How to Write a Kick-Ass Artist Bio

Listen up, you beautiful bitches. If you're an artist, you damn well know how important it is to have a kick-ass bio. Think of your bio, not as a bunch of words strung together; but rather a piece of art you're creating for the world to see. This is your chance to tell people who […]

Listen up, you beautiful bitches. If you're an artist, you damn well know how important it is to have a kick-ass bio.

Think of your bio, not as a bunch of words strung together; but rather a piece of art you're creating for the world to see. This is your chance to tell people who you are, what you do, and why they should give a shit about your art.

So, let's get down to the gritty. Why the hell is an artist's bio so important? It's your chance to connect to your audience on a deeper level. It gives people a sneak peek at the wizard behind the canvas and reveals why you continue to pour your heart out with each brushstroke.

"If they cry, they buy" - my former sales mentor.

Artists are storytellers, after all, and this is a chance to tell everyone why your art is worth their time and money.

But here's the thing: don’t let your bio become a generic snooze-fest. It needs to be interesting, authentic, and reflect your unique voice. That means no corporate or stuffy bullshit. No Jargon. If you try too hard to appeal to everyone, you will end up appealing to no one - that's the goddamned honest truth. Instead, Write like you're talking to your best friend, your dog, or that tatted-up barista who always gives you extra foam on your cappuccino.

There's No "I" in Art

You need to use third-person language. That's just the way it is, so just do it. Remove the word “‘I” and replace with your favourite pronouns. You'll make yourself sound more like a badass. I always think of The Rock, a.k .a. Dwayne Johnson, back when he was still a wrestler and not yet a movie star. He used to say crap like, "Do you smell what the Rock is cooking?" Do wrestlers cook? I dunno. Let's imagine him shouting to the crowd, "The Rock paints abstract psychological landscapes and plays on the intensity of moods using light and shadow. " Get ready to sound like a freakin' superstar.

Minimalism VS Maximalism

Now, let's talk about keeping it simple. We don't need your life story, folks. Unless your pets and long walks on the beach are relevant to your art, which I doubt if you're reading this (not judging!), leave that shit out. Stick to only fascinating tidbits. Where you're based, any art-related education or qualifications, the mediums and techniques you use in your work, key themes or subjects, what inspires or influences your style, and your biggest, raddest achievements. Oh, and if there are any common questions people ask about your work, make sure to answer those, too.

Keep A Few Versions on Hand To Reduce Future Headaches

And hey, while we're at it, write multiple versions of your bio. Start with a longer one for your website and portfolio and a short one for online marketplaces or when you're in the elevator with that cute barista with the extra foam. You want to be able to tell people who you are confidently and what you do without stumbling over your words like a damn fool. It’s called an elevator pitch. Look it up. Practice in the mirror.

But wait, there's more! Editing tips, folks. First and foremost, 'kill your darlings' (it’s a writer's phrase, but I love the moodiness of it). It means that sometimes you must cut out sentences or entire paragraphs, even ‘nice’ ones if they don't pull their weight. We need to be cutthroat here. Every word counts, especially with the shorter versions. Second, get a fresh pair of eyes to look over your writing. Find someone you trust who will give you honest feedback. Try not to get butt-hurt about it either- they’re doing you a favour, so remember to be gracious with constructive criticism.

Even Art Bios Deserve the Occasional Glow-up

It’s a good idea to update your bio(s) once a year as you and your work develop, evolve and change.

You've Got This

So, there you have it. I hope this inspires you to keep your voice distinctive, memorable and delicious. Chances are you’ll remember this advice more than you would some boring-ass blog post that Google dredged up from the murky bottom of the interwebs simply because it sounds a bit off the wall.

Just remember to keep it real, keep it interesting, and keep your artist bio reflective of who you are as a creator and as a human.

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Dawn Rieniets is both a visual artist and brand copywriter. She uses her MA in English, journalism and sales background to craft engaging brand identity copy for small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) globally.

Dawn exhibits artwork independently and with groups; Thou Art Mum and Melbourne and Victorian Artists (MAVA). In her online store, you can find original pieces, wall art prints, and other home decor. A few times per year she accepted personalised and sentimental art commissions for clients.

Dawn creates out of her home studio in Wurundjeri country, the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne.
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