My friend Linda and I attended an art marketing workshop in Charlotte, North Carolina not too long ago. For over 4 hours we listened to a gallery owner from Scottsdale, Arizona speak to his class of 50 eager artists. Jason Horejs introduced himself as the son of a full time artist, and as someone who had always loved the gallery side of "the business." After working in galleries for several years, he opened his own, Xanadu Gallery, in Scottsdale. He discovered, to his dismay, that most artists had no concept of how to approach a gallery. His desire to help artists achieve their goals led him to write a book called "Starving" to Successful The Fine Artist's Guide to Getting Into Galleries and Selling More Art.
His seminar was his book brought to life, and my friend and I carried home new energy for approaching our goals in the art world. One of the many suggestions we were given that day has had quite an impact on me. He proposed that every professional artist needs a biography, written in third person, describing how s/he has come to make art. Much more than a resume, a biography can speak to a collector on a personal level, creating an understanding of the artist as a person.
Writing a third person biography was a challenge for me. All my self doubts rose their ugly heads, mocking me with their mumbling insinuations about my small education, and a long list of "I'm not good enough" thoughts. But I was so encouraged and inspired by the Horejs seminar, I stifled them all and began writing about my life as an artist. Although it took me over a week of continual revision, I found strength in my own story and my new capacity to explain what and why I paint.
I have posted my biography on my web site and of course hope that potential buyers will read it. I have given my galleries a new tool for selling my work. But perhaps the most valuable facet comes from having written it. I now have a stronger understanding of my progression as an artist, and how events as well as my own dedication have strengthened my desire to communicate with my art.