Sunday, December 27, 2015

Art Workshops and Classes Starting in January!

It's been a busy holiday season but I managed to squeeze in some studio time for a few new paintings. I'm looking forward to going down to New Orleans to teach a watercolor painting workshop next month, and spending some time at the beach while I'm down there. I'm getting a lot of emails and messages from disappointed artists who wanted to take my New Orleans workshop but couldn't because it sold out so fast. I'm sorry there isn't room for everybody! We could have easily filled several more workshops if the host had been willing. I'd love to come down there and teach another one real soon, so tell your local art centers and artist organizations to contact me for information about hosting a workshop!
Cleat, 18x24 watercolor

I Miss the Beach, 18x24 watercolor $195

Sunfish, 9x12 watercolor $125 

If you're in the Southeast Pennsylvania area, you don't have to wait to take my workshops -- you can sign up for my watercolor classes at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford! I've signed up to teach the next two semesters (winter and spring), so now's your chance to study with a foremost Master Artist!

posted by Annie Strack @ 11:56 AM   0 Comments

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How to Write Your Artist Resume'

Lately I've been getting a lot of questions from artists asking for help writing their artist resume'.
Here's a reprint of a helpful article that I wrote for Art Calendar (aka Professional Artist) magazine, that never goes out of style!

Writing your Artist Resume
By Annie Strack (originally published 2008)

Of the three most important documents in an artists marketing arsenal, the resume can be the easiest to write.  It is a handy reference when writing your artist biography, creating brochures, or writing press releases.  It is essential when applying for jobs, grants, and handy to include in press packets.  Occasionally an artist organization will ask for it if they are considering you to be a juror or instructor. 

The traditional resume is, however, limited in use, as most organizations and clients may prefer to see your biography or artist statement instead.  If used in promotional materials like your press packet, brochure, portfolio, or website, the word “resume” should be avoided.  After all, you don’t want the reader to think that you are job hunting!  You want to give the impression that you are a confident, self employed artist.  You want the reader to see the document as a summery of your professional experiences and successes, a list of your achievements, a compilation of your credentials.  For most of your marketing and promotional purposes you should use other labels for your resume, like “Experience,” “Credentials,” “Achievements,” “Honors,” etc.  Only use the word “Resume” when applying for a job or when required during an application process.

The format for writing a resume is simple; create headers, followed by lists.  Start with a simple outline format, and make a list of headers that are appropriate to you and your experience.  Then under each header, list the relevant experiences.  The items listed under each header need to include the year of the event or activity, and in some cases the month or a full date.  The city and state also needs to be included in each listing, and include the country if the event was outside of the US.  The order you list your headers is up to you.  You can list them in order of importance, most recent, or you can start with your largest category.  List the items below each header in chronological order, starting with the most recent.  Each item listed can either start or end with the date, but keep the format consistent through out the entire document.

Examples of common headers are:

Education:
List the art schools you’ve attended, and the degrees attained and the years attended.  If you’ve taken workshops or private lessons you can list those as well, and include the instructor’s names and the courses or subjects studied. 

Awards:
List the award, the name of the organization and the type of show (regional, national, juried, membership, etc.), the city and state, and the month and year,

Publications:
List the name and the type of the publication (book, magazine, catalog, newspaper), the title of the article or story, the city and state, and the date.

Solo Shows:
List the title of the show, the name of the venue, the city and state, and the month and year.

Juried or Group Exhibits:
List the type of show, the name of the venue or organization, the city and state, and the month and year.

Memberships:
List your memberships and affiliations in order of importance.  Include the name of organization, type of membership (juried, signature,) committees you served on and positions held (chairman, director, volunteer, etc.), and the years of membership.

Gallery Affiliations:
List the name of gallery, the city and state, and the years affiliated.

Teaching Experience:
List the school, organization, or venue.  Include the courses taught, the city and state, and the month and year.

Juror Experience:
List the type of competition (regional show, student show, juried show, poster contest, etc.), the name of the organization, the city and state, and the month and year.

Collections:
If you want, you can break this down into sub headers; Museums, Public Collections, Corporate Collections, Celebrity Collections, etc.  List the names of the agency, business, or organization, and the city and state.

Fellowships, Grants, and Scholarships:
List the type of award, the name of the awarding agency and their location, and the year of the award. 

Creating your artist’s resume can be a daunting task if you’ve been keeping track of your achievements and writing them down regularly.  To get started, you can refer to your past appointment calendars to help you remember previous events and dates.  Your old files filled with diplomas and certificates will also help you to remember events and activities, as will your boxes of ribbons and awards, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks.  When you are starting to compile your resume, list everything.  You can always edit it later.  After you have it all written down, you can rearrange the order of your headers so that your strongest areas or most important headers are listed first.  If any of the lists under a header become too long because your experience spans many years or decades, you can modify the header of that list with an appropriate adjective, such as “Select”, “Major”, “Important”, or “Recent”, as in “Select Publications”, or “Important Collections”, “Major Awards”, or “Recent Group Exhibits”. 

The headers I’ve provided are just examples, and you don’t have to have something to list under every one.  For example, if you have lots of shows and awards under your belt but you’re a completely self taught artist, you can just skip the education header completely.  Or you can combine some of the similar headers together as one subject.  For instance you may find that your experiences as an artist in residence fits better under “Teaching Experience” or “Education.”  If you have only a few grants to list you include them under “Awards” rather than have a separate heading with only a few listed.  If you don’t have a lot of exhibit experience, you can group all your shows under one heading and call that header “Exhibit History”.  Or if there is a subject header that is relevant to your art career but is not listed here, you can add it if needed. 

Remember that this is your resume as a professional artist, so there is no need to include extraneous information.  Your age, date of birth, marital status, and children’s names are irrelevant to this document and should not included.  Also, because an artist resume is not the same as an employment resume, there is no need to include any job experiences that are not related to your art career.  If your non-art careers or jobs have influenced your creativity and you feel it’s important to mention how they’ve impacted your art, those experiences can be included in your artist’s biography.

As with all of your promotional materials, you will want to print your resume on your business letterhead.  Your letterhead should look professional, and have your name, the name of your business, your address, and all other current contact information for your business.

Once you have all of your information written down in a standard resume format, you’ll find it is easy to keep it up-dated.  As a complete listing of all your achievements and credentials, you can easily reference the document when creating or revising any of your other marketing and promotional materials. 


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Annie Strack earned Signature Membership from 8 artist societies and she’s an Official Authorized Artist for the U.S. Coast Guard. Her art has received hundreds of awards and hangs in collections worldwide. She’s a popular juror for art competitions, and is a much sought after lecturer and workshop instructor. Annie draws experience from her former career in corporate management to build a successful art career, and she shares her knowledge of business and marketing in her articles for Professional Artist magazine. 

posted by Annie Strack @ 12:56 PM   0 Comments

Saturday, December 5, 2015

My recent painting demo for the Delaware Watercolor Society!

I just realized I forgot to show you what I painted during my watercolor demonstration for the Delaware Watercolor Society last month! The event was jam packed with artists who traveled from several states to watch and learn from me. An extra benefit for the DWS was gaining lots of new members -- numerous people who came to see my demo also joined the society while they were there. It's a good thing I brought extra hand-outs, as I attracted more than double the number of people that usually attend the DWS demos! 

Red Dinghy, 14x20 watercolor by Annie Strack
 I had time to do two paintings during my demo for the DWS, and did this simple boat portrait in addition to the beach scene. Demos up here in the north run twice as long as southern demos, and this one was scheduled for two and a half hours. I also had a third painting ready to start, just in case I finished too early and needed to fill more time!
Rainy Day Beach, 18x24 watercolor by Annie Strack
 My reference photo for this painting was a tropical beach on a sunny day, but I painted it as a cold and wet day to match the weather that I saw outside through the windows on that day. I'm asked to demonstrate painting at so many arts supplies stores, watercolor societies, art centers, and other artist organizations that my inventory of paintings from these events is getting a bit overwhelming! As a result, I'm offering special prices on my demonstration paintings. These paintings are available for $195 each. Email me to purchase!
Annie Strack, demonstrating painting for the Delaware Watercolor Society
I don't have any photos of my paintings in progress as I was too busy teaching my demos, but I did get this photo from the Delaware Watercolor Society newsletter. Not a great photo, but it's the only one I have. 
Everyone who attended my demo at the Delaware Watercolor Society received free samples of the new Moulin du Roy watercolor paper from Canson. My favorite feature of this paper is it's bright white color -- much whiter than most of the other papers available. It's also sized with starch instead of the more traditional gelatin, making it 100% vegan as well as being archival (100% cotton, too!). It's a good thing my generous sponsors at Canson sent me an extra large shipment of these hand-outs  for me to give away -- I attracted a record-breaking number of attendees and I had just enough to samples to go around! I also gave away over a dozen free door prizes of DVDs, paints, papers, brushes, and other art supplies, making the event even more fun for everyone!

Numerous members have asked for me to come back to teach a full workshop for the Delaware Watercolor Society, and hopefully we'll have those dates finalized soon!

posted by Annie Strack @ 1:27 PM   0 Comments

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Open Studio this Friday!

Y'all are invited to my art studio this Friday! Open Studio 10-5pm. Treat yourself to an "art spa day" and bring your supplies and paint along with me, or just have a cup of coffee and hang out! Check out my special sale prices on paintings for Christmas! Totally free event, and everyone is invited! Open 1st Friday, come and go anytime during the day, no reservations required. 105 Kabob Lane, Kennett Square (It's where all the cool artists are). 

posted by Annie Strack @ 1:28 PM   0 Comments

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