you can update them regularly and save yourself a lot of stress when trying to meet a submission deadline. In general, they are great things to have on hand even if you are not submitting your work, as collectors, curators, or writers could ask to see them at any time. Continue reading

How to Write an Artist’s CV in 10 Steps

A CV or curriculum vitae is an overview of your artistic professional history and achievements. Although it looks similar to a resume, it contains different elements which are only related to your artistic professional practice.

One mistake emerging artists often make in writing their CVs is trying to oversell their work. Less is more. Your CV should be neatly organized, and only include information pertinent to your artistic career.

What should you include on a CV? Here is where how to compose one in 10 steps:

1. Personal details.

Often, more established artists will keep it simple. This is because their CV is usually referenced as a biography rather than a resume.

Damian Hirst (b. 1965, UK)

However, you can include contact information if you are sending out your CV to galleries in the hopes that they will reply:

Damian Hirst, (b. 1965, UK)
info@damianhirst.com | http://www.damianhirst.com | 604.555.1234

Either of these formats is appropriate for an artist’s CV. Just keep in mind that you should only include your website if it directly relates to your artistic practice.

2. Education.

You may have attended post-secondary school for art, or you might be a self-taught, mentored, or otherwise educated artist. Generally speaking, this section of a CV relates to institutional education specifically in the field of visual arts. If you do have post-secondary education in the arts field, include the school(s), the year(s) that you graduated, and the degree(s):

University of British Columbia, Master of Fine Arts, 2009
Emily Carr University, Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2005

If you do not have a degree in the visual arts field, fear not. This section of the CV is not a pre-requisite for exhibitions or gallery representation. The only thing to note is Continue reading