Why do Artists Need a Writer?

Shelley Widhalm of Shell’s Ink Services created the chalk art for a retail sign. Artists need to promote their work to expand their audience reach and can do so through four key pieces of writing.

By Shelley Widhalm

A thousand words is worth a picture, but it’s probably not going to keep the reader who wants quick, succinct information.

Artists need to compile several materials to generate interest in their art and artistic careers and to promote, market and sell their work. The materials can include things like artist statements, artist bios, artist websites and artist resumes, which look different than the traditional job-app resume.

To build audience interest, the materials need to be written clearly, concisely and with a strong, easily identifiable message. They aren’t a painting giving lots of colorful words but need to be precise to the main points.

To achieve that preciseness, there are some general guidelines to follow, but then some creativity can be added in approach and writing style.

The Four Artist Materials

  • An artist statement is written in first person and told in story format. It’s not a comprehensive description of your art but introduces your work or a specific project. It describes your mediums, materials and techniques and what your art means to you and your audience.
  • An artist bio is written in third person and is about you as the artist and your education and experience. It describes your current work, as well as your preferred mediums, materials and techniques (also included in an artist statement).
  • A traditional resume lists education, work experience and skills, while an artist resume gives details about your education, appearances in shows and exhibitions, and any awards you have received.
  • An artist website is about you as the artist and can include a portfolio of your work and exhibitions and a selling platform for what you want to sell. There are various options for templates, allowing you to choose the features and content you want to showcase.

The artist materials help you build your fan base, expose your art to new audiences, market and sell your pieces, find representation for what you have to offer and promote your shows and exhibitions.

A Few Quick Writing Tips

Make sure with each of the materials to provide structure with an opening, middle and closing. Be concise and keep to the point, avoiding veering off on tangents. Let one point flow to the next. Say what you want to say in one sentence, not three.

Hiring a professional writer will help you achieve this, saving time while also getting that preciseness in messaging.

Note: I provide editing, writing and ghostwriting services and can help you perfect your project from a short story to a novel. I also offer consultations on writing and editing through #ShellsInkServices.

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