As an artist, you communicate mostly with your visual work.
However, you have a few chances to communicate directly to let your customers and fans know about you as a person and artist.
Especially when selling your artwork online or when you aren’t present, it is important to effectively communicate your story in a compelling and easily digestible way.
Your biography doesn’t have to be a laundry list of things you have done, though! Let your voice come through. Inspire your customers with your unique vision. This is your chance to give context to your work, show off a little and tell people what you are known for.
Your bio will show up in multiple places and it is handy to have multiple versions on hand that vary in length for social media, your website, and galleries, shows or applications.
Start with a core biography by following the guide below about what you need to include in your artist's biography and in what order.
Need inspiration? Take a look at this effective biography from artist Caitlin McCollom.
Caitlin G McCollom is a visual artist whose conceptual paintings are focused on notions of metaphysical searching. McCollom is compelled to visually express the unknowable span of consciousness and the beauty and wonder of encounters with the spiritual realm. While her vibrant paintings on plastic paper have many facets, she uses color and shape symbologies and explorations of archetypical imagery surrounded by formal whiteness to create modern icons that vibrate the connections between the visible and invisible world.
McCollom is an internationally exhibiting artist and she has been featured in national print and digital publications. Including Marie Claire, Vogue, Austin Woman Magazine, Glasstire, The Austin Chronicle, Persona Literary Journal and Les Femme Folles a catalog of women artists in the United States. Currently, her work is held internationally with prominent private collectors and the corporate collections of Kendra Scott, The Hilton Worldwide, The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, The TribezaRabboni Institute, and Vogue Magazine.
McCollom graduated in 2010 from Texas State University with a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in studio art painting with a focus on art history. Previously she worked as an acclaimed curator for Red Space Gallery and on various independent projects, she was also a regional Texas art critic which now informs her full-time studio practice.
Notice this biography is concise and to the point—only including the information that presents her identity as an artist.
When creating a bio, keep in mind that there are several different instances when you will need to alter it depending on where it will be presented.
For social media, you will want to make your bio shorter. It should be just enough to tell a person who you are and what you do as an artist in a couple of sentences. You may even want to include a “tagline” that is one or two sentences that summarize your work and can be used consistently in your bio and in any other instance. On social media, you only have three or four seconds to catch a scrollers attention.
For your website and for print, you have the chance to add a little bit more about yourself. Beef up your bio with more details about your work and career path. The format of your bio will be three or more paragraphs in this instance and include any additional thoughts you might want to present to your audience.
Don’t feel like you can’t write a biography if you are a newer artist or don’t have a lot of exhibitions to include. If you are just starting out, make sure to include the relevant information you do have and give a clear vision of your goals and intentions as an artist.
The Last Word on Artist's Bios
Remember to link back to your website, social media links and current work on Artwork Archive at the end of your bio.
This is a great chance to gain attention, intrigue, and trust and then translate that into your work! Seize the opportunity to direct people to your available artwork.