This week I wrote in the Art Marketing Action newsletter about the differences between your bio and your statement. As I said, there are no hard and fast rules. There is no overseer of the perfect statement and bio that is going to come get you for not adhering to rules that never existed. Breathe a sigh of relief. You can’t go wrong unless you have a bunch of type-os, use poor grammar, or are otherwise sloppy. But you can be clearer, which is what the newsletter is about.
I believe, however, that there is an exception to the “bio in the 3rd person” rule, which I am clarifying here for Hap Hagood and Richard Chapman. And that’s when the information is on your Web site. Sorry I wasn’t clear about this before. Things that are requested of you to be in print are often different than what we want to see online. These are my thoughts . . .
It’s perfectly okay to combine your statement with your bio on an “About the Artist” page and write everything in 3rd person. If you separate them, just don’t call your statement a statement because a statement should be in 1st person. Statements come from individual’s lips, pens, or fingertips.
It’s also perfectly okay to do the same and write everything in 1st person. I’m kind of a stickler (or try to learn and get better) about correct grammar. So, I prefer that a bio in 1st person is called “About Me” (check out mine). As I said, though, no one is going to come and get you for breaking my guidelines.
And, Richard, I agree. Bios can be dreary and dull. You blame it on the passive voice; I blame it on lack of creativity when writing. A bio in the 1st person can evoke every bit of ennui as one written in the 3rd person. (I refuse to point fingers.) Listen to my podcast "Spice Up Your Bio."
Image (c) Hap Hagood, Thoth.