Saturday, December 04, 2010

The art of writing about your art

Sooner or later, someone is going to ask you to submit a bio. Maybe it’s for your listing on the Arkansas Craft Guild web site, or for promotion for a gallery opening, or for advertising for a craft show. Most of us hate to “blow our own horn” and it is terribly hard to condense your life and your craft into the one or two paragraphs they always want.

I have crafts people ask me to write up their bios frequently and I came up with this series of exercises to help them focus on their craft and figure out what to say. Remember, these short bios are a snapshot of where you are, right now. If you’re like most artisans, you don’t have the time to write a lot, and in today’s world, people generally don’t take the time to read more than a few sentences.

Work through these exercises and then leave this set for a day, or a week. Come back to it, read it and then write your brief bio. Gear it toward the audience you are hoping to reach - collectors of your art? – fellow artisans? Students? Don’t worry about focusing this piece on just one part of your life. I was recently writing an article about a couple who have been wood carvers for more than 40 years. They have pieces in collections around the world. They shared how they met and started working together.

I listened and remarked, “What a great story.”

They smiled, looked at each and said, “Well, that’s one story.”

If you want help putting together a bio, feel free to email me at

Writing your bio exercises

Write one word that describes your art - ______________________________

Write one sentence using that word - __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Use that sentence in a three sentence paragraph _____________________________________


This is your “elevator speech” about your art, what you could tell someone in the time it takes to ride the elevator with them.

In one word, what is the most important thing in the world to you? _____________________

Now, think of a conversation with a good friend. In one sentence, how would that friend describe you? _____________________________________________________________



Now, write a three sentence paragraph describing your artistic self ______________________


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