How to Write an Artist Biography? (BONUS: Artist Biography Examples)

artist biography examples

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Are you going blank at the thought of writing an artist bio?

It’s okay! Artist bios are actually not all that complicated to write, there’s not much for you to learn about before you can start doing it.

As for what you do need to know, continue reading below to see some artist biography examples and find out:

What Is an Artist Bio?

Artist bios are short pieces of writing that include the details of an artist’s life and work. It’s written to serve as the connecting bridge between the artist and the rest of the world.

You can put it on your website, social media, art portfolio, resume, etc. so that your audience and other interested parties can get to know you and your art without having to do deep research themselves.

Things You Should Know Before Writing an Artist Bio

Before we move on to the tutorial, let’s talk about some general rules for drafting a good bio agreed upon by most artists:

1. Point of View

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The point of view most accepted by most people is third-person POV. Third-person POV is best because it looks more formal and is more easily acceptable for others to read.

To say it bluntly, most people think that writing distantly like this makes it sound like others are talking about you. Rather than you bragging or selling yourself directly.

Of course, not everyone writes their artist bios so distantly. There are some artists who still prefer the more intimate first-person POV for their artist bios. Primarily because it always sounds like you’re talking to your audience directly in this way. So it seems more personal.

2. Keep Artist Bios Short and Concise

Although there is no strict rule when it comes to exactly how long an artist bio should be, it’s always best to keep it short and concise — lest visitors lose interest as soon as they see it.

The general rule of thumb for creating the perfect artist bio is to keep it to a single paragraph — two at most! The paragraph can be a bit longer if need be but try not to make it so long that it takes up the whole page.

Note! It makes sense for artist bios to be long on some occasions. But if you take a look at the artist bio in the image below, you can see how easy it is to lose your focus when you see a page with such a large word count. Readers call long bios that take up a whole page like this ‘wall labels’ because there are so many words that it becomes visually distracting.

artist bios

If you want to write a long artist bio like this, it’s best to preface it with a short and concise sentence or paragraph, like the one shown on Timothy Goodman’s website.

Put it in bold and make the font bigger so that it can stand out! That way, you can grab the reader’s attention at the first line and allow them to sink their teeth in first.

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As a plus, this practice of keeping artist bios short is helpful for search engine optimization. At least, it makes it more likely for your art website to show up above other artists on search engines.

3. Focus on Answering the Key Questions

Finally, the most important thing about writing the perfect artist bio is to give the reader the information that they want. For exact details, you can take a look at the tutorial written in the next section.

The key thing is to remember that the purpose of creating an artist bio is to introduce yourself and your value as an artist. So, try not to get too side-tracked.

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To give you some reference, have a look at Alexander Calder’s artist bio. Alexander Calder is an American sculptor best known for creating the first mobile art in history.

Most people who go to his website are looking for information about this detail. As such, his accomplishments in this area are the focus of his bio. Not only does it mention the fact that his father was also a sculptor, but also that he had created his first sculptures when he was a child.

It even talked about a specific sculpture that he had worked on and emphasized his talent in that area. And it does all of this without overstating anything, which only makes the audience reading the summary more interested in his professional work and style.

How to Write an Artist Bio?

Alright, now that we’ve finished getting to know some of the more important rules, let’s start drafting artist bios ASAP! For this, we’ve prepared an in-depth tutorial:

Step 1. State Your Name and Background

To start writing a bio, your first sentence should include your name and your background.

As can be seen in the artist bio example below, Sophie Kahn introduced her name in the first sentence and then talked about her modern art career and background — she was born in Melbourn, Australia and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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This part usually only takes up one sentence. The artist bio example above takes up two sentences, which is okay, but it’s still preferable to state this as briefly as possible — like in Samantha Keely Smith’s bio below.

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Step 2. Introduce Your Artist Journey

After stating your name and background, you can spare a sentence or two to talk about your artist journey.

How did you get your start? Are you like Michelle Carlos, who slowly developed a love for art after doodling on the walls of her home? What about after? Did you also go to professional art school with your fellow artists to further your career?

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These are things that are easy for your audience to relate to. Which makes it the perfect conversation starter. Much better than tossing out academic jargon right off the bat, at least.

Step 3. Talk About Your Art Style

What makes you unique as an artist? Or rather, what makes you as an artist important? The purpose of talking about your style in artist bios is to answer these questions.

It allows other artists and art enthusiasts to get to know the real you and maybe get in touch with your artist’s practice.

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Step 4. Discuss Your Personal Influences and Inspiration

Next, you can talk about your influences and the source of your inspiration. Influences involve idols that act as spiritual support. Maybe you were influenced by other artist’s practices. Or maybe you’re particularly fond of a certain style used by an artist in history.

You can mention this briefly to let others know what influenced you to create your art.

As for inspiration, you can give some examples like Ashley in the artist bio example below. It’s worth noting things like this in your biography so that other artists can understand where the source of your creativity comes from as an artist.

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Step 5. List Your Artistic Achievements

Next up, it’s finally time to talk about your achievements. These don’t have to be particularly fancy or formal. Try to draft a description of your achievements in simple language. Whether it’s about awards won, exhibitions opened, illustrations sold, etc.

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Note, even if you have many achievements to talk about, it’s best to focus on one or two in your bio. You can talk about the rest in a separate artist statement.

For example, for artists who focus on architecture, having their art exhibited at the Venice Biennale is one of their biggest achievements. Making it worth noting over other awards they may have received during their career.

If you really don’t want to limit the information shared, there are many examples of artists who create separate artist statements along with their shorter artist bio so that interested parties can get a more comprehensive view of their work experience and views. Just like the example artist statement shown below, which focuses on the artist’s practice and style:

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3 Unique Artist Biography Examples for Different Purposes

Although we’ve taught you how to write a bio, these are just basic standard rules. You have to be open to making some changes based on the requirements of the bio that needs to be written. To illustrate this, have a look at the following list of examples:

1. Professional Presentation

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The first type of bio that we’ll be talking about is the ‘professional’ type. This is used by artists who want to create an art portfolio where fellow artists and other interested parties can view their art. For this reason, the structure of the bio is often very formal and neat.

Just like the artist bio example above. It has all the key points but focuses more on her works and uses formal language.

2. Gallery or Exhibition Submission

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If your purpose for writing an introduction is to submit your art to galleries and exhibitions, then the focus should be on successful exhibitions and the style of your work. That way, the reader can quickly verify whether you match the requirements of their show.

3. Personal or Business Website

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Most of the ‘bios’ we’ve shown thus far have been taken from the websites of artists. Different websites have different purposes. Just like Livia’s art business shop shown above.

The ‘About Me’ section is very clean and formal. Whereas Jon’s bio below, written for a personal site, is written in first-person POV — making it more engaging and personal.

artist biography
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Final Thoughts:

Now that you’ve learned the basic rules for writing a good bio, it’s time to start working! Best if you could get it up on your site ASAP.

(BTW! If you haven’t started looking for website builders yet, you can check out the Wix website builder or read this article for other relevant recommendations.)

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