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

What Should You Include in a Portfolio Submission (Which Artworks, How Many)?

It can be daunting to choose a certain number of your artworks to include in a portfolio submission. Do you pick your favourites? Do you pick other people’s favourites? Do you only pick new works? Read the tips below to help chose your absolute best selection of art works for any submission.

Pay attention to what they want

This is the #1 golden rule of submissions! Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 8

Week 8: Take a class

Whether you are a self-taught artist or have earned a degree in the field, there are countless benefits to enrolling yourself in an art class. There is obviously the distinct possibility that you will learn new skills or methods of working, but there are other benefits to being in a classroom setting, such as:

1. It forces you to work. Expectations and deadlines are great motivators, and taking a class is an excellent way to make your art practice a regular part of your day.

2. You meet other artists. Art can be a solitary endeavor. When you enroll in a class, you will have the opportunity to meet like-minded people and perhaps even collaborate with them. Taking a class also usually gives you an intimate view of how other artists work, which is invaluable information to you as a practicing artist.

3. You discuss your work. If you are lucky, Continue reading

10 Weeks to Improve your Artistic Career- Week 7

Week 7: Seek out and learn from critical feedback

“The crit.” Are there any more cringe-worthy words for an art student or artist? Though their aim is to help, critiques of artwork have gained a terrible reputation.

Art can be deeply personal, which is why having it critiqued can be very difficult. Many artists just want to hear that their work is good, that what they are doing is validated. But when you think about it, what helps you to grow, improve, and push yourself more: simple praise or thoughtful criticism? 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

WordPress vs. Blogger vs. Tumblr Part 2: Examples of Artist Blogs and Websites

In March, I published a post entitled WordPress vs. Blogger vs. Tumblr, Free Artist Websites where I wrote a brief overview of the pros / cons and features / benefits of these three different hosting sites. I included a link to an example website or blog for each one. Since the post and the example links have been getting a large number of clicks, I thought it would be useful to post more examples of artist websites created on WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr.

WORDPRESS

JAMES FOWLER | @jamesfowlerart

The artist James Fowler uses the WordPress theme Twenty Ten. The site has been nicely configured to appear as a static landing page, more as a website portfolio than a blog. There are clear links featured at the top of the website which link to images, cv, contact info, and other pages.

MY PHOTOMATON | @hugobaeta

Hugo Baeta’s Photomaton blog actually uses the same theme as The Practical Art World, Twenty Eleven. For his site it has been customized 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

Art Gallery Submissions: How to Prepare and What to Send

So, you’ve decided that you want to submit your artwork to a gallery. Fantastic! Although it can seem like a daunting task, creating a professional and complete submission to send to galleries is a huge step in getting your artwork “out there” and progressing your artistic career.

Before you even begin gathering and preparing your materials for submission, you should make a decisive plan to streamline your effort and decide which galleries you want to submit to. I have written a post to help you with just that– please read Which Gallery Should I Submit To?

Once you have decided which galleries you want to submit to, take this most important step for each: Continue reading

WordPress vs. Blogger vs. Tumblr: Free Artist Websites

Free blog hosts are a great resource for artists who want to create their own portfolio or website online. Below I have provided a short summary of three of the most popular free blogging hosts: Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr.

Blogger / Blogspot

Blogger by Google hosts free blogs using the format www.(yourname).blogspot.com. Blogger is useful for setting up a working journal or studio blog about your practice, updated as you add new images or news to it. It is more suited to a journal or conventional blog format where you can post news, pictures of work, the progression of works in progress—rather than a formal portfolio.

The disadvantage of Blogger and the reason it is not good for a “formal” portfolio or artist’s website is that by default, you cannot have a static landing page. It is technically possible to alter the code to change your Blogger blog to a static page, but you need to edit the template in HTML. If you are up for the challenge, Blog Help gives a good explanation here.

Blogger allows you to “monetize” your blog, should you choose to put advertisements on it.

Here is an example of an artist’s blog on Blogger, works by Claudio Rodriguez Valdes, using a non-static landing page.

WordPress

WordPress hosts free blogs using the format http://(yourname).wordpress.com. Like Blogger, the templates to choose from are non-static, although the process involved in creating a static landing page is much simpler, Continue reading