Your artist summary is the first thing people will read about you. It’s often seen before someone sees your work. It’s the chance to make your first impression by quickly telling your story along with some basic information that will hook the reader into learning more about you. Your artist summary can determine whether a prospective employer will bring you in for an interview, whether a gallery will represent you or whether a magazine will hire you for a photo shoot.
On Orangenius, you’ll find your artist summary right at the top of your Bio, directly above examples of your work. The artist summary is an industry term for a brief description of your creative work and your history as an artist or creative. You may not be a fine artist, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include a short description of your talents, inspirations, and work experience.
The summary area has all the information you need, so no more guessing as to what you should include. We can’t do it all for you, however, so we’ve rounded up some of the best practices used in the creative industries when creating an artist summary as part of your bio.
First, you should add an avatar, an image that represents who you are. Most people will use a headshot, but it can really be anything you want. You should also title yourself. In the ‘I am a’ prompt, choose painter, photographer, graphic designer or you can get creative.
You should also add your location so people know what area of the country you are in and, if you would like, a link to an external website. You should add your skills so that people know what you’re good at. If you’re a photographer, and you’re excellent at Photoshop or illustrator, you should let people know.
In this section, you can also mark whether you’re available for hire, so potential employers can easily find your profile and consider you for work. You can also add links to your social media pages, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Once you’ve completed these steps, we can finally get to your artist summary.
The Orangenius artist bio is meant to be more personal than a resume or CV, but rather a place for you to paint a comprehensive picture of who you are as creative. Since it will be used in combination with your CV or resume, your Orangenius artist summary is an opportunity to hook the reader and get them interested in exploring your experience and your work: Think of the summary as a teaser, with the detailed resume or CV following.
Your artist summary is your opportunity to hook your audience. It should be a compelling narrative that encapsulates who you are as an artist, expressing your overarching creative philosophy and motivations, along with relevant personal history or background that informs your creative work and provides context. Remember that in some cases, people may be reading hundreds of bios, resumes, or CVs so in order for the artist statement to be effective, it should be both concise and compelling.
In our short attention span culture, there is very little time to engage, so you will need to use your creativity to hook the reader. Your artist statement shouldn’t be boring, too long, or discuss things unrelated to your work. If you don’t find it entertaining, don’t expect anyone else to continue reading it.
As we’ve discussed, the principal purpose of writing an artist’s summary is to draw the reader in and give them a sense of who you are. Writing the perfect artist summary means you’ll straddle a line between selling yourself and self-aggrandizement. You’ll want to discuss the meaning of your work without being confusing or overly critical or theoretical. Rambling passages that are too long and too convoluted want to be avoided. At the same time, you won’t want to seem prosaic or too flat.
In addition, you’ll want to remember that your artist summary drives search engine optimization (SEO), and should therefore include targeted keywords in your artists statement that detail your practice and signal your presence within a certain sector of the art market. This way, your bio will be easily discoverable by major search engines.
Take a look at some of our favorite examples, and read on for detailed instructions on completing your artist summary.
Your Orangenius artist summary should be written in the third person, rather than in the third person. It should begin with a summary including pertinent details such as where you’re from, and where you currently live, your medium and style.
Your artist summary should:
- Be no more than 80-120 words. Your bio shouldn’t be a laundry list of your accomplishments and experience, but rather deliver one to two key points that leaves your reader wanting more.
- Open with a compelling bio. Your opening sentence should encapsulate the single thing that best identifies your practice as an artist. Save biographical information for later on in your bio.
- Include mediums, themes, techniques, and influences. You’ll definitely want to highlight whether you’re a painter, what materials you work with and how you work with them, and what you’re inspired by, without rambling on for too long.
- Explore the context of your work. Is there a particular political or social climate that especially influences your practice? Are there pop culture references associated with your work? If so, you’ll want to highlight that in your artist bio.
- Be reviewed constantly. Make sure you check your artist bio periodically to keep it current.
Your artist bio shouldn’t:
- Include a laundry-list of your accomplishments. Those will be added education and work experience areas as well as creative highlights section.
- Offer too much praise. Stay away from making yourself sound like the art world’s next big thing. Instead, be modest: Tell the reader who you are and what makes your work interesting without being overly hyperbolic.
- Misspell or write poorly. You’ll want to make sure you review your Orangenius artist bio for spelling and grammatical errors, which can make your bio appear sloppy and unprofessional.