Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How to Write a Better Artist Bio & Artist Statement - Part 2

Last week, I posted Part 1 of this two-part blog series, giving guidelines on how to write a better artist bio. Here are some more tips to help make your bio even better!

  • Sometimes I like to take a quote from the artist and put it at either the top to grab the reader’s attention, or at the bottom to really leave it on a high note. If you have a clear, concise sentence or two that you can use as a quote, this often will add interest and polish to your bio.
  • If you find yourself struggling with your bio, try asking family and friends what they think is most interesting about your work. Find out what they think is unique about you and your journey. Take notes and see if you can find a way to implement it into your bio.
  • Rather than trying to write your bio all at once, try writing just a little bit each day. Break it down into bite-size pieces if you need to – if it’s too overwhelming, make it your goal to write a paragraph a day. When you first start, don’t worry so much about the grammar, just focus on getting the major points in order, in the format that you want them. Then when you have your first draft, look at it for about twenty minutes a day and continue to polish and adjust and rewrite. Each day you will look at it with a fresh eye, and your writing will get better. Ask friends and family to read it and give you their ideas for how to make it better.
  • If you can take a paragraph and condense it into a sentence or two and it still has the same impact, do it. The more you can say with the less words, the better. Unless a particular show or gallery requires you to have a long bio, shorter is usually better. But on the same token – don’t leave out key information just to make it shorter. Use your space to say what you need to say in order to tell your story. No more, no less.
All right – next up: the artist statement. This one is much, much easier. Here are some tips on how to write a fantastic artist statement.

  • An artist statement should ideally be only one or two paragraphs. I often see artists getting carried away with their artist statements, trying to give way too much information that really should have just been included in the bio. You’re not giving your background or history here, it is just a very short statement about who you are as an artist and why you create what you do.
  • The artist statement should be written in first person, unlike the bio. This is you, coming from your heart, and speaking directly to those who are interested in your art. It should be personal and intimate. Imagine sitting across from someone in a cafĂ© with a cup of coffee, and they ask you, “why do you paint?” Write your statement as if you’re responding to them from your heart.
  • Your artist statement should try to paint the same feelings with words that you usually do with your art. If you can, your goal is to invoke the same feelings and clarify your purpose and vision to them.

That’s it! I hope this helped to give you some guidelines into writing a better bio and artist statement to promote your work! These are not hard rules, you can break any of them you like, but keep in mind that this is what most people in the industry expect.

Do you have any questions? Leave a comment on this blog post and I will be happy to get back to you with an answer.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How to Write a Better Artist Bio & Artist Statement - Part 1

Oh, the infamous artist bio & statement! Every artist who is considering entering a show, hanging their work in a gallery, or selling their work (both online and off) will need an artist bio and statement to promote themselves and their work.

I am a professional bio writer and my primary clientele is artists. I know that when most artists realize they have to sit down and write a bio, they start to stress out. They aren’t usually writers, they communicate everything through their work. They would rather not have to go through the painful process of writing about themselves, but they know that in order to move forward with their career, they need it. That’s when they usually e-mail me, asking if I can write their bio for them.

But if you’re a good writer and you’re feeling ready to tackle writing your artist bio and your statement, this information will be beneficial to you. Maybe you’re just not sure how long it should be or what to include or if there’s any sort of format you should stick to. If that is the case, then the rest of this blog series should really help – I’m about to share all of my bio writing secrets with you!

  • Keep it between 200-500 words. That’s about a half a page to a full page in Times New Roman, 12 pt font. When someone is reading your bio, they want to hear your story, but they probably aren’t quite ready to read a novel about you yet.
  • Your bio should be written in third person. This means rather than writing “I have been painting for 15 years…” you will want to write “Katherine has been painting for 15 years…” It should be written as if someone else is writing about you.
  • The first paragraph should grab their attention. It should be short and concise, but give an accurate description of who you are and your work. This is a good place to briefly highlight a couple of your biggest accomplishments, without getting into too much detail. It should be interesting as well as informative, and make them want to read more.
  • The next 1-3 paragraphs (depending on the length of your bio and how much you have to say) should get into your backstory. Tell them the journey from when you first started drawing to how you got to where you are now. I always recommend sharing the difficulties that you experienced along the way. People love to hear how people overcame things to chase after their dreams, because they like knowing that you are human. The more vulnerable you are willing to be in your bio, the more people will connect with your story and be more likely to connect with your work as well. You don’t need all of the details here, just the most important ones.
  • The last 1-3 paragraphs should highlight any other interesting things about you – your greatest moments, your reason for doing what you do, programs or charities you are involved in, projects you are working on, what’s unique about your style – anything that you think will help give your readers a better picture of who you are and your art. I usually try to end the bio on a high note, with a statement that ties everything together and sums up your art and why you create. The last paragraph should really leave a clear and positive image in their mind of who you are and what makes you unique.
Check back next week for more information on writing a good bio and some tips on how to write your artist statement, too!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Interior Design Packages!

OC Designer Source is excited to announce our brand-new interior design packages! We have packages available for any budget – but regardless of which one you choose, we’ll be helping you save money.

Each package is priced per room. We add $1500 if the room is a bathroom or kitchen to account for all of the extra work involved to make sure all of the plumbing and electrical wiring and other utilities are up to code and work with the space.

Regardless of the package, each one includes the following:
  • We begin with an initial home visit and consultation (1 hour)
  • We then take your ideas and do concept planning
  • Next we have a concept meeting (3 hours) where we go over two concepts with you and decide what to move forward with
  • From there we create a space plan
  • Then we sit down with you for a second concept meeting to finalize all of your ideas

The Bronze package is intended for those who want to then take their design and see the project to completion themselves – they would then go find their own furniture and so on and put the room together without the help of a designer.

The Silver, Gold, & Luxury packages all include budget management to keep you on track with your spending, as well as purchasing. We will find and purchase all of your final pieces for you. Not only does this save you time and effort, it also saves you money -- because interior designers receive a massive discount on furniture, and we can pass the savings on to you. The higher quality package you choose, the larger the discount we can provide to you on your furniture.

The Gold and Luxury packages both include site visits as well (up to 4) where we will be there to oversee the installation and make sure everything is meeting your expectations.

If you’re really wanting someone to manage and oversee the entire project, do showroom visits to check out materials, and even provide you with a 3D rendering of what the final room will look like beforehand, then the Luxury package is for you.

Questions? Interested in purchasing a package? Contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you in any way we can. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pushing the Boundaries With Digital Art

"Magnolia Gray II" © Marsha Tudor

With technology evolving the way it has been for the last ten years and the presence of ever more image editing programs and software for artists, digital art has become an ever-growing new field of creativity. It has become steadily easier (and more affordable) to create art on your computer – either from scratch, or by combining and modifying photographs. The possibilities are endless.

OC Designer Source is so excited about all of the beautiful digital art that several of our artists have created. Each person has their own individual methods for creating and designing their work, and their own unique perspective – which means that we get so many fantastic subjects and styles to choose from!

These first pieces are created by Marsha Tudor, via the method of Scannography. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it basically means that rather than starting with images from a camera, she begins by taking images of flowers and other botanical subjects with her scanner – how cool is that!? She then goes beyond just the high-resolution image taken from the scanner and modifies it, changing colors, adding texture and so on, to create a unique mood and style.

"Alstroemeria Fresco" © Marsha Tudor

"Calla Containment" © Marsha Tudor

"Fuji Persimmons" © Marsha Tudor

These next images were created by the talented Jerry Solomon --  a photographer who alters many of his works to create fabulous abstract images with vibrant colors, eccentric textures, and sometimes geometric patterns. Aren’t these just wild!?

"Another Side of Midnight" © Jerry Solomon

"Facets" © Jerry Solomon

"Spot On" © Jerry Solomon

Next up we have Travis Dixon, an incredibly talented digital painter who creates entire cityscapes, landscapes, and even fantasy-scapes with only his computer. He paints the entire image from scratch and uses a variety of layers and effects to create stunning, highly realistic digital paintings!

"Paris" © Travis Dixon

"Relaxin" © Travis Dixon

"Italy Monastary 2" © Travis Dixon

"Trystopia" © Travis Dixon

These next few images are mine (Tien Frogget.) I am a photographer but I often take my images and push them beyond the boundaries of what the eye sees in order to create something new. In some cases, I will overlay two or more images together, and add textures and colors and sometimes tie it all together with text. I experiment with a lot of different styles, but here are a few of my favorites.

"Beauty" © Tien Frogget

"Berries & Wrought Iron" © Tien Frogget

"No Limits" © Tien Frogget

These next images are gorgeous digital art pieces by photographer Tim Griffithe. Using various layers and filters in Photoshop, he will frequently take his photos to the next level by adding brighter colors and more dimension to his images. In some cases, he will push it even further by blurring the lines between photo and painting, and you have to really look at it to decide which it is.

"Building Montage" © Tom Griffithe

"Gone Silent" © Tom Griffithe

"Vice City" © Tom Griffithe

"Kelp Palette" © Tom Griffithe

Bill Ladson is another talented digital artist that we represent who creates beautiful 3-D geometric renderings as well as incredible fantasy-scapes that stretch your imagination and make you hungry for more.

"Spherical" © Bill Ladson

"In Viri Petram" © Bill Ladson

And last but definitely not least, take a look at these gorgeous abstract pieces by Tom Druin! Isn’t his work so vibrant and textured? He takes abstract photographs and adjusts them with his computer to create these amazing works of art. They make you lose yourself in them, wondering what they might be.

"Weathered" © Tom Druin

"Tango" Tom Druin

"Cross 2 Bear" © Tom Druin

If you like our digital art collection and are interested in purchasing it for your latest interior design project, or you are a manufacturer interested in licensing, please contact us