Career starters

Q. I need to put together a resume, but I can’t find any reference books for an artist’s resume. What categories should I include on it?

A. In my book, Living the Artist’s Life (Hillstead Publishing, 2004), I give an example of a typical resume, as well as of an artist’s biography, both of which should be kept to one page. Why would you use a bio instead of a resume? Because if your work is good (and you’ve had qualified critics assure you of this) but your achievements are few, a bio will suffice. But if you’ve achieved enough to list your accomplishments on a resume, the formula is simple:

• Type your name in a large font at the top, with your contact information in a standard font beneath.

• Include your date of birth if you’re at least 30 years old. I don’t advise this if you’re younger than that, since your youth may be unfairly held against you, even if your work is brilliant.

• If your education and training are relevant, list where you studied, when you graduated, and with what degree. If you’re self-taught, I don’t advise that you list that fact. If the work is good, that’s all that matters.

• In the body of the resume, list the shows you’ve had, whether in restaurants, art fairs or galleries. Start with the most recent date, and work your way back. List student shows near the bottom if you need to fill up space.

• If you’ve had any press, even if just in a small newspaper, list that in a separate section.

• If your work is in corporate, civic or private collections, list that under “Select Clients.” I don’t care if you give the work away; if it’s legitimately owned by the collector, it counts. This is only one formula, but it’s fairly standard and useful.


Learn more about selling your art:

  • Complete Guide to Selling Your Work Online
  • Quick & Easy Guide to Photographing Your Artwork
  • Read more articles about selling your art
  • You may also like these articles: