First Steps Where To Begin

Reprinted from my blog with the American Tapestry Alliance, Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Jennifer Galliott, "Summer Love/Cowhead" (2008), 24" x 36"

“Summer Love/Cowhead” Jennifer Galliott (2008), 24″ x 36″

Barbara Burns

When I first started applying to exhibits I needed an artist statement, artist bio and photos of my work.  I bought a book called Writing The Artist Statement: Revealing The True Spirit of Your Work *. It was very helpful. Now we have so much information available to us on the internet it can be confusing.

Eventually, I had a tapestry accepted for ATB6 and I was asked for a head shot. For another exhibit I needed a CV (curriculum vitae or resume). So, I slowly built up the materials needed with each new request. At this point, I have at least one artist  statement for each of my tapestries as well as having one for each series I weave and I rewrite my general artist statement regularly.


Based on my experience a good place to start is to have the following:

—An artist biography (Bio)

—An artist statement


—Photos of your work

— A head shot (you)

Photographing your work can be as simple as hiring a professional or perhaps you want to do it yourself. I have some simple guidelines you can follow under: Photography.

I imagine this sounds overwhelming, but unless you’re working with a deadline you can take your time. Begin with the item that seems easiest to accomplish and go from there.

Once you’ve completed these tasks you may wish to go further with promoting your work. Social media, branding, pricing, learning how to deal with galleries and commissions, writing contracts and more will be covered in this blog. You can keep coming back here as you are ready for your next step in the process of marketing and promoting your work.

I recommend you take it slowly, set a schedule for yourself and don’t bite off more than you can chew. There’s no time like the present to begin.

Barbara Burns

* Goodwin, Ariane. Writing The Artist Statement: Revealing The True Spirit of Your Work, Infinity Publishing 2007.