18 questions… an about page

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Every artist needs an artist’s statement, or, an ABOUT ME page. As a redux of my site(s), I figured it was time I rewrote mine.
I found this article: 18 questions that will help you write your ‘about’ page (or artist statement). When I’m selling my artwork, I like to share a story about the work, either “what inspired the work” or “how it was made”, even a little story about the piece itself. I find this help the buyer build a connection to their purchase.
In this blog post the author writes:

In order to allow your audience to make a deeper connection with you, your About page should definitely include your back-story. When a first time visitor gets to know your ‘why’ and ‘how’, your chances of them taking a buying decision actually increases.

I don’t know about you, but I find it excruciating to write about myself…   “Let’s talk about the art, not me”. However, collectors want to know YOUR story, too.  So, here goes. The 18 questions and, my answers.

Your artistic work

  1. Why do you do what you do?
    That’s a difficult one to put into words…
    I love to create things. I love to create things that bring joy to others.
  2. How would you describe your own work?
    Contemporary, Illustrative… ?  Inspired by my environment (life on the gulf); brightly colored painting, utilizing repetitive shapes and motifs. Many of my painted characters have a meaning, or theme, woven into the pattern.
  3. Why did you choose the kind of materials you’re currently working with?
    I chose to work with metal because it was so “me”, meaning, when I picked up a torch for the first time it was just meant to be. I found it very easy to work with and that I had a special talent for cutting (welding? not so much)  I love to work with glass and wood because they are so easy to work with and fun.
  4. What makes your work personal to you?
    Each piece I create is an original, like a child, inspired by some thought, memory, or experience unique to me. My work can be quite time consuming so, by the time I have finished it, I’ve spent a lot of time with it. Sometimes the pieces leave their mark on me.
  5. Who taught you how to perform your art or craft?
     I learned to cut steel while attending an adult education class at a local junior college. This, I always say, was one of the best pieces of advice my mother gave me that I actually followed.
  6. What are common responses you get from people about your work?
    The most common response I get is, “They’re so happy” and smiles.

You as an artist

  1. What life experiences shaped you as an artist?
     I have always been an artist but some the experiences that have shaped me happen everyday as a resident on the coast. Working as an illustrator, travel to the southwest, “treasures” brought back from foreign lands by my father are just a few more.
  2. When do you feel most inspired?
     Early in the morning when the sun is just about to come up. The potential of a new day sets my imagination into motion.
  3. Did you set goals for yourself? Have you met any?
    Yes. And, I’m not sure.
       Right now I have some goal setting in motion and I won’t know I’ve met them until they’re set. (More to come)
  4. Where do you take your work? Could they meet you in person on any art shows or craft fairs?
    My work is sold on-line, through galleries, festivals and special showings. I love meeting and speaking with people about my work at festivals and openings.
  5. Is there an achievement in your creative life you’re very proud of?
    I’m very proud of the commissioned works I’ve done for my church.
  6. What skills are you currently learning to master, or are on your to-do list?
     Right now, I’m learning to be more organized. I know that doesn’t sound artistic but, I’ve found that if I’m more organized I have more time to create. On my to do list is working on some clay pieces to compliment my metal work.

Your life

  1. What are your dreams for the future?
     I’d like to expand my “repertoire” to include some of the pieces I’ve started sketching and work on some things from the “suggestion box”.
  2. Where do you live? Is it an inspiring place?
     I live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a VERY inspiring place. Deep in the South, on the beach…  I find inspiration everywhere I look.
  3. Do you have a family? Are they helping you in your creative business?
     I’m one of the most fortunate people I know, with a loving family, the best friends and a wonderfully close church family. They all support me in one way of another, whether creatively, financially or spiritually. I really couldn’t do it without all of these beautiful people.
  4. What are some funny random facts about you?
    I have a college degree in Business (IT) and Marketing. I’m a 3rd generation Texan, Katrina survivor and a cradle Episcopalian. I love to cook (surprise). I’m a die hard Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints fan… WHO DAT!
  5. Where do you like to spend most of your time?
     I spend most of my time at home in my studio, which are one in the same.
  6. What other things, next to creating, do you enjoy in life?
    I love spending time with my friends, volunteering and conducting workshops for kids and adults.

6 Bonus questions

  1. Who are your happy customers? What do they have to say about you?
     I think everyone who purchases one of my pieces, or more, is happy with their acquisition. I love to hear from folks who have received a piece of my artwork as a gift.  The most common reaction I get, “Your work puts a smile on my face”. 
  2. Did you win any competitions with your work?
    Yes.
  3. What do you have to offer your visitor? How could owning your work enrich their life?
     I offer my customers a one of a kind piece of artwork at a very reasonable price. A lot of times, I offer a little lagniappe and it’ll make you happy.
  4. Has your work been mentioned in the media? If so, where?
     I’ve been featured in magazines, print and participated in television interviews to promote gallery openings and special art events.
  5. Which piece in your collection is your own personal favorite, and why?
     I think “Pumpkin”, the big orange cat that I do, is my favorite. “Pumpkin” was inspired by a wonderful orange tabby cat I had named Austin. I’ve done several versions of this piece and each one sports a variety of motifs that tell a tale, or, tail.
  6. Do you accept commissioned work or custom orders?
    Absolutely!  I enjoy working with groups and individuals on special pieces.

There you have it. A bit about me. This makes a great starting point for an informative artist’s statement.

Don’t forget to check out: http://www.workyourart.com/ for more great ideas on how to promote yourself!

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