• Shay Paul

The Artist and the Art

Updated: Aug 31

In this blog post, you can find information about writing autobiographies, artist statements, and a brief outline on naming your artwork

Writing About Yourself

Artist Biography

An artist biography is typically a short write-up about who you are as an artist and is written in third person (i.e. they, she, he, etc.). It can summarize points about what inspires you, what type of art you create, and the process of how you create it.

Start creating your biography by using the prompt questions to the side to inspire you. You can use as many or as few of them as you wish to include, or even use your own topics. Once you have an idea, you’ll have to carefully work your writing in a way that seems focused, interesting, and (as painful as it may be) concise.

Remember, your biography summarizes key points about who you are as an artist, and you can always expand your thoughts and process in your Artist Statements.

Examples of Artist Biography Topics:

  • Where were you born?

  • Where did you live?

  • How were you introduced to art?

  • Are you self-taught or schooled?

  • Do you have any education or achievements regarding your work?

  • What inspires you to create your art?

  • Has your creative process changed as you have grown?

  • Have you been a part of any past shows, exhibits, or projects?

  • What plans or aspirations do you have for your future as an artist?

Artist Statement:

An artist statement is typically your direct line of communication between yourself and the people who are viewing your art, and is always written in first person (i.e. I, me, my). Ideally, you should have an artist statement available for every piece of work you submit to a show because it acts as the only way you can provide your audience with an explanation for your work. You cannot always be there to explain your process to the viewer, which is why an artist statement is so valuable to artists.

When you are writing your statement, imagine you are talking to your viewer and explaining your artwork to them. A good trick to use to round out your explanation is the "what", "how", and "why".

"What" type of art did you create? "How" did you manage to create it? "Why" did you make what you did? You can also use the extended list of topic examples in the box above to help you decide on how to write your statements.

Once you have answered the prompt questions, try and cut down your writing to it's absolute essentials. A typical artist statement is a couple paragraphs long, or about 100-200 words per statement. Try writing your statement a few different ways and think about which one best describes you and your work.

Examples of Artist Statement Topics:

  • What inspired you to create this piece?

  • Did another artist contribute to your inspiration?

  • Did you explore any concepts, themes, or ideas in your creative process?

  • What does this piece mean to you personally?

  • How did you create your art? What mediums and techniques did you use?

  • Did you have any challenges or setbacks while creating this piece?

  • What type of feeling or meaning do you hope to convey to your audience from your artwork?

Naming Your Work

Giving your work a name can be done at any point during your creative process. You might have a title for your piece before you even start your work, or perhaps you won't figure one out until it's framed. The journey is different for every artist, and even different for every piece.

There is a variety of different ways you can name your artwork. Some people name theirs after a feeling, or an inspiration, or something that seems a bit more poetic. Then there are people who name their work after physical traits or objects withing their work.

Feel free to name your artwork anything you like, but when you are aiming to sell pieces to the general public there are some guidelines you might want to consider first:

  • Simple and short descriptions can be memorable.

  • Descriptive, but not too personal (i.e., someone might not want to buy a piece of artwork of an animal titled "My dog, Biscuit".)

  • If your artwork is of a specific location, the name of the location is helpful for sales.

  • Using descriptive elements of your artwork or technique.

  • Using the main focus of your artwork in the title

  • Never call it "Untitled". You may lose the buyer's attention by not having a name for your piece.

  • Be sure to ask others for their opinion in the title process. They may be able to help.

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