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

5 Places to Find Free Art Education & Inspiration

1. Art Supply Manufacturers 

Many artist-grade product manufacturers offer loads of free information about how to use their products. Much of this information can be applied to your studio practice in general, even if you don’t end up purchasing their product. The highest quality artist materials manufacturers tend to have the most in-depth and thorough material; their commitment to artists is obvious.

Winsor & Newton
Winsor & Newton makes a large assortment of artist-quality paints and painting accessories. Visit their Resource Centre for instructional videos, Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 9

Week 9: Exhibit your work

Exhibiting your artwork has endless benefits for your artistic career. You could say it is the most important things in building a solid practice! When you exhibit your artwork:

  • it is viewed by peers, clients, potential clients, fans of art, writers, curators, friends, etc
  • usually an exhibition involves working with other artists, and / or galleries, curators, or professionals in the artistic field and can give you excellent experience
  • you learn from your mistakes
  • you engage in dialogue about your work
  • it adds credibility to your CV. With exhibitions on your CV, you stand a better chance for receiving grants, scholarships, exhibition opportunities, residencies, and more.

Strangely enough, exhibiting their own artwork is one thing that a large number of artists do not do. There are many excuses why not to pursue exhibition opportunities for yourself, such as: Continue reading

Application Deadline: Vancouver Art Gallery | Art Rental and Sales Program

May 31, 2012

The Art Rental and Sales Program at the Vancouver Art Gallery is currently accepting submissions of artwork from Canadian artists. Work accepted into the program is consigned for rental or sale, with partial proceeds going to the artist and partial proceeds benefitting the non-profit Vancouver Art Gallery.

The Art Rental and Sales Program is an excellent opportunity for exposure as well as possible sales. To request an application package, they ask that you email artrentalandsales.submission@gmail.com. General inquiries can be directed to manager@artrentalandsales.com.

Full information on submissions can be found here.

www.artrentalandsales.com

Image credit: Geoff Richardson, http://www.loose-marbles.com

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

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 5

Week 5: Fine-tune an artistic target, do your research, and act based on your findings.

This week’s project is more open ended than previous ones, but I believe it is very useful method that can work for almost anyone.

It is not uncommon to meet an artist who loves to make art, spends countless hours in the studio, and dreams of one day having their art displayed in a big public gallery. Or maybe to see their work sell in a big commercial gallery. Or perhaps on a beautiful website that gets tons of hits. The only flaw in this plan is that there is no plan.

Unfortunately, artists are not likely to be “discovered” based solely on their private artistic talent. For example, Continue reading

10 Ways to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 2

Visitors experience Olafur Eliasson’s “The Weather Project” at the Tate Modern

WEEK 2: View art in person

These days, much art viewing occurs online. This makes sense in one way– the internet offers potentially global reach to virtually every artist. You can Google “Gerhard Richter” and see almost his entire catalogue instantly.

Despite this wide accessibility and the fact that the internet is an incredible tool for artists, Continue reading

Gallery Submissions: How to Set Yourself Apart from the Crowd

With many artists vying for the same few spots at galleries or exhibition spaces, the “competition” for exposure can be difficult and disheartening. Unpersonalized rejections, lack of feedback, or unresponsiveness from galleries can lead artists to take drastic measures to stand out from the crowd. Sometimes these attention-getting tactics are great, and sometimes they ruin your chances before you’ve even begun. Below are some ways to stand out from the crowd.

1. Visit the gallery regularly, be friendly with the staff, and chat about whatever exhibitions they are showing. When you drop off your portfolio in person, the staff will be much more likely to give it proper consideration since they are familiar with you. Continue reading

Approaching a Gallery: The Initial Email (an Example of What to Send)

At any point in an artist’s career, they many begin to seek out representation from a commercial gallery. This has several benefits for the artist, including more exposure, a better venue to show work (presumably), less self-marketing, and hopefully more sales (if that is what the artist is after).

As many galleries are quite established and receive numerous submissions constantly, it can be tricky for artists to get a good “foot in the door.” The best first step is to do your research and approach a gallery to see if they are actually accepting submissions. This is best done with a respectful, polite email (with a link to your portfolio cleverly inserted).

Example of a good initial email:

For the attention of the curator,*

I am a Vancouver artist seeking representation** locally. I am writing to inquire if you are currently accepting submission proposals. If so, could you please let me know which format or materials you prefer.

Best,
Your Name
http://www.yourwebsiteaddress.com***

The key points in this email are: Continue reading