“Creating an Artist’s Resume”

Building an artist resume can seem like a daunting task. Remembering dates, shows, gallery or cafe names, remember the name of a show you participated in; the list goes on. But some artists might not know where to start to build a resume. “What’s supposed to be in it? How far back do I go? Do I have to list everything I’ve done as an artist? What if I have done nothing and am just starting out?” These are some of the questions you might be asking. I know I asked those questions while perusing internet sites and magazines for shows to participate in. Almost all of them required an “artist’s resume”. I had no idea where to start. Hopefully this article will help you break down the necessary components of the resume to make it seem less intimidating.

Remember these points:

  • You are not seeking a job. This resume will not be like the usual employment resume as it has it’s own special structure.
  • This resume is about achievements as an artist and not a thesis or what you hope to accomplish, the special meanings behind your work
  • You are writing this resume to sell yourself as an artist to potential gallery owners, jurors of shows, curators.

Carol Michels, states in her book “How to Survive & Prosper as an Artist (selling yourself without selling your soul)” ‘The following are suggestions for structuring a resume and the order in which categories should be listed:

Name, address, phone number-how else would they contact you if they are indeed interested?

Place of Birth-possible good icebreaker, you never know where people have been!

Birth Year-if someone judges you and your work by your age, you might want to think twice about being involved with them on a professional level.

Exhibitions- List the most recent first and working backward. If you were awarded, list that in the awards section. This will list all shows you have been involved in. Was it invitational or juried? If there have been more than three solo shows, start the Exhibitions category with those.
Commissions-List the name of the project, the sponsor (insitution, person or company) and the date of the commission.

Collections– List the names of the institutions, companies, museums, or galleries that own your work as part of a collection.

Bibliography-Any and all publications that have mentioned you or featured your work.

Awards and Honors– Any awards or honors you have received for your work.

Lectures/Online coursesList any and all workshops, courses anything you may have participated in as an instructor, no matter how small you think it is.

Education– Any and all art related degress you have acquired. Make this the LAST category to convey the message that your accomplishments have meant more than that piece of paper that states you’ve passed classes.

There are many different kinds of resumes depending on your experience and background. If you do not have a degree, but have a lot of experience in the art world, do not include education as a component of the resume. Use your best judgment and knock them over with your presentation!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them on the blog under comments. I would love to hear from you all!



  1. brettward Said:

    Chauncey said…

    very informative, Vannie. Nice job.

    July 21, 2008 3:18 PM


  2. brettward Said:

    ZudaGay said…

    Great information, Brett!! This type of thing is hard and you broke it down very well.

    July 21, 2008 3:36 PM


  3. brettward Said:

    jemsbyjb said…

    Thanks for the enlightenment. Great information to know.

    July 21, 2008 5:40 PM


  4. brettward Said:

    jstinson said…

    Very informative. I’ll be anxious to see your completed resume posted to your blog soon! LOL Well maybe not your completed one, just a to date one would do!

    Love the name of your blog!

    July 21, 2008 6:22 PM


  5. brettward Said:

    Liz said…

    Thanks for this, Brett. I should sit down and do one one day….

    One section you could maybe add is publications – magazine articles, features or other mentions. Or even books! What do you think? I only suggest this because I’ve seen it on other people’s..

    July 22, 2008 8:41 AM


  6. brettward Said:

    Judy Nolan said…

    Very well written; everything you might need is all in one place!

    July 22, 2008 11:21 AM


  7. brettward Said:

    LoopDiLoops said…

    This is a great post! Thanks for the insight.

    July 30, 2008 11:32 AM


  8. brettward Said:

    Sarah said…

    Great post- I will have to get to work on this. Two questions- How do you note a cafe exhibition/show, and would you put it under solo shows? Also, under the bibliography section, would you list blog mentions/interviews, etc.?

    August 7, 2008 9:38 PM


  9. brettward Said:

    dianeclancy said…

    Hi Twin,

    There is a LOT of EXCELLENT info here … I am going to keep this to check it out in more detail …

    Hey, what is this name change thing?

    I have a give-away on my blog

    ~ Diane Clancy

    August 16, 2008 5:28 PM

  10. brettward Said:

    Cara said…

    I guess I need to fix my bio……..
    Add it to the end of the todo list, then I’ll never get to it, by my intentions are good!

    You are in my blog today.

    August 18, 2008 9:05 AM


  11. brettward Said:


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