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Tips & Advice: Writing Biographies and Statements

Tips & Advice: Writing Biographies and Statements

A biography is a condensed version of your CV, highlighting key dates and achievements in your career to date. This is all factual information and often is requested in addition to a statement (see below).

A biography should answer:

Below in the Resources section is a simple template for a short biography that is considered to be good practice. Particular galleries or organisations will use their own variations on this format but this is a good starting point.

 

A statement of intent is a concise piece of text that places your work in context: offering a view of what you make, how you make it and why you make it. It should contribute information that adds to a viewer’s overall understanding and engagement. A statement aims to inform the reader and present the basis for the work.

A statement should answer:

Statements are a valuable tool; they can help you cement the objectives and direction of your practice, enabling you to clearly represent your work. Your statement should be updated as your work develops and remain an accurate representation of your practice.

Before writing your statement, ask yourself the following questions:

If you are unsure of your answers to these questions, sit down with a friend/peer or fellow maker and talk through what it is you want to communicate about your work. This can help you decide what you should write.

Statement structure:

Language:

10 common writing mistakes and how to avoid them:

Reviewing your statement:

Print it out and read it aloud. Note anything that does not sound right. Is it just one word or is the whole sentence confusing? What is it that you want to express? It is often better to rewrite a sentence from scratch instead of trying to fix what is there.

After making changes, print it out and read it aloud again.

Top Tip:

Read biographies and statements by makers or artists that you respect, taking note of what they write about their work, how they phrase and contextualise the information and the way they choose to present themselves.

Below in the Next Step section, you can find further online information on writing statements.

Resources

Next Steps

Online Resources:

www.artquest.org.uk/articles/view/when_to_apply_for_grant_funding

www.blogmorenamedia.blogspot.ie/2009/09/how-not-to-write-arts-grant-application

www.grantnet.com/HelpfulReports/securingfunding

www.fineart.about.com/od/Curator/ht/How-To-Apply-For-Art-Grants-And-Art-Funding

www.mollygordon.com/resources/marketingresources/artstatemt

www.artstudy.org/art-and-design-careers/artist-statement

www.artquest.org.uk/articles/view/how-to-write-an-artist-s-statement

www.artbusiness.com/artstate1.html

www.artbizblog.com/2012/05/statement-fixes.html

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