I very rarely need an artist cv (artist resume) because most my work is with organizations that know me.
However, now and then I get a request for my artist resume and maybe an artist statement. I imagine a lot of different types of artists will need to provide these on a regular basis to galleries, potentials employers, groups offering grant money, or organizations.
No matter how annoying it may be to create, remember that if someone requests your résumé that they find them helpful. Part of asking you for your résumé is to see you are a professional and if you are willing to do the work (like create an artist’s cv) to be a successful artist.
Step 1 – Design
If you are an artist, it is fine to use a standard résumé template using Microsoft Word or other text editing program. However, since I am a graphic designer, I like to make my résumé visually different than my peers. Having a unique look that is creatively designed helps you stick out in a flood of résumés and makes it more enjoyable to read.
If you are not a graphic designer, don’t panic. I have a secret weapon that will make designing your résumé easy and a bit fun. It is called Canva.
Canva.com is a website that allows you to design different things right on their website with ease. Not only is it easy to use, but it is also FREE!
Your design is simply the layout of the résumé.
- Fonts (no more than 2)
- Font Size
- Background Color
- Images or Illustrations
- Basic text layout (in mine I used two columns)
Here is my design:
Step 2 – Fill in the Important Stuff
Next, you start filling in the design with the important information.
If you have any of these, they need to be in your résumé:
- Contact Information
- Awards Won
- Past Experience
- Professional or Scholarly Membership
(Include position if applicable. ex. President)
Step 3 – Fill in Extra Space (if needed)
At this point, you have to look at your résumé and ask yourself a few questions.
Is there anything the reader of my résumé needs to know that isn’t on here?
If yes, add it. More importantly, put it somewhere that is prominent where you know the reader will see first. Upper left corner is usually the most obvious choice.
Does the page look too full?
If the page is overcrowded, you must decide if you can make the fonts smaller or if you are better off cutting the least important information.
Does the page look too empty?
If you have too much open space, it can be distracting to read your artist résumé. You have a few options. First, you can increase the font size. You can also rearrange the text to make the blank space a natural part of the design. Last, you can add more information.
I tend to go for adding more information. Make sure it is still relevant to what you want to do.
Step 4 – Proof Read
Remember that your résumé is a reflection of your professionalism. If there are mistakes, spelling errors, and bad grammar, this reflects you as an artist.
I have another secret weapon. This one is for proof reading. It is called Grammarly.
grammarly.com is a free grammar check website, plugin, and browser extension. I am a premium user because spelling is something I struggle with. Grammarly helps me look smarter than I am.
Step 5 – Save & Send
If you are using canva, it saves it right on the website. This is awesome because it means you can access it from anywhere. You just need to sign into your account through their website.
If you are not using canva, I recommend saving it somewhere you can easily access and where it will not get lost. I always keep a copy on my Dropbox account.
Here is my final resume: