Introducing Yourself as an Artist

What do you say when people ask you what you do? The key is to be able to say something that makes your listener perk up and engage you in a more meaningful conversation. You don’t want to be one of those people who goes on and on and on about yourself. You want a 10-second introduction that causes your listener to say, “Really? Tell me more.” You also want to give them a visual image of your work.

The 10-second introduction for my fictional artist in the Visual Artist’s Kit is: “I paint large-scale colorful abstractions with collage elements.”

My 10-second introduction took me more than two years of trial and error. And I’m rethinking it to better serve my needs and ideal client. But, for now, it is: “I’m an art marketing consultant. I help visual artists promote themselves and build their businesses.”

Here are some from a recent Shameless Self-Promotion class (used with permission):

I’m a photographer specializing in what I call ‘Floral Improvisations.’ I assemble plants and flowers into colorful, sometimes abstract, compositions.–Tim Fleming

I’m a mixed media artist. My work incorporates antique postcards and
photographs–particularly images of children and dogs.–Claudia Roulier

I’m a figurative sculpture artist, I create art dolls for grownups. Each has its own spirit, some fun and funky and some with a more serious side.–Julie Mitchell

Please share your own 10-second introduction in the comments section below.

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32 comments to Introducing Yourself as an Artist

  • Rhonda Heaney

    I am a sensory artist. I like to get my fingers into my paints when I am painting in acrylics, and my hands into my wood and found object sculptures.

  • Dawn

    I am an artist from Chicago that is just starting out again after a long denial period of 15 yrs thinking that I can’t make any money as an artist. I know now that this is my passion and what I was meant to do in life. The trouble is, I don’t have the knowledge to know how I can make money with my art work. I paint on canvas for now but would like to sell my works of art and would like to put my art work on merchandise items that people would buy. Can you help me with any information as to how I can make this dream of mine a reality?

  • Dawn

    I am an artist from Chicago that is just starting out again after a long denial period of 15 yrs thinking that I can’t make any money as an artist. I know now that this is my passion and what I was meant to do in life. The trouble is, I don’t have the knowledge to know how I can make money with my art work. I paint on canvas for now but would like to sell my works of art and would like to put my art work on merchandise items that people would buy. Can you help me with any information as to how I can make this dream of mine a reality?

    • Diane Miller

      If you are interested in putting your work on merchandise, you might check out Zazzle. Good Luck.

  • Hey Dawn, I am going to use Alyson’s Salon method in marketing to get a group of artists together in my city of Greenville,SC.(You can find the info on her website.) You might want to organize a group too and this will help you on a lot of different levels in selling your work. :)

  • “I am a custom scrapbook designer. I take all those photos you have stored in a box in the closet and turn them into memory albums you’re proud to display.”

  • I am an artist who works mainly with oil and acrylic paint. Recently I have gone towards works that include collage and more expressive abstract art.

  • These are great! I can’t resist. Terri, how about “I’m a painter. I work mostly with oil and acrylics and have recently begun to include collage and expressive abstraction.” ???

  • deborah

    When asked what I do, I usually say: ” I am a portrait painter that specializes in custom portrait paintings in oils or pastels of children and adults”

  • Terri West

    LOL Thanks Alyson! That does look better;) Terri

  • Pam, yours is great because you have laid out a benefit for clients: you help them organize their memories adn do something with all of those photos. It should work great for you!

  • And for Deborah, I’m wondering if you want some more colorful language. How about some benefit to having a portrait done? Or appealing to an elite: Anyone can have a photograph, but think of how much more special a painting is. (Need some really good language here. I’m too tired to think clearly, but I think you get the picture.)

  • “I am a mixed media fiber artist. I take fabric, paint, beads and embroidery and combine them together to make a 3 dimensional painting. It is like taking traditional hand sewing and quilting and giving it a comtemporary face.” I usually have to explain what I do when I meet people, since a lot of them have no clue what a fiber artist creates.

  • deborah

    Thank you for your comments about my 10 sec commerical. How does this sound: ” I am an artist that creates classical portrait paintings of children and adults. Unlike a photo, my portraits are archival and increase in value as well as preserving memories of your loved one forever on a canvas.

  • I am an artist who paints colourful, contemporary abstract paintings that are textural, intuitive and expressive.

  • I am an artist who paints colorful, ethereal abstractions of flowers and other elements of nature.

  • “I’m a fashion accessories designer. I specialize in unique designs for moms and children, such as diaper bags, baby blankets, bibs and other fun things.” I feel like this isn’t as good as it could possibly be, but it’s all I have right this second!

  • “I paint intimate paintings as a way of expressing appreciation of the world; to show how the light dances on flower petals or how a parent holds their child.”

    Suggestions appreciated!

  • Life is full of magical and inspired ordinary moments. I love capturing them with my camera through digital prints or on painted surfaces of various kinds.

  • [...] good 10-second introduction is the result of trial and error. It doesn’t usually come easily, but only after seeing what [...]

  • I create folk art sculpture and paintings using hammers and paint. My style is naive, and the colors are rich. Maybe you could call me a refined ‘Outsider’.

  • I find this very, very difficult. I’ve been working on my pitch for about 2 years and it still doesn’t flow. But anyway, here it is. Printmaking is hard because the general population doesn’t know what that means. Thank you for reviewing this blog post! I’ve enjoyed reading the other comments!

    I’m an artist. I work mostly in fine art printmaking–such as etchings and woodcuts–but also work in collage. I’m fascinated with how things work (including the analytical thought process) and am currently working on a series about famous scientists and mathematicians.

  • I paint textural watercolors ..I built my own hand crafted panels, textuerize them with with found object and then flow watercolors across them.I love the way the colors blend into each other and the light hits the texture .

  • I’m a painter who delights in capturing light and atmosphere, working in both watercolour and oil. I want to make YOU feel where I was standing when I painted.

  • I am an abstract artist who uses acryic paints and mediums to create bold texxtures on 3″ deep canvases. Metallic paints, yarns, glass, feathers, and plants are all incorporated into my pieces.

  • (13-seconds!) ….My vintage camera weaves images to “Inspire the Spirit and Refresh the Soul”™ Since a percentage of purchases benefit a women’s charity, why not feature me as a speaker and exhibitor at your next event!

  • I am a collector of stories with a focus on community and sustainability. Put together, these photographic vignettes make a whole.

  • I am an artist. I paint unusal subjects on unusual surfaces mostly inspired by nature. I put joyful images on canvas, glassware, floorcloths, rugs, paper, and anything that might enhance your visual experience.

  • MK

    This is always a tough one for me. I am never sure what to say because I do a little of everything – painting, drawing, pen and ink, computer graphics (commercial stuff), paper mache’, photography/video, collage – which I think might be pretty typical of most artists, yeah? When I am asked what it is I do – I’m not sure what to single out. It really depends on what day you catch me.

    I consider myself a mixed media painter with multiple multidisciplinary personalities. Much of my work is a stream of consciousness exercise resulting in seemingly random layers and blends of color and texture.

  • Diane Miller

    I am a tissue paper artist. My art is chockfull vibrant colors, rich textures and packed with endearing personalities.

  • [...] Introduce yourself to someone new – don’t stick with your usual crowd! [...]