bio on web site
You have been generous to me in the past, and I hope to be of some help to you. My bio is on my website, for what it's worth.
Here's mine, but I'll warn you now, it's a waste of your own time to go and look at it.
And I vehemently disagree with Sean's assertion that you need a bio or artist's statement to sell your work (in my experience). The only people a bio might impress are other artists (and gallery managers?), but those particular people won't buy much of your work.
Selling your work happens by impressing the people who might buy your work. If you want to sell your work, make excellent pictures - just one of them is worth a thousand words, so how long will your bio need to be for it to be effective? Want to sell a hundred pictures with your 100,000 word bio? Start searching for a publisher now ....
Since I don't take Artist's Bios very seriously (actually, I don't take much seriously anymore), here is a bio I have used several times in the past:
Gene LaFord… artist, photographer, former ZONE-ite and Grumpy Ol’ Dad received his MFA (Mighty Fine Artist) from Arizona State University. Why? Because it wasn’t here. For some unknown reason, attributed to strong directional ties to the North Pole, Gene resides and works somewhere in Springfield, MA.
Gene’s photographs depict the images hidden in the vast caverns between his ears, images laden with social and political confusion, poking fun at his very own existence. Occasionally he can be found, lost and dazed, wandering around the Quabbin Reservoir, looking for worthy vistas to point his camera at. In his spare time he just sits around pondering the significance of the Blues.
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
If you want to impress me, I am afraid you are going to have to pick either "me" or "our" my friend.
Originally Posted by Graeme Hird
Originally Posted by bmac
Lost me with that one Brian.
I'm not specifically trying to impress anyone on APUG. You guys are never likely to want to buy a print from me, so it would be a waste of my time and effort. Just as impressing other artists with a bio is a waste of time.
My market demographic are the people who can't even set an aperture: they are the people who walk into the gallery from the street. They couldn't give a fat rat's derrière about my education, philosophy or the techniques I employ to make my "art". To paraphrase, "they don't know what art is, but they know what they like".
People buy my prints, not my bull-sh!t (which explains why I have so much of that resource to spread around elsewhere .... )
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Since you have asked for an example of an artist's bio, here's something that I would write if I thought the concept were valid.
Like most bios, it's all true, but it's also full of that resource I talked of earlier. To the average person (my market demographic) it would come across as pompous and pretentious. To other artists, it's like a thousand others they've read before. So if I show this to anybody who might care, I'll alienate my main market and show myself as a complete fool to the cognoscenti in the art world. Either way I lose ....
Graeme Hird is one of the world’s finest landscape photographers, capturing the beauty of the unique landforms he studies.
Graeme has a university degree in Applied Geology and has worked as a geologist for the last 13 years, although he developed his photographic skills after leaving university. He is entirely self-educated in the field of photography. An appreciation for the visual grandeur of the world he sees has inspired his unique photographic vision. His love of the natural world and its wonders is derived from his deep understanding of the processes that formed the land as we see it today.
His mission in life is to share the beauty he sees with all who interact with his art.
Graeme believes that for a body of artistic work to be successful, the artist must have an abiding love the subject he/she chooses to depict. His love of nature's beauty becomes immediately apparent when his work is viewed for the first time. Exquisite details and colour are revealed in all his finely crafted prints.
The name of Graeme Hird should be remembered: he is destined to become one of the world’s most collectable artists.
It's much better for me to just shut-up and let my photography do the talking. Your mileage may vary with the quality of your art and the credibility of your bio. Feel free to use mine as an example of what not to do.
Good luck with it,
The best bio is one written by someone famous who is not you. Or someone imaginary, like the one on my friend Bee's site (and no Brian M, this is not the same "Bee" as "Bee's Photography" over on the Alameda).
How about this one from my friend Sean, who was on Luminous Landscape this past week reviewing the Epson RD-1:
Sean Reid, an American, has been a commercial and fine art photographer for twenty years. He studied under Stephen Shore and Ben Lifson and met occasionally with Helen Levitt. In the late 1980s he worked as an exhibition printer for Wendy Ewald and other fine art photographers. In 1989, he was awarded an artist-in-residence grant from the Irish Arts Council in Dublin, Ireland. His commercial work is primarily of architecture and his personal work is primarily of people in public places. Having worked mostly with large format and rangefinder cameras for many years he now works primarily with Canon DSLRs. In addition to being a photographer, Reid is also the founder and owner of Northeastern Motorcar Tours and Northeastern Motorcycle Tours both based in Saxtons River, Vermont in the USA.
I think a Bio is important in some situations where ones work is hanging in a public venue.
For example, at our gallery we have a sampling of 5 different photographers, the show consists of 7 images from each, 4 of the 5 photographers work is quite self evident to the viewer. One though is raising a bit of row, because he has included images of christ and madonna in various unflattering elements.
We opened the show without an artist statement required, and very quickly asked this paticular photographer to submit one.The statement helped the viewer understand where he was going with his imagery.
Rarely would I think a statement was necessary with ones work, but in this instance I see the value
Hmmmm. While I agree about the bragging part, I always thought they were written in the third person so as to give the (usually mistaken) impression the person is successful enough to afford a publicist.
Originally Posted by blansky
Personally, I dislike the typical flowery, pretentious bio/artiste's statements, although I recognize that style may have some appeal in certain circles. But, I find straight, factual background information useful in assessing a person's training, experience, and such. The key purpose, I believe, is to give the reader some reason for trusting your capability and a reason for going to the trouble of trying to figure out what your work is "saying".
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
I inquired here on APUG about writting an artists bio etc. and came up with this.....