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!

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