handy links to info for artists

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Resources for Artists

For those just beginning to push their art out into the world, entering exhibitions and answering calls for submissions is a great way to gain experience and learn to curate your own work.

We’ve compiled a list of useful information that’ll help make the job easier as you enter exhibitions here and elsewhere.

As always, just as applying for a job, it is important to read all of the requirements and adhere to that which is asked of you. In some cases, your work may be disqualified and not even seen by the jurors if it does not meet certain specifications as was specified so it’s always important to read everything and follow the instructions carefully.

How to wire artwork

The wiring of your artwork is all that stands between it safely hanging on the wall or falling off, hitting the floor and damaging it or hurting someone. The same care you put into creating your work needs to be put into those finishing touches of what happens at the back.

It’s a good idea to add your name, contact information (if even just your website), the title of the piece, year it was created, and the medium. If you use a medium that requires special care, consider adding a small info sheet or an envelope with what a collector needs to know.

How to photograph artwork

Photographing artwork is easy if you know where the potential problems lay and the workarounds to avoid them. You don’t need an expensive studio setup, but using a proper camera (not the camera on your phone) and a tripod is important. When you finish an artwork and deliver it to somewhere outside of your studio, it may be the last time you have it in hand and the last opportunity to photograph it.

It’s important for a few reasons. Keeping an archive of high-resolution, professional photos for your records is helps to build a catalogue of work over time to which you can refer in the future. It’s good to see changing styles over time. Also, having high-resolution images of your art allows you to earn passive income through prints or other product applications. Even if you sell an artwork, you retain the copyright to it, that does not transfer to the buyer. You are completely within your legal rights to sell prints of that sold artwork.

This high-resolution photograph of your work is something to be safe-guarded. When submitting your artwork images online, or sharing on social media, it is always best to make a copy and share the lowest resolution you can get away with while preserving aesthetics.

Make your own label template

Group exhibitions will often require labelling with specific information to be placed on the back of your work. Having a template ready to go can make this job fast and easy each time you prepare work for delivery to an exhibition. Design your template, fill in the information, then print! You’ll have a professional looking label that will actually stick properly and be easy to read by the exhibition team handling your pieces.

Alternatively, you can print off a form, fill it out by hand and just tape it to the back.

How to write an artist bio

The artist biography is written in the third-person – as opposed to the artist statement, which is written in the first-person. The bio is like a mini-resume, however, as the way we interact online changes, so too, must our artist bio. Different platforms will have different character or word limits. It’s normal to revisit your bio from time to time to update it, but you will find you are also having to edit it over and over to meet the requirements or limitations of different platforms. Keeping one document with the various versions of your bio and each headlined with how many characters or words it is will save you time in the future.

How to write an artist statement

The artist statement is written in the first-person. It is your chance to tell your own unique story. It needs to be personal and it needs to get the viewer excited about your work. Make them feel what you feel as you create. Don’t get lost in the details – keep it short and sweet, and from the heart.

Difference between an artist statement and bio

Artists sometimes confuse the two or don’t fully understand the differences. The approach to each – and the point from which they are presented – are quite different. Sometimes you will be asked for a combination bio/statement. In that case, you’ll edit down the two most recent and succinct versions of your bio and statement, combining the two into one concise piece that fits within any limitation requirements.

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