Any serious artist should have a CV to showcase their work; Marcula Stauffer explains the how and why.
A career as an artist is much like having a career in other professions. As you advance over time, you will begin to accumulate a list of accomplishments and skills. Instead of drafting up a traditional resume, an artist should focus on creating a CV, which stands for Curriculum Vitae. A CV is a more detailed list of everything you’ve done, compared to just the highlights found on a resume. An experienced artist, Marcula Stauffer, explains everything you need to know about creating a CV.
Any serious artist should keep their CV up to date and have it easily accessible on their website. While social media is an excellent tool for interacting with followers, buyers, and fans, it’s not intended for posting artist’s resumes. Anyone who is showing interest in your work will most likely look to your website first, which should be professional and easy to navigate. For those not skilled in building websites, Marcula Stauffer recommends using a web hosting service like WordPress.
An artist CV is typically broken down into specific categories and organized chronologically by year. Marcula Stauffer notes that the most current projects should be first, with older projects following. Readers are always looking to see the most current and relevant information. Below you can find some examples of categories and the order in which they should be placed on a CV.
This category comes first on a CV because it is one of the most critical aspects of an artist’s career. A solo show is a great accomplishment and proves that your work can be the center of attention. For each entry, Marcula Stauffer recommends adding the venue or gallery name in addition to the location and title of the show. Online shows should also be listed.
New artists will find themselves in more group shows than anything else as they establish their careers. Marcula Stauffer suggests listing them all, no matter how minor, to show your dedication and commitment. As time goes on, this category can be changed to “Select Group Shows,” with only the most significant listed. Entries should be listed the same as solo shows.
This category separates artists from other professional careers. It may seem odd to include critical reviews. However, this can be a significant boost to your CV. Marcula Stauffer recommends adding your select reviews, interviews, features, or articles you may be mentioned in. Include the publication or website, the title, author, and date published for authenticity.
For recent grads who have a small portfolio, consider moving education to the top. Marcula Stauffer notes that as an artist’s career develops, education will become less significant with more focus on the actual artwork itself.
Additional categories include professional experiences, collections, publications, and awards. Always be upfront and go into specific detail when adding elements on a CV. Marcula Stauffer notes that many people choose to hire a professional to assist with writing a proper CV.