July 2012 Archives

2012 Artist Bio: Trevor Ewert

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Bowl turner, Trevor Ewert of Once Upon A Tree, interprets the stories of wood, sourcing his materials from local fallen trees, firewood piles, and from his family woodlot. His fine wood turnings are one-of-a-kind decorative or functional pieces, each created in a process by which he works with the wood to expose its voice. Trevor is most inspired by burled, spalted and figured woods which present unique colours and patterns.


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Artist Bio vs. Artist Statement

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If you want to write a better bio or statement, here's a quick primer on how to do it, as well as some tips on knowing the differences between the two.

Artist's Biography

The artist's biography is a required piece of documentation when submitting works for a show or gallery. Unless you are a world-famous artist, most people won't know you all that well, and you'll need to help explain who you are, why you're here, and why people should be interested in you. You may want to take the opportunity to flaunt your credentials, or your education. You may want to describe your solo shows, or your inspiration, or your artistic technique. Much of this information can overlap to your artist's statement, but for the biography, you should keep it less personal, and more about the 'whens', 'wheres' and 'whats' of your art career. The biography isn't as detailed or granular as your Curriculum Vitae, and not as personal and philosophical as your statement.

In many situations, the show or gallery requests an artist's biography that doesn't exceed 100 words. This is a challenging opportunity to condense your personal life to the span of a few paragraphs. With this in mind, here's a list of what you need, at minimum:

What's usually covered in an artist's bio:


  • Always written in the 3rd person (he, she)
  • Where you are from
  • Where you currently live
  • What you are creating
  • Your background in the current medium
  • Your current projects
  • Include a good picture of yourself


Here's a sample of a short artist's bio:

Phillip Estine is a contemporary abstract painter and part-time curator for the Foo Gallery in Waterloo, ON. He received a MFA Degree from the University of Waterloo, and has participated in over 20 group shows and 10 solo shows in the United States and Canada. He has lived in Toronto, New York, and San Francisco, and is currently residing in Kitchener. His paintings are mostly oil on canvas and his signature work consists of bright, bold colours, with heavily-layered impasto effects.


Artist's Statement

In some situations, you may also be asked to provide a personalized artist's statement. It may even be requested in lieu of a biography, but it often seen alongside the biography to provide a degree of personal insight from the artist. Remember, if you're not present when your work is being viewed, the artist's statement is your proxy to the viewer, and perhaps your one chance to explain what you're doing. When writing your statement, imagine talking to a potential customer while standing in front of your best work. Next, imagine explaining the piece to them.

What's usually covered in an artist statement:


  • Always written in the 1st person (I, me, my)
  • What inspires you
  • What you want to say
  • What you are creating
  • What your work is like
  • What your challenges are
  • Your philosophy/poltics/technique


Here's a sample of a short artist's statement:

My work explores the dichotomy between nature and urban spaces. What starts out as hope soon becomes corrupted, leaving only a sense of failure, but with the chance of a new opportunity.

I don't set out determined to produce art about any given subject. My sketchbook is always close at hand, so I am constantly drawing, perfecting my craft. Sometimes the drawings are left in the sketchbook and other times they develop into more in-depth ideas and detailed images.

Each project often consists of multiple works, often in a range of different media, grouped around specific themes and meanings. During research and production new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work.

Explaining Your Art

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We get several questions about how to submit a biography or artist's statement from our artists, and there are several sites out there which explain the process pretty well. This page has some good insights for the person trying to explain their art.

Additional considerations:

* Artists are artists, not writers, so think seriously about hiring a professional writer or editor, preferably one with an art background, to help you convey what you want your statement to convey in language that ordinary everyday people can understand.

* Make "I" statements rather than "you" statements. Talk about what your art does for you, not what it's supposed to do for the viewers. This doesn't mean you start every sentence with "I," but rather that you respect people's autonomy and allow them to respond to your art however they wish.

* At all times, give readers the option to agree or disagree with you. Never pressure them or dictate outcomes.

* Avoid comparative or evaluative comments that have been made about your art by third parties such as gallery owners, critics, collectors, or curators. These belong in your curriculum vitae. In your statement, they're name-dropping; in your curriculum vitae, they're testimonials.

How to Write an Artist Statement - Explaining Your Art

Crafters are artists too! Here are some great ways to get more publicity for your trade.

Craft businesses have long been important to the U.S. economy and constitute a $15.4 billion-a-year industry, according to a 2010 study by the Craft & Hobby Association. If you're treating your passion--what you love to make--as a business, it's time to also get serious about your PR and publicity.

Spread the word about what you're making and the business issues you're facing. Offer interesting angles or hooks, and you can find your way into blogs, onto the TV news and radio talk shows, and into newspapers and magazines.


7 publicity ideas for your arts and crafts business

Thanks to @abstanfield!

Textile artist Susan Devries will be showing off a number of fantastic hand-knit pieces this year.

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Susan Devries grew up in a farming community in KW. She loves to stay busy and is always working on one thing or another. Susan likes to think of herself as a wool enabler. She has fabulous knits for every member of the family.


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Artist Bio 2012: Aaron Aboud

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My love for drawing and painting started when I was a toddler. My mother, a painter herself, always encouraged my artistic development. I went through so many phases, obsessions and various subject matter through my childhood and teenage years: cartoons, whales, animal anatomy, sports team logos, skulls and monsters, animated Disney characters, etc. It's been hard for me to identify a personal style when I compare to my favorite artists and illustrators. At times it's been frustrating - feeling like my art didn't have an identity. This carried through schooling at Sheridan College in the Interpretive Illustration program, specializing in children's book illustration. I experimented so much that at the end of the program my portfolio looked more like a class collaboration, rather than the work of one student.

Looking for a creative outlet from stressful days at work, I started to experiment with abstract painting. I've developed a new appreciation for colour, texture, style, composition and their ability to evoke an emotion or tell a story.

My interest in children's book illustration has led me to creating caricatured family portraits. It has been rewarding to present these paintings to my clients, capturing their friends and families in personalized moments.

I keep trying different styles and materials - hoping to find something I can call my own. For now my art is my journey....

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2012 Artist Bio: Jan Jaworsky

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'Retiring' after 22 years in the high tech industry, Jan initially put her pastime skills involving sewing/knitting/crocheting to use supporting her two boys' hockey teams by creating the 'Waterloo' (yellow and black) Hockey Scarf and applying the proceeds toward the team budgets. Today, she is focused on making fashionable scarves, and demand has spread to women well beyond the hockey arena.

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Jan's metallic yarn scarf creations are a finishing piece to an outfit and are often thought to be jewellery. They shimmer as if beaded but are lightweight making them ideal for warm weather and travel. They make a unique gift and are 'ready-to-give' in organza bag packaging.

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You can contact Jan at her studio:

Scarf Lady Fashions

scarfladyfashions@gmail.com

519-746-8643

http://www.scarfladyfashions.etsy.com/

2012 Artist Bio: nik harron

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Thematically, for nearly twenty years, nik harron's art has explored the surface of the world as a mirror to the inner landscape, highlighting the mundane fact that the most vivid realities of our lives are often hidden beneath impenetrable surfaces.

To contemplate a landscape is to feel a deeply spiritual sense of connection to one's surroundings, and can lead to deeply personal, self-reflexive experiences that reinforce the complexity of our experience and our inescapable bond with our environment. When external appearances obscure the inner facts of our lives, it is only through a careful examination of our place in nature that we can peel away the layers to reveal something more deeply reflective of ourselves.


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Artist contact information:

nik@nikharron.com

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