Rise Art

Writing your Artist CV

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott @ Rise Art on August 24, 2010

For Artists, the process of keeping an up-to-date CV that promotes your work and showcases both your talent and motivation can be a tricky endeavor. A good CV allows gallerists, collectors, critics as well and the public a quick overview of an artist’s activities, exhibitions and patronage. Often artists find it hard to write about themselves and their projects, especially at the beginning of their career when they are just starting out. Here are some of the things we think are important for every artist to consider when constructing their bio.

Before getting started, consider the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of this CV? Is it for a gallery, exhibition or profile? Who is the audience and what do they want to learn?
  2. If it is for a submission or application, how is my past experience and work relevant to this project?
  3. What am I proud of and want to make sure I get across in the document?

General Guidelines

  • Keep the lay-out consistent, clear and simple. Use only one, simple typeface, such as Arial or Times New Roman.
  • Keep the information provided concise, clear and simple. Try to limit each point to one or two sentences. Bullets and headers can help streamline projects and exhibitions.
  • Keep your CV short – don’t exceed two A4 pages and if possible one. Instead of lengthy pages of exhibitions, select exhibitions that show your diversity and motivations.
  • Use reverse chronological order, by stating the latest exhibition or education first, working your way backwards.
  • Taylor your CV to the opportunity you are applying for.
  • Put most relevant information first; if you are a recent graduate, you might want to put education first.
  • Include a website URL where possible, so the person reviewing your CV can easily access further information if needed.
  • University of the Arts London has created a helpful pfd on writing CVs in the creative industries, which you can find here.

Headings

  1. Name and Contact Details – In your heading put your name together with your contact details, where and when you were born and where you currently live and work.
  2. Education/Training – start with your most recent education first, working your way to the A-levels.
  3. Solo Exhibitions – This section should contain any solo exhibitions you have had, including the exhibition name, location and year.
  4. Group Exhibitions –  Put in the same information as above. You might want to add the name of the curator, especially if he or she is well-known.
  5. Awards – Have you been shortlisted or won an award? If so, put the details under this heading.
  6. Collections – Has a collector, company or foundation bought your work? If yes, put here the year of purchase, name and location of the collection.
  7. Publications/Published Work – include here information on any publications that have been written about your work; reference the work in an academic manner, for instance by using the Harvard System of Reference.
  8. Residencies – outline any residencies you have been part of, again, include year and name of the residency.
  9. Commissions – detail here any work you have been commissioned to do.
  10. Representation – if represented by a gallery or galleries, put their details here.

Phew, that is a long list of things to consider. Do you feel there are other things to consider or do you have additional advice? Share your thoughts with our community!

Photographing your Artwork

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott @ Rise Art on August 16, 2010

As artist, it is essential to keep a visual record of your body of work and a portfolio. You are going to need it, whether you wish to apply for schools, grants, residencies, a show or if you wish to show it to potential clients or galleries. You might also want to consider online presence. Next to a biography and an artist statement, you are going to need up-to-date images of your work, ready to share.

The best way to ensure that your artwork looks it best digitally is to have your original shot in a professional studio. Still, this isn’t always possible. Listed below are a few ways to ensure that your artwork looks its best whether you are shooting in in your studio or bedroom.

  1. Even though sunny days in England are few, try to take your work outside to photograph, as indirect, ambient light is generally better than flash photography. If you are indoors, try to soften any flash photography by filtering the camera flash. A coffee filter works wonders for diffusing light.
  2. Try to find a place where you can put your artwork almost perfectly upright. Shooting any work at an angle makes it different to capture the image properly and display the correct perspective. If unavoidable, try to set the angle of the camera at the identical angle of the artwork.
  3. Use a tripod, table, box, or any stable surface to ensure the shots you take are perfectly stable.
  4. Focus the camera on the center of the artwork. Try to zoom on so that your artwork takes up as much of the image as possible.
  5. To avoid your work taking on trapezoid shapes,  try to fill the viewfinder or LCD of your camera as much as possible and ensure that all the edges of your work are parallel with the edges of the viewfinder.
  6. Another problem often encountered, is the artwork ‘swelling up’ on the image. To avoid this, distance yourself a little more from the artwork and use the zoom of your camera. This way a more natural sense of depth is created, keeping the edges from bulging outward.
  7. Take several shoots of your work to ensure that there is at least one perfect shot!
  8. Finally, using image editing software, such as Adobe’s Photoshop crop the image, so the background is not visible anymore.

Do you have some advice on how to photograph artworks? What are the hacks that you have used to make your work look great online?

Looking for a Artist Studio?

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott @ Rise Art on August 4, 2010
Adriaen van Ostade, Selfportrait

Adriaen van Ostade, Selfportrait (1663)

Ever though about or dreamed of having the perfect studio space to create your worked but dismissed the idea given the expense? We know that often, artists studios are no more than a corner of a room, spare shed or other place where conditions are less then optimal. As collectors we have also visited artists studios where the artist is clearly not excited about their surroundings. While not everyone can afford to have a work space as grand as Damien Hirst’s old production factory, the artist studio can have a wide reaching impact on an artists productivity, mindset and present opportunities for open-studios, sales and connecting with other artists.

With enough drive and ambition, any artist can find studio space on the cheap, especially given today’s economy. There are some great resources out there that help artists find, or even exchange studio space. Here are some of the many resources for artists looking for their next home for creating art:

1. Artquest provides a detailed list of artists’ studios in the UK. The best part is, that they are already subdivided into the following categories: visual arts and crafts, sculpture, lens based, live art, printmaking, new media and creative businesses, thereby making it easier to browse depending on ones requirements. Worth checking back often as they get new postings frequently.

2. Ever thought of going abroad for a while? Artelier, which is also part of Artquest, is an online network for visual artists enabling them to safely find and negotiate studio and apartment swops online. Using the resource, you might find someone, who wants to exchange your space agains his or her own for a while. In order to make use of Artelier, one needs to be registered and the registration needs to be approved of, in order to ensure security of the community.

3. On movethat a forum has been created, where artists can exchange information, among others about studio lets. There are often short term and long term opportunities, providing resourceful artists with means to connect directly with one another.

4. A-N has compiled a downloadable directory stating artists resources, which from page 21 onwards outlines contacts of artist studios and workshops for diverse media.

5. On the Artreview online network artists created  a group called studio space London, which is not always very active, but the members are friendly, welcoming and helpful. Worth setting up a profile and listing what you need.